Through innovation and advancements in technology, modes of communication are always changing. Whether you’re talking about workplace collaboration or connecting with customers through B2B marketing, the emergence of new platforms and mediums is offering a myriad of ways to get in contact with someone. Today, with an abundance of methods to communicate, B2B marketers are always looking for the optimum way to connect with specific audiences — especially one in particular: Millennials.
One reason many B2B marketers are interested in connecting with Millennials is because a whopping 73% of this demographic is involved in the decision-making process to purchase products or services for their companies, with 34% serving as the sole decision-maker for these purchases. With Millennials holding such a large stake in the purchasing decision, understanding how to best reach this audience is crucial. Given the advancements in social media, messaging apps and collaboration technology – email is surprisingly one mode of communication that is still leading the way.
Yet, with the rapidly and constantly evolving world of communication, why haven’t Millennials abandoned email? Why are B2B marketers finding email to be one of their most effective channels? Speaking from an expert perspective regarding Millennial behavior (my own!), let’s explore how this demographic views email and how it can be an effective tool to tap.
What Makes Email Useful for Millennials?
From FaceTime to Facebook Messenger, there are many ways that Millennials communicate. And that also includes a strong preference to communicate via email – believe it or not! According to a recent Forbes article, that’s because, “Emails are less urgent, and provide more ‘space’ than other modes of communication. In an email, you can utilize entire paragraphs, bulleted lists and other formatting choices, rather than being limited to a few hundred characters.” In addition, the ability to forward email chains with previous conversations provides a unique feature email offers that is hard to replicate on other platforms or with other modes of communication.
Email is also efficient and convenient, yet doesn’t require an immediate response. For example, you can receive an email on your smartphone, but it doesn’t have the same level of expected response immediacy as a text message. The average person in the U.S. replies to an email within 23 hours as opposed to 3 minutes for a text message, putting a lot of pressure on the receiver to respond quickly. In addition, the ability to link both a personal and business email address right to your phone allows for easy access to check anytime, anywhere and makes email one of the most suitable forms of communication for Millennials.
Is There A Downside to Email?
Email is the incumbent form of communication and ranked as the top mode used in the American workplace. Today, one-third of Millennials prefer email for work communication, as opposed to phone calls, instant messages or video.
However, there is still a portion of the demographic that believes email in the workplace may be slow, messy and too formal. Millennials grew up with alternative digital communication platforms such as Snapchat and messaging apps. And unlike other generations – Millennials traditionally don’t use email in their personal lives to communicate with family and friends, which opens the door for other workplace collaboration technologies to merge into their professional world and take over in the future.
Email Impacts for B2B Marketing & Effectively Reaching Millennials
As part of the marketing mix, email has and will continue to be a highly prioritized tool – especially for B2B marketers. One recent study revealed that when email marketing is done successfully, it can yield a 4400% ROI and $44 earned for every $1 spent, making it one of the most effective digital marketing tactics used.
However, in order to create a solid email strategy it’s important to have goals clearly established. Some potential objectives for a campaign could range from providing information on a brand’s products, services or solutions to insight into the latest industry trends and news. Overall, having an established direction allows for email to be a crucial tool for nurturing a customer through the entire sales process.
In addition to having set goals established for your campaign, it is also important to keep overall email best practices in mind. As a Millennial, some important features I enjoy when I receive an email include
- A strong subject line that includes keywords and phrases
- Personalization but is still respectful to the preferences for frequency and topics I’ve opted into
- Call-to-actions that drive to other marketing assets that are relevant to me
- Content that is to the point and easy to get through
Email is just one form of communication and one piece of a fully integrated marketing plan. Outside of how to effectively communicate to Millennials via email, there is even more to consider when using this tool and targeting this audience as part of a larger campaign.
Author: Jason Wilson, Account Associate, Outlook Marketing Services