The Ultimate Guide to Millennials Email Marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Millennials Email Marketing
13 March, 2024 • ... • 4327 views
Ana Balashova
by Ana Balashova

Think Millennials are all about avocado toast and binge-watching series? Well, there’s more to them than trendy foods and Netflix marathons. They still check their inbox frequently in between scrolling through BuzzFeed quizzes and debating which Hogwarts house they belong to. 

So, how do you catch the eye of a generation that’s seen every marketing trick in the book? Let’s decode the secret language of email marketing for Millennials and turn those email scrolls into excited clicks.

Millennials’ email marketing stats and useful data

Crafting effective email marketing campaigns for Millennials is both an art and a science. This generation, defined as those born between 1981 and 1996, grew up during significant technological shifts and faced the dawn of many things, from social networking to online shopping. And it has made Millennials adept at filtering genuine content from the noise. 

They value authenticity and personalized experiences, especially in their inboxes. This demand for personalization is echoed in their shopping habits: over 27% of Millennials planned to increase their online spending, leading global eCommerce spending in 2023.

Yet going through various economic uncertainties, Millennials are also re-evaluating their financial priorities, with many living paycheck to paycheck. Despite this, email marketing remains a potent tool for engagement, with 40% of Millennials likely to be influenced by a brand’s newsletter.

To connect with this generation, marketers must leverage smart cold emails and other types of email with clever subject lines resonating with Millennials’ values and beliefs. Social media platforms and customer loyalty programs offer additional avenues to engage Millennials and nurture brand loyalty.

Research results on brand qualities appreciated by Millennials
Source: GWI

The ability to segment your audience and deliver personalized email content has never been more critical. This approach not only captures Millennials’ attention but also encourages them to support brands that align with their values and beliefs.

For marketers looking to master Millennial email marketing, understanding these nuances and integrating them into their campaigns is essential. With Millennials leading the charge in online consumption, the opportunity to engage this demographic through thoughtful, data-driven email strategies has never been more important.

Tips on creating email marketing campaigns for Millennials

Millennials are the first generation to embrace technology, yet not born with smartphones in their cribs like their younger counterparts, Gen Z and Alpha. They value being genuine and want more than just typical advertising. They look for real connections, purpose, and brands that reflect their own beliefs. Are you about to email Millennials? Ready for the secret sauce to messages that actually get read? Here’s how you do it.

Keep it short and sweet

Example of an email with a short but to the point subject line

Millennials, bombarded with digital content daily, prioritize brevity and substance. When crafting emails, think of delivering value-packed messages in a concise format. This approach caters to the Millennial preference for quick, digestible content, ensuring your message isn’t just seen but absorbed.

Here’s an, although exaggerated, example of a concise Black Friday email Millennials may love. Its subject line says “all sauces are $6.90 each today”, and the email itself only offers two lines of copy and a button that redirects to the online store. Maybe not all your emails for Millennials should look exactly like this, however, it’s still a nice example on how to respect your subscribers’ time in the world of cluttered inboxes.

Short and ironic Black Friday email from Bottle Rocket
Source: Really Good Emails

Use engaging subject lines

Your email’s first impression hinges on the subject line. To grab the attention of a Millennial audience, employ clever, intriguing, or personalized subject lines. Whether it’s a witty play on words, a compelling question, or a direct call to action, the goal is to spark curiosity and compel opens. This strategy not only increases open rates but also sets the stage for meaningful engagement.

For example, this email’s subject line is “Monday is cancelled” — a subject like this one creates an intrigue, enticing enough to open an email. Once you open it, it turns out, this email promotes a Black Friday sale that starts on a Monday. This example from Surreal shows how you can tell your subscribers about discounts without on point but a bit boring “20% off everything” subject lines.

Email from Surreal with a tagline “Monday is cancelled”
Source: Really Good Emails

Personalize your emails

Across generations, 79% of Millennials prefer being contacted by brands via email, compared to 57% of Gen Z, 69% of Baby Boomers, and 67% of Gen X.

At the core of effective Millennial outreach is personalization. Millennials value connections that feel genuine and tailored to their interests and behaviors. Incorporating personalization can significantly enhance the relevance and impact of your communications. According to McKinsey, brands that excel in personalization see substantial growth, with a 40% higher revenue impact compared to peers.

There are many email personalization techniques to try out. These include tricks as simple as addressing your subscribers by their first names and as complex as leveraging your customers’ browsing data for dynamic content. One of the ways to make your messages more valuable is offering personalized recommendations of products and services.

 Here’s a great example from AllTrails. In this email, subscribers can find hiking routes near them.

Email from AllTrails with location-based trail recommendations
Source: Really Good Emails

Use visuals

Visuals, especially videos, offer an engaging way to communicate your message and stand out in a crowded inbox. HubSpot’s State of Marketing 2023 report underscores the importance of visuals, marking video as the most popular media format for the fourth consecutive year. 

Notably, 25% of marketers identified videos as having the highest ROI, highlighting their effectiveness in email marketing campaigns. Integrating eye-catching images, infographics, and especially videos into your emails can significantly enhance the user experience, making your message more memorable and likely to resonate with a Millennial audience. So, if you haven’t learned how to embed a video in an email yet, it’s about time to do so!

Here’s an example of an email newsletter with an eye-catching visual appealing to any nature-lover.

Example of an email with an engaging visual
Source: Email Love

In fact, 93% of Millennials are more likely to purchase a product if it has reviews that include photos and videos in addition to text.

Make it mobile-friendly

Photo of email mobile optimization example
Source: Campaign Monitor

With 61% of all people, Millennials included, primarily checking their email on their phones, optimizing your email campaigns for mobile devices is no longer optional — it’s essential. This demographic values the convenience and immediacy of mobile communication, making it crucial for marketers to ensure their emails look great and function flawlessly on smaller screens. 

This means using responsive design, concise content, and easily clickable links and buttons to cater to the smartphone users in your contact list. By catering to the mobile-first habits of Millennials, you ensure that your emails are accessible and engaging, regardless of where or how your audience chooses to read them.

Provide value

When crafting emails for Millennials, the key is to deliver content that’s more than just a sales pitch. It’s about providing genuine value that enriches the lives of people in your contact list or solves a problem they’re facing. This approach is particularly important for Millennials, who, despite being the first digitally native generation, often find themselves missing genuine connections that bridge the gap between digital convenience and the authenticity of old-school relationships.

Think of it as creating a value exchange — your insights for their attention. This could mean sharing expert tips, offering exclusive deals, or giving early access to new products. Remember, value can also come from educational content, helping to understand your industry better or how to make the most out of your product.

Here’s an example from Glassdoor. Many of us, especially if we are subscribed to a newsletter of a job search website, wouldn’t mind building a personal brand since it gives a lot of potential benefits for landing a dream job or a freelance gig.

Example of an email newsletter providing value
Source: Really Good Emails

Use social proof

Trust is a huge factor in any relationship, including the one between your brand and your audience. For Millennials, seeing is believing. That’s where social proof comes in. Incorporating testimonials, user reviews, or influencer endorsements into your emails can significantly boost credibility. 

For instance, this email uses pictures of real clients. While it doesn’t show “before and after,” which is often a no-no in promoting any white-hat weight-loss products, it still shows that the company’s clients are real people. They look like they are in a healthy weight, and they seem genuinely happy. 

Example of an email featuring user-generated pictures
Source: Really Good Emails

According to GWI, 80% of Millennials trust influencers, just a notch below Gen Z, and they’re loyal to brands they resonate with, often ready to advocate for them online if they believe in the product quality. Whether it’s a shoutout from a satisfied customer or a featured post from a known influencer, showcasing these endorsements can make Millennials more likely to trust and engage with your brand.

Be authentic

The younger generations value genuine connections over polished sales pitches. They want to hear the brands’ true voice and story. Share behind-the-scenes glimpses, real stories of people behind your brand, or how your values align with theirs. 

Authenticity fosters trust, and trust builds loyalty. In crafting your emails, let your brand’s personality shine through every word and image. This genuine approach will resonate well with Millennials, who are keen to support brands that aren’t afraid to be themselves.

For example, this email from Loog doesn’t cover the fact that it’s a small business — they’re not afraid to say that one of their products was crowdfunded.

Email from Loog promoting a keyboard in an authentic manner
Source: Really Good Emails

Segment your audience

One size doesn’t fit all, especially when it comes to brands engaging Millennials. Email marketing thrives on relevance, and that’s where segmentation plays a pivotal role. By dividing your audience into smaller, targeted groups — perhaps based on interests, past purchases, or how they’ve interacted with your site — you can tailor your messages to speak directly to different segments. 

Let’s say you run a marketing-related newsletter. An email about the latest marketing trends might appeal to one group, while tips on how to get email addresses from Instagram followers might captivate another. Utilizing a quality email service provider allows for sophisticated segmentation, ensuring your message hits home every time.

There are many email segmentation ideas for brands to try out — one of them is location-based segmentation. For example, in this email campaign, Resy offers pastime ideas for those living in Chicago.

Email from Resy offering ways to celebrate fall in Chicago
Source: Really Good Emails

Encourage interaction

Encouraging interaction in your emails transforms passive readers into active participants. This could be as simple as asking for their opinion on a new product, inviting them to join a loyalty program, or encouraging them to share their experience on social media platforms. 

Interactive elements like polls, surveys, or clickable videos, and digital content also increase engagement. By inviting interaction, you’re not just marketing to Millennials; you’re engaging with them on a level that values their input and fosters a deeper connection.

Here’s an example of such an email. This Halloween-themed newsletter encourages users to interact with the text by using their favorite monster. 

Example of an email newsletter encouraging interaction
Source: Really Good Emails

Final thoughts

In wrapping up our guide to Millennial email marketing, remember, authenticity rules — Millennials can spot insincerity a mile away, so keep it real in every message. Tailor your approach with personalized content that resonates, ensuring every email feels like it’s speaking directly to them. Don’t forget the power of visuals and the necessity of mobile optimization to meet Millennials where they are, on their phones, looking for connections that matter. Dive in, experiment, and watch as your email marketing campaigns to Millennials in your contact list not only reach their inboxes but also their hearts.

13 March, 2024
Article by
Ana Balashova
I'm a seasoned PR and marketing pro turned tech writer, with a decade of experience working with big names like DuPont, Avon, Evernote, TradingView, and SAP. I've also dived into the world of crypto startups, contributing to several blockchain publications. Now, I'm bringing my passion for technology, entrepreneurship, and marketing to Selzy. Here, I combine my love for writing and excitement about contributing to the growth of a great product.
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