Just when we finally understand how to market to millennials comes the next demographic group behind them: Generation Z (or simply Gen Z). Defined generally as those born between 1996 and 2010, Gen Z already accounts for $29 to $143 billion in direct spending and is on track to becoming the largest generation of consumers by next year.
While texting and social media seem to be Gen Z’s communication mediums of choice, email actually still plays a huge role in their daily lives. A recent study conducted by SendGrid confirms that not only is the Gen Z audience regularly using email, they likely will well into the future as they advance through their careers. In addition, it is one of their preferred forms of brand engagement.
Marketers love emailing* Gen Z because email offers a direct line of communication to them at a low cost and higher ROI than other marketing mediums. But the way to effectively connect with Gen Z audiences may require some adjustments in strategy. Here are four ways to ensure the best results:
1: Be relevant: While social networks have generated the most headlines over the last decade, they often cast too wide a net when compared to the immediacy and relevancy of email. Keep in mind that Gen Z demands to be catered to as individuals as opposed to generic groups, and the ability to personalize email and deliver valuable content keeps it the most pertinent medium for communicating to this demographic.
2. Be authentic: Gen Z audiences don’t want to engage with a faceless company; they prefer to connect with a real person like themselves. Marketers should be willing to showcase the personality of their brands and opt for informal, behind-the-scenes insights versus overly promotional advertisements. A good strategy is to show how your product or service makes life easier – or even fun – through a relatable person who is real and authentic.
3. Use concise and fresh content: Gen Z is accustomed to being inundated with large amounts of information. They are experts in quickly sorting through it and tuning out what doesn’t resonate. So in addition to being pertinent and interesting, email content should be consistently new and fresh, or Gen Z will lose interest and potentially opt out or unsubscribe. B2B marketers should avoid simply resending previous content – at a minimum re-write it with a different angle or emphasis. Also, break up larger, more detailed content into easily digestible chunks to capture and hold audience attention.
4. Look beyond text: Finally, if you’ve ever read a Gen Z text message string, you may think they have created their very own language. They use fewer words and even fewer letters (e.g. “ppl” short for “people,”) and long text has been replaced by short, impactful abbreviations, imagery and videos. When targeting Gen Z, minimize text as much as possible and include more images: Gen Z recipients will scan images as a way to quickly filter content. Adding video makes messages even more scannable – and sharable on other visual platforms.
If Generation Z is not your buyer or influencer now, it soon will be. And just like with millennials, marketers need to understand how to connect with this increasingly important audience to earn their attention, trust and loyalty.
*U.S. law requires that email marketing messages be directed at recipients who are 18 years of age or older.
Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can enable you to achieve better email marketing ROI by targeting your best prospects – including Gen Z audiences -- and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.