- Myth 4: New generations prefer other channels over email
Myth 4: New generations prefer other channels over email
Category: Email Marketing
The division of generations is a very practical way to classify users. Age groups have always been used, but labeling them makes it easier to understand their characteristics, preferences, and purchasing habits. This allows for effective communication with each generation in the way and place they prefer. The good thing about email is that it is a channel used by everyone, including the younger generations. It is a myth that they don't like it; in fact, the opposite is true because all generations prefer it to receive information from brands.
Classification of Users into Generations
In a family, the birth of children marks the arrival of a new generation, although sociologically, they are separated by 15 to 20 years. The dates may vary slightly but are usually marked by major world events and more recently, the use of technology.
In the 20th century, five generations were labeled, and the 21st century already has two new ones. Some details:
- 1900-1927: The Greatest Generation began with the turn of the century and lived through World War I.
- 1928-1945: The Silent Generation began with the Great Depression and ended with World War II.
- 1946-1964: The Baby Boomers (or simply Boomers) are post-war children with good purchasing power, although they are analog.
- 1965-1980: The Generation X usually ends with the birth of the internet, making them digital immigrants.
- 1981-2000: The Millennials or Generation Y are the first digital natives and are socially engaged globally.
- 2001-2009: The Centennials or Generation Z began with the new millennium and are avid consumers of technology.
- 2010: The Alpha Generation is the youngest, lived through the coronavirus pandemic, and is accustomed to using technology.
It could be said that "the new generations" are the most recent, but the Alpha generation is underage and does not have direct purchasing power. It is mainly the Millennials who are considered as such in marketing, also because it is the previous generations that address them.
Each generation is an evolution of the previous one. This is important to understand their behavior and create better communication campaigns, although the boundaries can be blurry, and there are always people willing to adapt to the new reality.
For example: although Boomers value stability in work, and Millennials have no qualms about changing companies, Generation X can understand both the previous and subsequent generations and decide based on their interests. Another example: Generation X listened to music with Walkman, Generation Y with iPod, Generation Z with Spotify, and the Alpha with smart speakers, but everyone can use current technology if they want.
Email Marketing for Millennials
Studies indicate that Millennials spend several hours a day checking emails and leave few messages unread. Thus, the myth that they do not use this channel is debunked; they just use it differently than other generations, like any other technology.
When preparing email marketing campaigns for Millennials, consider their characteristics:
- They are digital natives: They are more accustomed to interacting with others through technology than making phone calls. Solve all possible doubts on the website or through chat, not so much through phone support.
- They are glued to their mobile phones: Ensure everything is well optimized for these devices because they check their emails several times, always upon waking up and before going to bed.
- They use emojis constantly to react, so use them too! In the subject or inside, take the opportunity to speak their language and make it clear that you are addressing them and not another age group.
- They value experiences more than material possessions. This implies that the service associated with the product is much more important to them; tell it from that perspective.
- They are visual: Seeing what they are buying in photos, galleries, and videos is what they want. If you already do this for social media, take advantage of it in your email marketing as well.
- They are socially engaged, so messages should incorporate the company's CSR or how it fulfills the SDGs. It can be campaigns expressly for that purpose or be a natural part of your communication.
- They gather information from various sources, including email: incorporate current messages into your strategy and don't address them only to sell your products or services.
- They still want to learn: Depending on their age, they are still in first jobs or are entrepreneurs who need support and resources. Educational content can be very useful for them.
- They create and share content, so you can become their source to help distribute your messages.
- They trust recommendations from their close circle, don't forget to include social proof in your messages!
- They can distinguish (and reject) clickbait headlines: Avoid them in the subject lines of your campaigns and newsletters; you will only get unsubscribes.
- They are constantly bombarded, a target much loved by brands. It's difficult to stand out unless you use action verbs and get straight to the point to explain something of value that will interest them. Don't forget that the subject has to grab attention, or they delete it without hesitation.
- They do not easily share personal information like Boomers or Generation X: consider this when creating lead magnets and choosing form fields to ensure the value of what they will receive is clear.
- They don't hesitate to unsubscribe if they feel bothered or their privacy is not respected: take care of segmentation and personalization to avoid sending what they don't want to receive.
- They are not particularly loyal: neither to work nor to the products they buy; they prefer to try. Use loyalty programs thinking of other generations, like X or Boomers.
The purchasing habits of each generation influence the development and marketing of products or services, so it is essential to know who we are addressing. Only then can we make the most of each channel and avoid the mistake of thinking that it doesn't work.
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