Best Practices for Email Marketing to Millennials and Gen Z

email marketing to milennials and genz

Should your business use the same marketing tactics for Millennials and Gen Z? The two generations have many things in common, such as the way in which they engage with technology and the Internet and the value they put on honesty. But let’s not forget that Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are starting families or moving forward with their careers, while Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012) includes kids, college students, or young adults who are just getting their first job. Thus, we talk about different purchasing preferences and purchasing power, and consumer behavior.

What would be then the best email marketing practices for the two generations? What marketing techniques will persuade them? And how different these should be? Let’s explore!


Email is popular.

Let’s clarify something from the very beginning. “The end of the email” will not happen very soon. Here are some facts to prove it:

  • Both Millennials and Gen Z use email more than you would expect, and they are checking it several times per day.
  • 8 out of 10 people in Gen Z prefer using email over other communication channels.
  • When asked, both generations say that email is their preferred channel for marketing communication.

Thus, do not hesitate to invest in smart email marketing campaigns for both generations! Enjoy the freedom the email gives you:

  • Easy personalization of messages at a mass scale;
  • The power to reach the right person at the right time;
  • No limits on length or format, like the ones set by the social media channels;
  • Ability to be read and re-read, an email being more lasting than other marketing communications.


Learn first what Millennials and Gen Z have in common

Whichever generations you plan marketing to, here is some powerful info to know about what the two consumer groups have in common:

  • Social media is extremely important for both generations, especially for Gen Z, but they engage less with online advertising.
  • When on social media, both Millennials and Gen Z like to spend most of their time watching videos and other engaging content.
  • Both generations love to share content online and get instant gratification.
  • They all use adblockers and hate clickbait, and do not like their inbox to be spammed.
  • Millennials and Gen Z consumers are focused on mobile-friendly websites, and Gen Z is more likely to purchase from their mobile devices.
  • Both generations value (a lot) their privacy. When ask them to sign up for your newsletter, do not ask unnecessary personal information, because they will consider your brand untrustable.
  • Climate change and protecting the environment are very important topics for both groups, with Gen Z being a little bit more engaged than Millennials.

Now, here is why you could consider building different email marketing campaigns for Millennials and Gen Z consumers:

  • Millennials hunt for positive experiences, while Gen Z consumers focus more on savings and practical products.
  • Gen Z consumers are twice as likely to make a mobile online purchase than Millennials.
  • When it comes to content consumption, Millennials pay attention to content for 12 seconds, while Gen Z will stay focused only eight seconds.
  • 9 out of 10 Gen Z consumers prefer marketing content that shows people reviewing products or services. Only 4 out of 10 Millennials would like to see such ads, as they trust more the endorsements from their peers.
  • Millennials don’t have the luxury of quiet inboxes, as they are receiving already a lot of work emails. But Gen Z consumers tend to receive far fewer total emails than Millennials.


Best practices for email marketing to Millennials and Gen Z

When you are marketing to Millennials or Gen Z consumers, guide your email marketing campaigns using these recommended practices:

  • Do not ask too much personal information when asking them to sign up for receiving marketing emails or newsletters.
  • Give them the option to choose how often they would like to hear from you or what content they would like to read about. Both groups will quickly hit “unsubscribe” if they feel spammed.
  • You might consider sending emails to Gen Z more frequently than to Millennials. While Millenials complain about too many emails, more than half of Gen Z consumers say they prefer to receive emails from brands daily or a couple of times a week.
  • Give Millennials a pleasant or entertaining customer experience, while you demonstrate Gen Z consumers how and why your products are valuable or practical in their daily lives.
  • Your email marketing campaigns can get away with longer and more in-depth content for Millennials. But get your value proposition out as quickly as possible when marketing to Gen Z through emails.
  • Include social proof, like clients’ reviews, in your emails when targeting Gen Z, and build a referral program for Millennials to encourage them to share your products and services with their peers.
  • Power up your email marketing campaigns with relevant and engaging social media content.
  • Do not talk them down with your emails. Be sincere and direct, because none of the two generations likes to feel sold to in a pushy way.
  • While you can be a bit more informal with your Millennial-targeted emails, be direct and practical with Gen Z. The latter group likes convenience, such as very practical products and free delivery.
  • As both generations care about the issue, show them that your business cares about the environment too. For instance, never ask them to print out sales coupons or discount codes you offer.

Common Questions

What specific differences in email marketing strategies should be employed when targeting Millennials compared to Gen Z?

When targeting Millennials and Gen Z, email marketing strategies should be tailored to account for their distinct preferences and behaviors. For Millennials, who are often in the midst of their careers or starting families, email content should focus on creating positive experiences and offering in-depth, entertaining information. Since they receive a higher volume of work emails, it’s crucial to avoid overwhelming them with frequent messages. Instead, provide them with a pleasant and engaging customer experience, utilizing longer content that delivers value and encourages sharing through referral programs. On the other hand, Gen Z consumers prioritize practicality and savings, and they are twice as likely to make purchases via mobile devices. Emails targeting Gen Z should be concise and to the point, highlighting the product’s value quickly. Including social proof, such as customer reviews, can significantly influence their purchasing decisions. Additionally, Gen Z appreciates directness and practicality, so emails should be straightforward and demonstrate convenience, such as free delivery options. By understanding and leveraging these differences, businesses can craft more effective email marketing campaigns that resonate with each generation.

How can businesses effectively personalize email content for both Millennials and Gen Z without asking for too much personal information?

To effectively personalize email content for both Millennials and Gen Z without asking for too much personal information, businesses should focus on leveraging data analytics and user behavior insights. By analyzing how these generations interact with previous email campaigns and their activity on company websites, marketers can tailor content to match their preferences and interests. For instance, tracking which products they view, the links they click, and their purchase history can provide valuable insights into what they find relevant and engaging. Additionally, offering options for email frequency and content type during the signup process can help cater to individual preferences without being intrusive. Using dynamic content that adjusts based on recipient behavior, such as personalized product recommendations or tailored offers, can further enhance the relevance of emails. By respecting privacy and utilizing behavioral data, businesses can deliver personalized email experiences that resonate with both Millennials and Gen Z, fostering stronger connections and higher engagement rates.

What are some practical examples of email marketing campaigns that have successfully engaged both Millennials and Gen Z?

Practical examples of email marketing campaigns that have successfully engaged both Millennials and Gen Z include those that focus on personalization, social proof, and interactive content. For Millennials, brands like Airbnb have effectively utilized storytelling and user-generated content in their emails, showcasing unique travel experiences and encouraging customers to share their own stories. This approach not only personalizes the experience but also taps into Millennials’ desire for authentic and relatable content. On the other hand, Gen Z is drawn to emails that are direct, visually engaging, and demonstrate clear value. Brands like Glossier have mastered this by sending concise emails with vibrant images and straightforward messages, often including customer reviews and user-generated photos to build trust and authenticity. Interactive elements, such as polls, quizzes, and personalized product recommendations, have also proven successful in capturing the attention of both generations. These campaigns create a dynamic and engaging email experience, fostering a deeper connection with the audience and driving higher engagement rates.

We take pride in building smart and efficient email marketing campaigns!

Contact us and let’s figure it out together what generation you need to target or how to mix the target groups for marketing purposes.