Understanding and Adjusting to Email Habits

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter

How many email accounts do you have?

I have three. I’m not unlike others in my generation (the Millennial Generation) who maintain multiple email accounts. Each email address has a specific purpose and is used strategically.

  • Work. My work email address is just that, work. It’s the @sonnhalter.com email that colleagues, clients, media and partners reach me on. I check this email religiously on my phone and have it open during the work day on my computer. I only give this email address out for professional purposes.
  • Personal. This email address is the one I give to friends, family and anyone I do personal business with. I protect this email and am careful to whom I give the address. I check it most often on my phone and occasionally log into it from my personal laptop.
  • Other. This “other” email address is the one that we’ll dig into today. Most millennials have one of these and many in other generations have also adopted an “Other” email policy. Sometimes we call it our “junk email” or “promotions.” I give this email address out like candy on Halloween. If you ask me for an email address, this is the one I give you. This is the inbox that I check, but don’t regularly search. I almost never send emails from this address and only check it from my phone. This is the inbox where I subscribe to e-newsletters and promotional offers.

I was reading an article from Media Post titled “Millennials Love Email, But on Their Dual Inbox Terms,” which shared findings that nearly half of Millennials made three or more purchases from email in the past three months. Two thirds of consumers made purchases in the past three months prompted by a brand email, and those who haven’t dug into the brand data incorrectly assume that number is aided by older demographics, but really it’s us.

Continuing to dig into the data, one third of those surveyed reported that they have a separate email account used for email marketing. When just the Millennials were reviewed, it came to 58% who had a separate email account for marketing messages. This segmented email consumption is spurred by a desire to organize and control content consumption and make purchase decisions easier.

So, don’t let the pessimists in your marketing circles convince you that email is dying among your growing younger audiences. There are a few things to consider when engaging in email communications with these audiences:

Inboxes for marketing messages are checked less often, so offers and promotions should have a life span of more than a couple of days.

For B2B/B2T communication you’re just as likely to be placed in the work inbox as the “other” inbox.

Email services filter and organize messages automatically. Between Gmail’s “Promotions” tab and Outlook’s “Clutter” folder, your emails will compete with many other marketing messages so your hook needs to be good. A concise and catchy subject line is a good place to start, however your “From” line is also as important; make sure you put a name (either a contact or company name) in the From line rather than just an email address.

Most of the time, images don’t load in automatically and many recipients never bother clicking to load an image. Make sure there is content in your email message that is simply text and not included in a graphic. This also makes it easier for your recipients to find your message again later.

Millennials and tradespeople rely heavily on mobile for communication throughout the day, sometimes only checking an account from their phone or tablet, so make sure your emails are mobile-friendly and that links direct to a mobile-friendly or responsive site.

What email habits have you identified and how did you adjust your communications?

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