Email marketing

How To Adjust Your Email Messages For Millennials

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Millennials are kings of eCommerce. 67% of millennials preferring to shop online versus in a brick-and-mortar store. They have more spending power than any other generation.

This is the first digital generation and the one to fully embrace online technologies. It sets the tone of digital communication, being online more than 80% of their time.


  • 30% of millennials use four or more devices every day, checking their smartphones in estimated 34 times a day.
  • 52% prefer browsing and shopping via mobile.
  • 42% of millennials have bought a product on their phones.
  • 66% ask for their friend’s advice when making a purchase decision and most of them (93%) have actually bought something based on a recommendation from friends and family.
  • 89% of millennials trust these recommendations more than they do the brand itself.
  • 85% research before purchasing.
  • 52% are more likely to make an impulse purchase.
  • 79% are more likely to select a merchant with a loyalty program.

Millennial shoppers have the lowest shopping conversion rate because they are the most selective as well as the most economically challenged .” Marshal Cohen, The NPD Group


Email is still the most preferred medium for communication, as an Adestra survey has revealed recently.

There were bad rumors that email marketing is out of date. Nothing could be further from the truth!

It is to remain a very important channel to help online retailers reach, engage and SELL to the customers. The challenge is that old email tactics work no more and you have to adapt to millennials’ buying preferences.
More stats:

  • Email remains the marketing channel with the highest ROI ($39 for every dollar spent, according to the Direct Marketing Association).
  • 72% open and read promotional retail emails, keeping in mind that more than a half of them are being opened via mobile.
  • 40% of millennials use email to stay connected with their favorite stores, bypassing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or any other channel.

Millennials are not abandoning newsletters. They just have more channels to communicate with your brand. So, you have to be present with all of them for that matter, presenting the best information at the right time.


So now we know why millennials are important to us as online retailers, what are their behaviors online and that we still need newsletters to reach them. And now we have to think how to adapt this communication channel in the best way to fit their expectations, resulting in more conversion and deeper brand loyalty.


Remember that they prefer to be in control of how they engage with you and also to feel that they are being heard. According to a study from Pace University, millennials welcome direct brand interactions through email but want more ability to control, organize and manage the interactions.

That is why you can implement a newsletter preference management section on your website. You might develop a set of a few types of newsletters, dedicated to the product category, news and updates, freebies and more. Also, add a short introduction of what type of content they might expect to receive and an “on” and “off” buttons for the subscription. What would be even greater is that you add an option for the customer to specify if he/she wants to receive updates every day, weekly or else.

Here is an example! If you own a fashion webshop, you can send out a few types of newsletter messages:

  • Fashion trends and news.
  • Updates on offers and special discounts.
  • Information on favorite brands, in case you have a wishlist option.
  • New arrivals.
  • New quantities of a once-added-to-cart items or products from the wishlist that didn’t get ordered.
  • Daily updates on your collections.

Patagonia lets their customers specify the product category they are interested in.


Millennials scout for the best bargains online, always looking for good deals before purchasing. And they are very skilled in playing the game. Here are some of the things they do:

  • 47% put products in their online shopping cart and then leave the site, hoping that you will send them an offer in an email or retargeting ad.
  • 26% use fake dates of birth and 36% use multiple email addresses.
  • 31% clear their Internet history to keep fares down.
  • 39% clear their Google search history to get the best price.
  • 39% sign up for price-tracking services and receive information on price drops.
  • 70% look throughout the Internet for promo codes before buying anything.

Here is an idea! You may launch a campaign with special discounts available only via email. You can communicate that with website banners or an email to announce the initiative. You can add a disclaimer to say that your clients may expect unannounced discounts to be sent out over email, having only 24 hours to use them.

You may also add a section on your website to display how many from those discounts have been caught up. You can call it “Discount hunters. X (number of people) already made it and have purchased with a discount. What about you?”


Millennials are very suspicious of traditional marketing.

  • 68% say that after they’ve searched for a product it’s annoying to see online ads for that product repeatedly.

Provide plentiful and relevant information instead. Millennials prefer to do the research on their own to make decisions rather than being sold any product or solutions.

Here is an example! Don’t force a millennial buy a t-shirt but explain how cool would that look on him on Friday night. You might send out a series of emails to showcase your customers using your products in a unique way.

Another fantastic example of the sort is Patagonia that sends out great visuals and stories of people (including climbers, alpinists, and surfers) using their outdoor gear.

Just remember to deliver content that is not only reliable and relevant but also short, with embedded social sharing icons included.


Millennials are eager for digital experiences across different channels. Some say that if you are not mobile first, you are not putting your millennial customers first too.

It is extremely important to optimize the email for smartphones and other mobile devices. If a brand isn’t able to reach and interact with their customers via smartphone or tablet, it’s not reaching about 50% of them, Gartner says, considering customers’ mobile behavior and rates of use.

Keep in mind:

  • The website links you include in the emails should only lead to responsive websites.
  • Your users should be able to subscribe to your email list with their phones.
  • Target, thumb or index buttons should be large enough and easily touchable.
  • The space between buttons to be at least 45 pixels.
  • Avoid Flash (Apple products that make up 30% of the smartphone market).
  • Insert only mobile-optimized images.

If you send your newsletters via Omnisend, you don’t have to worry about all these things. Omnisend templates are all mobile-friendly.


Do not underestimate the design and visuals you use. Images are an integral part of the millennial “language”. They prefer big pictures, content that looks good and the overall feel of your email communication to be cool, relaxed, modern and easy to perceive.

“A picture is worth a thousand words”. We’ve all heard of that saying and it’s very true with millennials. They prefer attractive imagery, especially in the accessory and clothing categories. Also, it is an important mechanism for them to filter their messages.

This is what you can do! Optimize your emails for images and allow a quick feedback through icons and emoji too. Let’s say you send out a survey or ask your customers to evaluate you new product or service. You would better ask for quick feedback with smiley faces and icons rather than text inputs.


Millennials prefer easy and entertaining tone of voice, direct messages and you talking strictly to the point. Avoid too much information and overloading texts. Stick to the plain language, bullets and numbering.

Why don’t you get brave? For example, start your email with: “Hey you, it is true, I might try to sell you something with this email but first take a look at this story… / first, check out how amazingly it worked for this guy – John, that has transformed his boring garden into an amazing party space for the summer.” And you can show a few HQ pictures of “before” and “after” with your garden products, having people enjoying the transformation. Don’t forget to include hyperlinks of some of the products showcased in the visuals, also available in your store.


Millennials want to be treated like individuals when interacting with a company. They spend more with brands that reflect their spirit and needs. Even more, they expect you to be as personal as possible.

Remember that this is a generation that is fully willing to give away information and sign up for email campaigns only to receive offers and selection of items and content that is only relevant to them.

Here is an idea! You can make the millennials feel special and cared for if you send out personalized emails. You might offer a list of products selected to fit specific customer needs and preferences. That’s possible with automatic email software and plugins that manage and analyze your customer data and can specifically display only the products that this particular customer prefers to browse through and purchase.

Also, you should try and remind them of a product they might have looked up and added into their cart but forgot about. It is also possible to atomize that for your shop and send out a message that says: “Recently you have been looking into that product (picture display). We thought you might be tired and run away but you should know that it is still available and we want to offer you a 10% discount if you would like to buy it in the next 24 hours. Are you in?”

Personalization by MODCLOTH

You should definitely try sending out happy-birthday emails with a special birthday discount. Just try to track the campaign and people IPs well as you might have some fake profiles. 🙂 On the other hand, they generate sales.


Never forget to include embedded social sharing buttons and recommendation options next to any picture, story or the whole email message. Millennials need to share and do it easily when they are excited by your amazing and entertaining content.

Here is a thing! You can try inviting your email subscribers to share an offer they received via email to their Facebook or Twitter and let their friends benefit from the same discount. “Don’t be alone in this, guys!”

Or go even further and let your customers double their discount in case they share the offer in the social channels. That is a win-win-win-win situation: you play their game well; create the feeling of an amazing offer; you win more engagement with a new audience; also put in action the “I mostly trust my friends and family recommendations” rule for millennials.

Another simple thing you can do is to kindly remind your audience to just invite their friends to join the community and benefit the amazing and relevant content you send out too. “It’s easy, just click share ”.


That is very important, don’t spam and don’t send too many emails!

  • 58% of the millennials say that their email is too cluttered with promotional items from stores where they’ve shopped.

In the case with email campaigns less is more. Email marketing isn’t about sending more of the same.

  • 39% of millennials prefer to receive fewer emails and 32% want fewer repetitive emails from any brand.

A solution! Try to master the eye-catching subject lines instead. You may include icons and any types of emojis. 34% of millennials believe it’s appropriate to use an emoji when communicating with a direct manager or senior executive, so it’s not only safe but even more comfortable when it comes to emoji from brands.

Include the first name in the subject lines and also don’t forget to be bold, specific and direct here too. Send out only emails with short subject lines:

  • Hey, John! We know what you did last summer.
  • You should be in <3 with this offer:
  • Silviya, do you want pizza?
  • It’s a shame! You forgot this (a product added in a cart but left out) with us.


Millennials are more likely than any other age group to check emails while in bed (45.2%). You have to analyze the day of the week, the time of day and also the occasion (Easter for example) for conducting your campaigns.

Experiment with sending out emails early in the morning, at lunchtime, in the evening or on Friday night, offering relevant content too.

  • “Good morning! Cheer your day up with a morning story / a morning discount. Buy while you’re having coffee.”
  • “Don’t dream of the red carpet and wake up in tears for that was just your imagination. Buy a little black dress now! “
  • “I am sure you are wondering how to dress up for the party tonight. Well, don’t make that mistake next week again and choose an amazing outfit here: [set of personalized products to fit a party outfit]. If you buy in 3 hours (before you get dizzy from drinks) you get 25 OFF.”

If I should speak up to the millennials, I have to say here is the moment to think of an inspiring conclusion.

The thing is that it is not needed anymore as the rules are different now!

Let me know below if you liked this post. 🙂

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