Email usage is just about saturated among Millennials and Generation X. But there is one group for whom it is growing: Generation Z, in the 13-21 age category. So little is known about them that they don’t yet have a clear stereotype.
But we do know that they view email as essential, thanks to The Future of Digital Communications, a study by SendGrid and Egg Strategy.
Of the Gen Z members polled, 85% of have an overwhelming preference for email communications. They are outranked in this area by Millennials (89%) and Gen Xers (92%).
But that’s today. Of the Gen Z respondents, 48% expect their email use to increase in the next five years, compared with 36% of Millennials and 23% of Gen Xers.
Of 1,200 consumers surveyed overall, 67% view email as essential or important to their lives. But 33% say it is neither
At the same time, 79% of consumers say their email usage has risen or held steady over the past five years, especially those in younger generations. And 74% of people choose email as the preferred channel for companies or brands to interact with them.
Granted, text messages and phone calls outweigh email in all generations — but not by much. And email beats out social media and communication apps
Gen Z is less likely to use email for work — but that’s to be expected, as most have not yet entered the workforce. They deem email essential for:
According to the study, email is preferred by 70% of Gen Z for company-to-consumer interactions, compared with 72% of Millennials and 79% of Gen Xers.
And 34% like to receive physical direct mail in the form of promotions and catalogs. Millennials and Gen Xers are more likely to desire that.
Overall, 32% of all consumers prefer to sign up for newsletters, including 29% of Gen Zs. And identical percentages choose to email a company when communicating. However ,39% prefer to “like” or follow up in some other way on social media.
Gen Z also ranks highest in anticipated growth in these areas:
Personal emails between me and individual people I know (outside of work)—35%
In addition, 39% expect their advertising and marketing communications will increase in the next year, vs. 34% of Millennials and 28% of Gen Xers.
Here’s one more piece of good news for email marketers: Content sent by email, text and voice/video chat are viewed as lasting and important. In contrast, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat are seen as having fleeting influence. Facebook straddles the middle.