Millennials Say: 'Enough Emails.' They Demand Relevance, Study Shows

Generational stereotypes are getting blurred in this year of COVID-19. For instance, our perception of millennials is changing as they advance into middle age and are supplanted as the primary youth cohort by Gen Z.  

Some sources describe millennials as the most beleaguered demographic, increasingly moving back in their parents. 

But millennials are also rapidly becoming the primary shopping force. And their reactions to marketing are more nuanced than you might think, judging by "Millennials: Where They Shop, How They Shop, Why It Matters," a study by SmarterHQ, publicized this week in Retail Dive. 

For starters, 74% feel they are getting too many marketing emails.  

Not that this is any mystery--70% complain that they are receiving too many irrelevant emails. They are tired of batch-and-blast.

At the same time, 62% feel that shipping is too pricey, and 60% complain that there are too many irrelevant ads. 



And, 38% say websites are difficult to navigate.  

Finally, only 6.5% of millennials are brand loyalists. 

But that’s where the picture gets more murky. 

Millennials who receive personalized marketing communications have a 28% higher brand loyalty. 

Moreover, 70% are comfortable with retailers tracking their browsing and purchasing behaviors if it leads to a better customer experience. 

Want to reach millennials by email? Send them these types of messages:

  • Sale notification of previously carted item
  • Sale notification for previously browsed items or categories
  • Recommend products based on their interests
  • Reminder of products left in the cart
  • New products based on their interests.

The study claims that these five email types raise campaign revenue by substantial margins:

  • Checkout abandonment 
  • Product browse abandonment 
  • Back-in-stock notifications
  • Welcome messages
  • Re-engagement emails.

In terms of frequency, millennials prefer one to three marketing emails a month from any given brand. 

Here’s another paradox—that for all their presumed digital savvy, 50% of millennials prefer to shop in-store. In contrast, only 22% prefer mobile devices, and 27% shop on their desktops.

Yet many double-task when they’re shopping—67% watch TV, 43% chat, 40% work and 23% travel. However, 49% simply wait. 

Finally, here’s one more takeaway from this strange year: For all the talk about youth, our incoming president is not even a baby boomer. He’s a member of the Silent Generation.

SmarterHQ surveyed 1,000 millennials. 

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