Generation Z, the cohort of people born after Millennials, was supposedly the kryptonite of every digital marketer. Gen Zers don't check their email, they have short attention spans, and have grown up in an "always-on" tech environment.
These kinds of pronouncements are always popular in the marketing world — someone is always proclaiming that something "is dead" with each new technology or culture shift, so this talk about Gen Z isn't a big deal. Marketers are used to adapting and evolving as the world changes around them, and learning how to engage with Gen Z through email marketing is no different.
Gen Z still uses email.
With over 65 percent of marketers looking to increase their spending on marketing to Gen Z, you've got to know what channels to send that money to. You might think Gen Z only ever uses social media, and if you do, you'd be missing out on the 95 percent of Gen Zers who say email is essential to their lives. They use it to stay in touch with businesses and retailers, with large portions of them saying email marketing is an essential factor in their buying decisions.
Breaking through the noise with email.
Gen Zers have developed sophisticated content filters that come from being surrounded by mountains of information all the time. They know how to quickly discern if your email is worth their time, so you've got to do your best. Here are a few strategies you can use to engage with Gen Z with email marketing.
1. Keep your emails short.
Gen Z prefers only a few sentences in their emails and a couple of images — otherwise, they'll delete them quickly. Avoid writing a lengthy email that's just blocks of text. They won't read it and will unsubscribe ASAP.
2. Personalize your emails.
Gen Zers know you have access to a lot of their online data, so don't be afraid to use it. Send them a coupon the day after they bought a new pair of shoes off your site. If you see that a particular segment always clicks on links about a certain topic, offer them additional resources about it. Look at what your readers do and adjust your campaigns accordingly.
3. Clearly identify your brand.
These people get a lot of emails, so make sure to identify your brand. You can also remind them why they're receiving the email ("You're receiving this email because you subscribed at…") to be extra sure they know who you are.
4. Write compelling and engaging subject lines.
Your subject line can heavily influence whether Gen Z opens your emails. You may only have a few seconds to catch their eye because of their innate content filters, so make them count.
5. Work with email marketing professionals.
Have a copywriter write compelling and engaging emails that aren't the same tired messages Gen Zers are used to seeing. Skip the pushy sales messages, or risk putting them off. Use a web designer to create a modern, entertaining email that they'll look forward to.
6. Explain how your brand fits with their identity.
Gen Z wants to know about your products, but more importantly, whether your brand is a good fit. That means talking about your company values, the language you use, the way you develop a relationship with them, and the kind of experience you deliver to them.
7. Send them what they want.
Most Gen Zers want coupons, promos, and special offers via email, and they will skip the company updates and links to blogs or other resources. They expect you to deliver updates elsewhere online, such as a social media channel, so keep your messages different for each channel.
You may have a lot of preconceived ideas about Gen Z, especially when it comes to email marketing. Unlike some other generations, they still use email every day. They're used to having access to information all the time, and it's no different with email.
Instead of shifting your marketing budget to other channels like social media, consider keeping a good portion of it for email. You may be surprised at how well it does for your brand.