Millennials aren’t that complicated, really.
Do the millennials really ignore emails and solely rely on Instagram and YouTube for news? A lot of marketers seem to be under that impression but there are many reasons why this is a false perception.
Millennials may use email less but they still want to hear from the brands they love on a regular basis. We’re dealing with a savvy generation who believe in authenticity and causes. Here are twelve strategy tips for targeting this important demographic.
Why should brands care about marketing to millennials?
The question really shouldn’t be why but how.
According to a study from YouGov, 25% of people ages 18 to 34 check their email before any other platform each morning.
After that, young people stay locked into their emails for a large portion of their day. Adobe found that millennials spend 6.4 hours scrolling through their inbox each day. Meanwhile, 98% of respondents admit to checking their email every few hours while they do other activities like eating a meal or even using the restroom.
With millennials spending at just over $65 billion according to Nielsen surveys, it’s important for marketers to understand the proper way to reach this demographic.
Brands need to be authentic, useful, and respectful if they want to win the hearts of younger generations. Heck, that’s how to win the hearts of the older generations too. Keep the following in mind to develop the best email marketing strategy for your millennial audience.
1. Use the right tone of voice.
People spend the equivalent of a full day each week on their smartphones and the digital world can be a cold place. If you want to win over the hearts of millennials, you need to have an authentic voice.
Speak to your subscribers like how I’m speaking to you right now. Don’t you feel like we’re having a one-on-one conversation? Make sure to use this same type of voice throughout your other content: blog posts, social media, product descriptions, etc.
2. Personalise as much as possible.
Wouldn’t you want your favourite brands to recognise you by name and understand your tastes? According to research from Accenture, 75% of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that recognises them by name and offers content based on previous purchases. Custom subject lines don’t cut it. You can use a broad range of data such as behavioural tracking to provide your millennial subscribers with content that’s hyper-relevant to their needs and interests.
Gain as much information as you can about your audience. With that information, you can send out campaigns they can’t wait to read. This email from Dollar Shave Club offers personalised product suggestions based on the customer’s current order—and even offers them as add-ons.
3. Make sure everything is mobile friendly.
More than half of all emails are opened on mobile devices. Millennials use their smartphones for all kinds of tasks during the day: taking selfies, finding a ride, looking for food, chatting with friends, streaming videos, playing games and so on.
It’s absolutely crucial to optimise your emails for mobile browsing. If your emails don’t render properly on a smartphone, there’s a more than 70% chance it will be deleted within three seconds. Ouch. Find an email service provider that offers customizable mobile-friendly templates to ensure your emails look amazing on all devices.
4. Highlight transparency and your brand’s values.
Half of all consumers worldwide purchase items based on their values. People—especially young people—want to spend their money with brands who share their social beliefs. Don’t you feel good when buying toothpaste that also contributes to saving polar bears?
You don’t need to fit into any specific mould, just identify your values and express them. It may also be a good idea to take up a pet cause that relates to your industry or brand. The shoe company, Toms, has incorporated social change into their entire ethos. For each pair you buy, the company will donate a pair.
5. Reward loyalty.
According to a recent report, 38% of customers consider themselves loyal to brands they love. How do customers express their loyalty? Many said they participate in customer loyalty programs or recommend brands they love to friends and family.
Millennials may not want to be seen as trend followers but they are more loyal than you might think. You just need to reach them with the right content and context. Let your young customers know that you appreciate their business with special messages, coupons, VIP access, or any other creative experiences you can come up with.
6. Experiment with interactive content.
Interactive content can help you create some of the best email marketing campaigns. Make unique emails that tempt readers into clicking your content.
There’s no need to go over the top with a loud colour palette and buttons everywhere. You can still incorporate interactive elements into a minimalist design that engages readers by guiding them rather than overwhelming them. This email from Tom’s includes interactive content in the form of a clicking a light button.
7. Get to the point.
Like anyone else, millennials are busy with work, school, and adult responsibilities. Don’t beat around the bush in your subject lines and copy—get straight to the point.
Keep your writing concise and use as few words as possible. Your subscribers probably don’t have time to read a giant 300-word block of text (although they might click that interesting blog post you’ve included).
Likewise, include a very direct and intentional single call-to-action. If you give your subscribers too many options, they probably won’t take any action.
8. Avoid over-promoting.
Misleading subject lines and aggressive sales tactics aren’t going to work on millennials. Ironic for their age but they’ve seen it all before and they don’t appreciate it. Focus on how you can help them improve their lives. Offer valuable content and demonstrate that you’re worthy of their business. Millennials know that they have limitless choices—show (not tell) them why they should choose yours.
9. Incorporate different types of multimedia.
Email design has come a long way in the past decade. You have no reason to limit yourself to static images and text. Play around with different types of multimedia to keep your readers engaged and interested in your content.
Custom GIFs are excellent for adding a little bit of motion to your graphics or explaining convoluted concepts. Videos and infographics can also help you get out large amounts of information without asking your subscribers to read a 1,000-word blog.
10. Test your emails and landing pages for the user experience.
You might think your emails and landing pages look amazing, but are they user-friendly? Enlist the help of third-party observers to click-through your emails and landing pages. Have them report any confusing, frustrating, or unclear elements. According to the design experts at Nielsen Norman, bad user experiences could be the final nail in the coffin that pushes a potential customer into the arms of a competitor.
Your subscribers have integrated their browsing behaviour, have you integrated your marketing efforts? Everyone has their preferred methods for communicating and connecting with brands: some prefer Facebook, others like brand apps, and many enjoy WhatsApp.
If you want to create the best email marketing strategy, optimise your integration with other channels. Include links to download your app, let them know about your live chat, or provide a link to your Instagram handle. Let subscribers choose their own path.
12. Make things easy, offer some help.
They’d rather text than call. Who can blame them? Phone calls to customer service departments are often riddled with annoying hold music, long wait times, and infuriating automated prompts. Create a comprehensive FAQ section based on user-provided feedback. Add a live chat to your website. Create blog posts and videos that thoroughly explain how customers can self-diagnose and treat common problems.
Millennials aren’t that complicated or vengeful. They just aren’t putting up with previous marketing tactics. Marketing has always evolved to cater to new age groups: Millennials know what they want and what they don’t want.
Stay authentic and true to your brand’s values and you’ll be alright.