Email Marketing is Dead… Oh, Wait!

Email. The word didn’t quite give you a thrill, did it? You might remember a time when “You’ve got mail!” was the catchphrase of the day, and email was the brave new frontier. Now, it’s old and outdated compared to Kik, Instagram and Snapchat or just simply texting. And younger generations don’t even think to check their inboxes…

Or do they?

In fact, millennials love email as much as any generation since it first splashed across our screens. They’ve just put their own mark on how, where and when it’s used. According to a study by marketing firm Adestra, nearly 68 percent of teens and 73 percent of millennials said they prefer to receive communication from a business via email. In addition, more than half rely on email when they buy things online*.

But millennials are also the generation that is most skeptical and indifferent to online marketing, so missing the mark can earn you an eye roll or worse. 

So, how do you reach them effectively and catch their attention in a positive way? 

Here are some tips for creating marketing emails that will have your younger customers opening your messages, clicking and sharing  – right along with your peers and their parents.

#1) Think Design

The days of long, wordy paragraphs and bolded text are gone. Simple but impactful design is a great way to catch attention for your brand. Just like on websites, there are best practices for your emails.

Stay minimal and focused, make your emails easy to navigate and ensure that any calls to action or ways to engage are apparent and appealing. Don’t make your customer hunt for a way to sign up, say yes to doing business with you or get more information. Sleek and cool or warm and kitschy — regardless of style, your emails should be functional, legible, and impactful. With this in mind...

#2) Shorter is sweeter.

Don’t send a sales email that includes every tiny detail.  This is the age of chat and it's better to have a few more short emails than one giant one that makes a millennial’s eyes glaze over.  Take a cue from texting by offering highly valuable, snackable information. Offer a couple of great tips and insider insights and then ask to meet for 30 minutes for free to answer their biggest question about whatever service or product you offer. (Hint: this is actually your client consult.)

3) Be Yourself (and your brand)

Don’t be afraid to show your personality! In fact, please do because marketing today has a personal touch that might have seemed unprofessional in the past. That doesn’t mean you should drop your brand presence and image. However, while young clients want to know that you can do the job, they’re equally interested in making sure your personality will gel with theirs.

So, don’t just pitch your product or service — show them what it’s like doing business with you. Let them know how they will feel under your guidance and care. Your clients are looking for authenticity and genuine connections in a sea of sales pitches. By showing them a face and voice that’s real and not just a formal business offer, they’ll be more comfortable following through and choosing your brand or service.

Even large companies do this by having their sales agents and customer service providers use their name and profile picture to personalize communications, whether it’s during the sale or after.

Have fun with emojis (especially in the subject line), get playful with GIFs and adopt a more casual and conversational voice. The goal is to give prospective clients a glimpse of what it’s really like to work with you, not just some faceless company brand.

4) Be Mobile-First

Smartphones have become everyone’s go-to device for staying in touch, gathering information, and consuming entertainment. Be sure your emails open and read well on a small screen and that any other forms, contracts or links to web pages are equally mobile-friendly. Remember to optimize your images so they load quickly and smoothly (hint: changing the resolution does not change the file size). 

Try to keep your sentences shorter – a long sentence looks like an entire paragraph on a phone screen. Chunk out your information to make it digestible and scannable.

Be aware of how much scrolling your customer will have to do to reach your most crucial information or call to action. If they are still scrolling ten seconds after they opened your email, that’s an eternity in phone-time! Remember tip #2: short and sweet. That’s especially true for mobile platforms. Go for the punch and make sure it’s clear where they can reach you for more information.

You don’t have to abandon email and use Kik to reach your potential customers, after all. Young and old, email is still the go-to platform for doing business and generating sales, and that’s a real reason to smile!

See Christie Osborne at Catersource! Click here for more information!

Christie Osborne

Owner | Mountainside Media

Christie Osborne is the owner of Mountainside Media, a company that helps event industry professionals brands develop scalable marketing strategies that brings in more inquiries and leads. Christie is a national educator with recent speaking engagements at NACE Experience, WIPA and the ABC Conference.