Top Email Marketing Trends for Millennials and Generation Z

Posted by Rowland Marsh on 12/12/17 13:53
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Email marketing trends amongst Millennials and Generation Z

The high ROI that email marketing continues to achieve for retailers, combined with the growing importance of marketing automation for businesses, proves that email is far from dead. Brands are becoming increasingly data-driven and reliant on automated workflows to nurture leads and customers. What's surprising is how the younger generations are taking to email. We look at the revealing email marketing trends amongst Millennials and Generation Z:

The future of email is still bright 

Despite the popularity of social media networks and messaging apps, email is still seeing heavy smartphone usage, due to the changing way email content is being consumed.

Mobile users are checking emails more like social media feeds. Users click on emails, swipe some into folders (or trash) and scroll the inbox, leaving many emails unopened. Email has evolved, rather than declined, and email marketers are reacting to the changes. 

Who is Gen Z?

Generation Z is the youngest consumer generation (between the ages of 13-21), born into the smartphone culture. They represent a crucial generation for retailers and marketers, as expectations have never been higher, as almost anything is possible now for a consumer at the click of a button.

A recent study from SendGrid revealed that Gen Z respondents say they’re likely to receive as many emails from companies as they do personal emails.

If you want to learn about social media trends amongst Generation Z, check out our blog: 5 Ways Retailers Can Connect with Generation Z Through Social Media.

Email is a growing channel for younger generations

Younger generations, far from abandoning email as a redundant communication channel, amidst the growth of social media and messaging apps, actually expect to use email even more in the future than they do now.

SendGrid's survey revealed that 48% of Generation Z respondents think their email usage will increase in the coming years.

The report also found that around half of Generation Z and Millennials say they’ve increased their use of email over the past few years. Check out the stats below from MarketingCharts:

Increased email use amongst Millennials and Generation Z chart


It’s not just about the changing behaviours of mobile users. Younger generations have more job opportunities in working environments requiring regular use of email communication, as the growth of online businesses increases.

A recent YouGov study found that the majority of Generation Z will have started using email before hitting their teens, whilst 44% of Millennials said that they started using email between 10 and 15 years of age.

Millennials and Generation Z are more receptive to brand emails than older generations.

A study from Fluent revealed that Millennials are 63% more likely to find that promotional emails impact their purchase decisions than older generations.

Which email trends are important for Millennials?

Multitasking mobile browsing

Many Millennials are distracted multitaskers, as they’ve grown up in an age of digital media bombardment.

YouGov’s findings showed that 95% of respondents shop online whilst doing other tasks, like watching TV (67%) and waiting for things (49%), i.e. transport, etc.

Brands must tap into this trend to increase conversions via mobile devices increase.

Personalised customer journeys

Although brand loyalty has been diluted in recent years, due to changing browsing behaviours and heightened customer expectations, Millennials are loyal to brands when they feel they align with their cultural interests and values, and listen to their needs and desires.

The increased focus on personalisation and creating tailored customer journeys in email marketing has helped brands (and the industry) thrive in recent years. And this trend is set to continue, as retailers become more customer-centric and data-driven, utilising email automation and segmentation.

70% of Millennials expressed frustration when sent “irrelevant” emails from brands.

Millennials prefer personalised emails, tailored to their profile. Broad or irrelevant emails will move them towards the unsubscribe button!

Millennials are savvy browsers

Millennials are those born between 1980 and 2000, meaning it's quite a wide age demographic. So, they’re not that easy to decipher – despite Simon Sinek thinking he has them all worked out!

By the year 2020, Millennials will make up 30% of consumer spending.

Millennials are widely recognised as savvy browsers. So, delivering good brand storytelling and sending targeted emails at the right times is crucial for customer retention.

Wrap up 

We hope you found these insights about the changing email marketing trends and email usage amongst younger generations useful. To ensure your brand stays relevant to different generations, you must understand the user behaviours of your audience.

Want to find out how the top retail brands are winning at email marketing? Grab our free ebook guide to the Secret Email Marketing Strategies from Top Retailers and get inspired!

Download Secret Email Marketing Strategies

Enchant Agency is a leading UK digital marketing consultancy, based in London. We offer an extensive range of email marketing services, whilst also specialising in CRM, inbound marketing and paid social advertising. Do you need help increasing the impact of your marketing campaigns? Get in touch with our marketing consultants and see how we can supercharge your performance!


Topics: Social Media, brand loyalty, Browsing, Consumer behaviours, consumers, customer journey, Email Marketing, Email marketing strategy, Engagement, Gen Z, Generation Z, Loyalty, Millennials, Mobile, Mobile Marketing, Personalisation, Marketing trends, email marketing trends

Rowland Marsh

Written by Rowland Marsh

Rowland is the Marketing Manager at Enchant Agency. He is a writer, content marketer and former film reviewer. Rowland studied Literature and Philosophy at UEA and has a background in promotions, marcomms and print media.

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