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Does Email Marketing Work for Gen Z?

You may have heard the latest outcry from marketers saying that email is slowly dying in the hands of Gen Z, with some proclaiming that it’s already dead. While these claims can be alarmist and over-exaggerated, it’s true that Gen Z is changing the game when it comes to email marketing. But with research showing that 58% of Gen Zers check their email multiple times a day, it may not be a question of giving up on email, but of curating your emails to an audience that makes up 40% of consumers in the US.

You may have heard that Gen Zers have anxiety about phone calls and prefer to engage with brands over social media. But you may not have heard that many Gen Zers prefer social media and email when it comes to communication. Not utilizing email in your marketing campaigns leaves money on the table and increases your chances of being overlooked as the next generation grows up and enters the economy at more powerful levels.

What Makes Gen Z Different?

While Millennials have had the internet since a young age, Gen Zers (born since 1997) have never known a time without it. Combined with a rapidly changing world, Gen Z has a unique and progressive perspective.

  • Gen Z often wants to support brands that share their values. This means brands that value diversity and gender equality and that are environmentally friendly.
  • They want to see “real” people in ads that they can connect to, not celebrities.
  • Over half of Gen Z believes that brands should offer personalized experiences.
  • Many Gen Zers rely on the internet to make informed decisions, often looking at reviews before they purchase a product.
  • Gen Z is actually enthusiastic about receiving brand emails. Over 30% want to receive emails from brands a few times a week, with 27% claiming they want to receive them daily.

Gen Z is tech savvy, progressive, and financially minded. Getting on their level through email marketing should be a fundamental tool in your arsenal.

Gen Z Marketing Challenges

While making effective changes to your email marketing can bridge the gap to Gen Z, their generation can also make it challenging to adapt.

  • They value their privacy. Asking for unnecessary personal information will be the fastest way to make them click, “unsubscribe”.
  • 66% of Gen Zers use ad-blockers and are more aware of these options than other generations.
  • They disengage with clickbait. Many Gen Zers are savvy and can see through spam techniques and clickbait headlines.
  • If they are feeling spammed, Gen Z won’t hesitate to unsubscribe from your emails.
  • They aren’t brand loyal. Brand loyalty programs may have worked for Gen X and older millennials, but Gen Zers are more likely to feel like they are being taken advantage of.

6 Ways to Engage Gen Z with Email

  1. Be open with your values. One of the most important things you can do in your marketing campaign is to show Gen Zers that you are on their side morally. And this shouldn’t only surface when a major crisis hits. Gen Z values action and wants to see how your values impact how you do business. Use inclusive language and imagery and emphasize the sustainable parts of your production process. If you have already made public responses to major events, reach out again to share how you have lived up to those statements.
  2. Prioritize personalization. Within Gen Z, 64% of consumers expect personalized brand experiences. While that may sound intimidating, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with simple steps like using their name in the email, sending behavior-triggered emails, or sending smaller segments of customers specific product emails that correspond with their purchases.
  3. Let them choose how often they get emails from you. Trying to decide how often to send marketing emails can be a hard balance. You want to have a constant presence, but you don’t want to risk being overwhelming. Asking Gen Z to choose how often they want to receive emails from you can help you stay visible and keep you in good standing.
  4. Focus on lifting them up and treat them as equals. In the past, Gen Z has often been thought of as “kids,” but now the oldest Gen Zers are 24 and becoming fully integrated adults. They have also been around the internet and online ads their whole life and are aware when they are being sold to or if a brand is preying on their insecurities. Being honest and candid about your product as well as lifting up a generation that is open about and struggles with mental health will help you get through to them. Maintaining a cheery and friendly tone will make sure that every email interaction is a pleasant experience.
  5. Keep your content short and excellently formatted for readability. You may have heard that Gen Z has an extremely short attention span. They also choose to engage online mostly on their phones. Long content can be hard to read on a small screen and users can get lost if the paragraphs are long. Get to the point of your email immediately, and limit your paragraphs to only 2 or 3 sentences. Use images to break up chunks of text and make sure your links aren’t placed too close together. Content that is easy to read and enjoy will turn those scrolls into action.
  6. Utilize your social proof. Emphasize how people are already enjoying your services or products. Use testimonials, reviews, influencers, or other ways that show how someone is enjoying your brand. Most Gen Zers read reviews before purchasing products, so making this transparent is essential. You can encourage reviews by asking your followers on social media to comment on what they like about your brand, by running a contest asking people to make posts of themselves interacting with your product, and by creating autoresponders that ask users to leave a review 1-2 weeks after they make a purchase.

The most important thing to remember when marketing to Gen Z is that they want to feel a connection to the people behind the brand, not just the product or service. And as they become one of the largest consumer groups in today’s economy, this will become more important than ever. Engaging with this generation ensures your relevance now and in the future. Do you have more questions about how your email marketing can adapt to Gen Z? Points Group offers effective email marketing solutions for medical practices and is here to help. Contact us today!