Commentary

The Click Generation: Teens More Likely To Accept Email Ads

Don’t worry about young people turning away from email.

A full 70% of Gen Zers will click through an email ad when it is relevant, according to a study released on Thursday by PowerInbox. In contrast, 57% of baby boomers will click through.

What’s more, 62% of Gen Yers are so inured to ads they aren’t bothered by them or don't even notice them. And the same is true of 50% of the kids in Generation Z.

Among all demographics, over 40% say ads in emails don’t bother them, and 15% say they don’t notice ads. “It’s counterintuitive, but the young generations are more tolerant of seeing advertising,” says PowerInbox CEO Jeff Kupietzky. 

That doesn’t mean teens are open to any old batch-and-blast advertising. Gen Zers are the most annoyed by ads for products they have already purchased.

Boomers, who might be considered to be more open to emails, are the most resistant. “Boomers show the highest willingness to unsubscribe, millennials least,” Kupietzky says.

Overall, 74% will unsubscribe from newsletters they no longer want.

Baby boomers are the quickest to unsubscribe — 89% will do so. But 36% of millennials rely on their filter program to sort unwanted emails — “they just defer it,” Kupietzky continues.

However, fewer than one third will unsubscribe because of ads.

That may be because they know they are getting something for nothing. A business providing content without a paywall must be able to monetize it in some way — that’s where sponsored content comes in, Kupietzky notes.  

PowerInbox, an ad-tech platform that puts newsletters together with paid ads, surveyed 1,000 consumers in the U.S. It defines Gen Z as people ages 18-21, and Gen Y as those who are younger.

In one key finding, the survey found that nearly 60% of adult subscribe to some kind of email newsletter, including 65% of millennials and 46% of baby boomers. This proves “email newsletters are alive and well,” Kupietzky adds.

Kupietzky argues that email is more accurate for one-to-one targeting than browser-based cookies, which can’t distinguish between multiple users of the same browser or device.

In addition, Kupietzky cites statistics showing that the average click-through rate on Facebook ads is 0.90% and for standard online display, CTR is just 0.05%. What’s more, email is free. And it’s “persistent and consistent,” he says.

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