Social media wins most of the attention these days. Many marketing and public relations professionals expected email use among teens and millennials to fade away as younger folks used social media and messaging apps more often.

However, research from Adestra, a marketing tech software and services firm, reveals that consumers – including young people — prefer to communicate with businesses via email. Email is only slightly less popular among teens and millennials than older age groups.

About 68% of teens and 73% of millennials said they prefer to receive communication from a business via email. That compares to 75 percent of 56 to 67 year olds.

“Email’s premature death has been hyped ad nauseum. This study puts it to rest once and for all, or at least until the Zombie Apocalypse. Right now, that’s about the only thing that can kill it,” states Ryan Phelan, Adestra vice president of marketing insights, in the report.

Email remains one of the most effective marketing strategies, agrees digital marketing expert Rohan Ayyar. Email marketing has an ROI of about 4200%, according to the Direct Marketing Association. However, successful email promotions require meticulously built subscriber lists and continual testing of new design and copy approaches. For guidance, he offers case studies of campaigns by top brands.

Survey Highlights

The Adestra survey of 1,200 people ranging from teens to baby boomers shows that:

  • Only 43% of consumers give a real email address when they come to a website that asks for an email before continuing.
  • 80% of consumers unsubscribe from emails they no longer wish to receive.
  • 59% of consumers leave an email unread if they plan to read it later,
  • 33% flag unread emails they plan to read later.
  • 85% of customers sign up for email to get discounts; 41% want information and updates about products.

Recommendations for Email Marketing

The report includes the following recommendations.

Expand testing.

Test something other than the subject line. Email marketers need more than a good subject line to drive results. Examine click-to-open rates, which measures how many openers also clicked on your links. Conversions are the most important measure.

Make unsubscribing easy.

Make the unsubscribe link obvious. Don’t hide it at the bottom of the page or camouflage it. Consider using a button instead of a link for added visibility. Also, include an address change form to retain customers who are changing email addresses.

Include discounts and other special offers in emails.

Teens gravitate toward free shipping, free trials and “buy one get one” offers. Millennials want cash discounts and free shipping, and boomers like free shipping the most.

Consider the time and your audience.

Younger consumers tend to check emails on their smartphones immediately after turning off the wake-up alarm (also on the smartphone). Are you promoting a product that customers may research while still in bed? Or does your email attempt to drive action later in the day?

Be mobile friendly.

More than 50% of email messages are read on mobile devices. Ensuring that email messages are mobile friendly is a priority, especially when targeting teens. Teens will quickly delete odd-looking or non-functional messages on their phones.

Bottom Line:

Email remains consumers’ preferred channel for communicating with businesses. Even teens and millennials prefer to communicate with brands via email. However, simply sending out more emails will not increase open rates or conversions. Success requires creating messages that readers want to anticipate, read, save and act on.

Source: CyberAlert Blog.

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