When it comes to marketing to the younger generation of consumers, we tend to put a lot of focus on social channels like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube—to the detriment of email campaigns. Here’s why you mustn’t forget about Gen Z email marketing.
When it comes to marketing to the younger generation of consumers, we tend to put a lot of focus on social channels like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. (Since that’s where they spend a lot of their time.)
But direct mail and its digital counterpart – email marketing campaigns – shouldn’t be forgotten. Because while Gen Zers might value email least compared to other consumer generations, email campaigns still play an important role in boosting engagement, driving both in-store and ecommerce traffic, and ultimately increasing sales.
Statistics: Gen Z Email Use
On that note, here are all the statistics worth knowing in relation to Generation Z and their email use as well as preferences.
How often do Gen Zers check their email?
- Multiple times per day: 58%
- At least once a day: 23%
- A couple of times a week: 12.1%
- Only once a week: 5.2%
- Never: 0.98%
The most popular times for consumers to check their email for brand messages are when they’re at home in the morning and evening at 32% and 31% respectively. A quarter of consumers, however, check their emails throughout the day.
How many emails do they receive?
- 20 or less a day: 66.9%
- 1-5 per day: 37.4%
- 6-20 emails: 29.5%
- 21-50 emails: 18%
- 51-100 emails: 9.1%
- 100+ emails: 5%
What is their preferred email frequency?
- Once a month: 18.4%
- Once a week: 19%
- Once a day: 27.5%
- A couple of times a week: 31.8%
What is the main reason they use email?
- Personal communication: 64.9%
- For work: 14.4%
- For school: 19.3%
How many have made a purchase as a result of an email?
- Never bought something as a result of an email: 36.4%
- Made a purchase 2-5 times in the past month because of an email: 28.5%
- One purchase: 27.9%
- Say they’ve made purchases 6-10 times: 5.9%
- Made purchases 11+ times: 1%
Let’s compare that with social media: how many made a purchase as a result of social media?
- Bought something once after seeing it on social media in the past month: 33%
- Never: 29.8%
- 2-5 times: 29.5%
- 6-10 times: 5.2%
- 11+ purchases: 1.6%
What are Zers preferred methods of engagement with a brand?
- Social media: 1,591 respondents
- Email: 1,515 respondents
- In person: 1,453 respondents
- Ads: 1,268 respondents
- Chat: 1,159 respondents
- Company blogs: 907 respondents
What encourages Gen Z to open an email?
- Graphics, imaging, and branding: 35.1%
- Personalized subject line: 36.1%
- Sales or offers: 68%
Emails that were viewed positively were described using the following words: “exciting promos”, “great offers”, “cool”, “interesting”, and “helpful”. Meanwhile, negative descriptions included “annoying”, “spammy, pushy sales”, and “boring”. Make sure you don’t fall in that last category!
What kind of content does Gen Z like to receive?
- Promos and special discounts: 82.3%
- Product recommendations: 44.3%
- Company updates*: 26.6%
- Links to blogs and resources: 20.3%
*Gen Z expect to hear company updates through other channels like Twitter or Instagram.
How many newsletters do they subscribe to?
- 0 newsletters: 37.5%
- 1-5 newsletters: 39%
- 6-20 newsletters: 17.4%
- 20-50 newsletters: 3.9%
- 51-100 newsletters: 1.6%
- 100+ newsletters: -1%
36% of consumers have actually opened separate email accounts just for newsletters and other brand communication.
How important is email to their purchase process?
- Only 46% of Gen Z find email important in their purchase process.
- But 60% have made a purchase from email in the past 3 months.
What are some email purchase drivers?
- 85% say brands that offer an easy online / mobile experience.
Consumers in all age groups feel that direct mail helps them make purchase decisions.
- Baby boomers: 59%
- Gen X: 56%
- Millennials: 60%
- Gen Z: 47%
Gen Z Email Marketing Tips
Armed with these statistics, it’s time to use them to guide your Gen Z email marketing strategy.
Here are 10 Gen Z email marketing tips for small businesses to get you started.
If it wasn’t already evident, email marketing to Gen Z isn’t useless and it’s unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon – so don’t forget to make use of it!
Take a systematic approach. Find out what type of message matters most to each segment of Gen Z that you’re targeting. Then tailor your email content strategy accordingly.
Part of creating effective content – and therefore successful email campaigns – is taking the time to understand what Gen Zers value. Also, know what motivates them to engage with brands and shop with them.
When it comes to newsletter sign-ups, always allow your subscribers to select / adjust their preferences. For example: the type of content they want mailed to them and / or email frequency.
Strive to develop and nurture a personal connection with your Gen Z subscribers. You can do that by sending personalized and timely messages or by incorporating your brand’s values into your messages. Those values should ideally align with Zers’ ethical concerns and views.
Bonus tip: Don’t fake it; they’ll be able to tell if you aren’t walking the talk.
Integrate your email marketing initiatives with other communication channels – like social – but make sure you aren’t using the same content on every platform. Don’t be lazy – have some variety!
Everyone loves freebies, discount codes, and exclusive promotions. Include relevant incentives that will support sales and marketing objectives.
Go beyond sharing information. Strive to make your email marketing highly targeted, enjoyable, and authentic.
Just because they’re young doesn’t mean that you can get away with using language that is deprecating or that belittles them. Don’t make the mistake of talking down to Gen Zers!
Incorporate images, graphics, memes, and emojis in your emails. Just be sure you don’t go overboard and that you’re using it in a Gen Z-friendly manner. Know what’s appropriate and what isn’t.
Bonus tip: Keep it real with your ads. Remember that Zers value ‘reality’ and authenticity, so overly photoshopped or ‘idealised’ images are less likely to be viewed favourably.