The growing popularity of the smartphone has had a significant impact on email marketing and it’s safe to say that those targeting millennials have benefitted from this trend. Per the DMA’s consumer email tracker report for 2019, 72 per cent of those aged between 18 and 34 use their smartphone as their primary device for email. The prevalence of smartphones and social media has not lessened email’s significance, but rather shifted it from desktop and laptop into an ever-present means of communication. Research from Adobe also shows that over half of 18-24 year olds and 43 per cent of 25-34 year olds check their emails in bed in the morning. However, those under the age of 35 only actually read 40 per cent of their emails according to the DMA report. The challenge for email marketers is standing out from the crowd as marketers send emails to capitalise on popular times of the day, particularly as smartphones make it easy to scroll past or delete uninteresting or unwanted correspondence.
This means that email marketers must work harder to engage with millennials, particularly when it comes to personalisation. Indeed, 34 per cent of consumers get frustrated when brands recommend items which are of no interest to them. The two main ways to combat this are through richer content and personalisation. Millennials are three to four times more likely to like media content such as images and videos in their emails (40 per cent) when compared to those over 55. Millennials also tend to give more positive feedback to interactive features such as a competitions or quizzes.
18- to 24-year olds are also twice as likely to want the ability to make purchases without even leaving an email than those 35 and older, according to an Epsilon report from late 2017. Twenty-one per cent of the younger age group wants this, versus only 10 per cent of the older. Listening and understanding their preferences in terms of email frequency has become a necessity, but by also noting the emails that garner more positive engagement, email campaigns can be much more targeted and effective.