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The Modern Marketing Blog covers the latest in marketing strategy, technology, and innovation.

Email marketing to millennials and the challenges within

Steve Olenski
Director of CMO Content & Strategy

They are 77 million strong, which equates to about one quarter of the entire population in the U.S. They range in age from 18 to 36. Their median income is anywhere from $25,000 to $48,000 a year. And they are the highest educated generation with nearly 25% having a Bachelors degree or higher.

The they I refer to are Millenials. And the statistics above were gleaned from a recent Nielsen study entitled Millenials: Breaking the Myth.

Make no mistake about it, there is a lot at stake for brands when it comes to marketing to this group, which is in fact larger in size than Baby Boomers by nearly 3 million. The need to connect with this very large group of consumers is paramount for brands hoping to survive in today's uber competitive marketplace.

A recent Forbes article touches on this very idea, "Beyond just being innovative and useful, the brands that give Millennials a reason to engage... have figured out how to connect to this generation in a meaningful way."

Email marketing to millennials and the challenges within

Like any other demographic one markets to there are certain challenges that come with the proverbial territory. And, as the Forbes piece adds, "the real challenge in this is figuring out how exactly to do it."

That challenge is akin to hitting a moving target according to Tanya Williams, art director at Oracle Responsys. "Millennials are constantly on the go and constantly distracted," she said. "It's challenging to even get them to open an email because their inbox is full."

Well it would appear the "how to" meet that challenge can be summed in three words: the direct approach.

"Just tell them what’s in it for them," says Gloria Valadez, junior copywriter, Oracle Responsys. "Email copywriting best practices dictate that copy should be concise regardless, but it’s really that much more important when you’re talking to someone who’s always on the move."

Williams concurs "the emails they're reading should be straightforward and they should know exactly what you want them to do." She also believes that time is definitely of the essence adding that marketers should also consider how quickly they can get their message across.

Hold something up as an example

Recently we released our 5th Annual Look Book which features 20 carefully curated designs that we believe embody the highest standard of creative marketing excellence.

Included in the book are two examples of emails directed squarely at Millennials.

One from Urban Outfitters...

email-marketing

And one from and Missguided.

email-marketing

Between the Urban Outfitters example use of conversational tone, which Valdez says she uses because "millennials are far more receptive to it" — to the need for speed in the Missguided example "you probably have 3 seconds max before they move on" says WIlliams — these are two great examples of email marketing to millennials done right.

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