A lot of research has been done on direct mail’s influence on millennials. Surprisingly, members of my digital-native generation would prefer receiving communications in their physical mailbox rather than their electronic inbox. Here are five reasons why millennials are likely to avoid reading your email marketing campaigns:
1. Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That
It’s estimated that the average email user receives 147 emails per day. A Fortune article, “Stop Checking Your Email, Now,” states that about 28% of the workday is spent simply managing emails. If the average workday is eight hours, that’s more than two hours sorting and clicking through emails just at work.
When I’m off the clock, the last thing I want to do is what I’ve just spent eight hours doing, including checking email. I’m not alone; an Adobe report states that 39% of Americans want fewer emails. And because my phone is always with me, and my emails are always beeping away with push-notifications, I feel like there’s no escaping marketers. So unless it’s important, relevant, or timely, I’m clicking the delete button.
2. Saudi Princes (and other scams)
Of the average 147 emails everyone gets each day, 49.7% is spam. Time it and add it up, and you spend about 16 hours every year deleting emails, according to Baydin, an email management service. Thankfully, spam filters have become pretty sophisticated these days, and have been weeding out all the offers for miracle weight-loss pills and foreign dignitaries who will pay you millions later if you send them a thousand now. If my nifty spam-net catches your email marketing piece because it seems suspicious or too good to be true, I’m never going to even see it. Select all, delete.
3. Fear of Viruses (and the Geek Squads and Genius Bars that go with them)
At a young age, millennials are conditioned to fear email from senders they don’t recognize or anything that appears to have been sent as part of a mass email. We know all too well the dangers of computer viruses and treasure our devices too much to put them in harm’s way. Replacing my computer cost over $1,000 and I didn’t even get anything fancy. You can bet your sweet Aunt Susan that I’m not going to risk having to pay even more for repairs because I opened a suspicious email.
4. It Feels Like a Lot of Work
68% of emails are opened on mobile devices. My smartphone is pretty nifty, but enlarging and scrolling and trying to navigate a regular email on a mobile device is way more effort than I want to put into reading ads. That’s probably why 75% of emails are deleted if they aren’t mobile optimized. It’s even worse when the email isn’t personalized and I have to fill in my information for the umpteenth time or search for my preferences. Use all the data you have on me and make it as easy for me to be a loyal customer as it is for you to sell to me.
5. You’re Bugging Me
I’m huge on sales and deals and new offers, but it’s obnoxious to continuously be bombarded with purchase offers and upgrades. Especially when I get multiples of the same email (stop adding me to your mailing list every time I buy something from you and for Pete’s sake, clean up your lists! We know you have the power!).
Equally as annoying is getting hundreds of emails touting the same offer, but with slightly different messaging. “Limited time sale!” “Two hours left!” “Almost over!” “One hour left!” You’re driving me nuts, over-zealous email marketer, knock it off. You come off as pushy when you send thoughtless blitz emails, and I expect more from the people I do business with. Actually, all millennials do, which is why the rise in content marketing has been so unbelievable. Instead of selling, try sharing every once in a while.
Make Email Marketing Work for You
I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from an email marketing campaign. Email is a great marketing tool when you do it right. On its own, email can be a great way to build brand confidence with content marketing and customer communications. It’s even better when you pair it with mail. Physical mail is unobtrusive and establishes a credible offer, while email puts it at the forefront of a prospect’s day and reaffirms the messaging. Together, they make a lot of sense and connect with millennials where they prefer to get marketing (mail) and where they’re bound to get it (email).
For more information on how to get your email past the spam filters and into the hands of millennials, or, if you’d like to know more about content marketing and how you can boost your email click-through rates by pairing it with direct mail, leave me a comment below. I promise, I’ll read it.
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