The challenge to become more relatable is at the top of every marketer’s list, and it’s due to the shift in America’s demographics.

Targeted content is one of the most effective tools in creating an engaged audience. And the most engaged marketing audience in America is the Millennial generation, which is turning a blind eye to the traditional promotional pitches, according to Forbes. And you’ll want to listen to them, because in 2016, Millennials overtook Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation.

Related: Four email trends to implement in 2017

There are 75.4 million people between the ages of 18-34 (Millennials), surpassing the 74.9 million of those 51-69 (Boomers) for the first time in history. Caught in-between is the 35-50 age group (Gen X) who are set to surpass the Boomers as well, but not the next to target.

As Gen X parents with brand loyalty begin to take a step back, those 18-34 are becoming parents themselves – and need to find the brands they trust. And those are brands who care about social causes, who know how to be transparent, and stand for something.

What this all means is that brands that are relatable find their way to a Millennials’ heart. ❤️

As a member of the aforementioned largest generation, I searched my inbox to find my favorite examples of strategies and tactics brands use to target Millennials, and how you can follow in their footsteps.

Throwing some shade…

Want to use humor in email? Tailor it to the right audience, humanize the brand, and avoid controversy.

Emails with humor win my click-through more often than not. In this case, I even rediscovered my Polyvore app in respect for their wit and calling me out; however, a brand should always check before adding humor to content.

Any humor should be tailored to the right audience, humanize the brand, be consistent with other marketing approaches, and avoid any potential controversy.

Emojis to catch your eye. 👀

Emojis are a proven way to make emails stand out in a never-ending inbox.

More than half of brands using emojis in subject lines see higher unique open rates.

Campaign Monitor picked up on this trend, citing a report done by Experian, that over half (56 percent) of brands using emojis in their subject lines had a higher unique open rate.

This trend is even more prevalent in a mobile-first generation, where “the use of emojis in mobile and email marketing messages has increased 775% year-over-year.”

Just remember to test your emoji before using, as they render differently across platforms (e.g. Android, Apple, mobile, desktop, etc.) 

Pro tip: Emojis can live in the subject line, as well as the pre-header (as shown in image, Scooter’s Coffee).

An additional opportunity that not many take advantage of is the ASC: Abandoned Shopping Cart. These emails are making their debut as e-commerce is on the rise; and not only are these helpful reminders, but also a chance to show a brand’s personality.

Supporting a Cause

TOMS Welcome Email #OneforOne 🌎

The shoe brand may be the best example of a company that really blazed the trail when it comes to supporting a cause your customers can stand behind.

TOMS has given more than 60 million (yes, million) pairs of new shoes in 60 countries, and works with 100 NGOs to distribute the donations. They also extended to giving sight surgeries via Toms Eyewear, water via TOMS Roasting Co, safe birth attendants via TOMS Bags, and the gift of kindness via TOMS High Road Backpack Collection to stop bullying.

The brand also happens to be a great example of the mobile-friendly trend, using responsive design and animation to better reach their mobile-first, millennial subscribers.

#UberPUPPIES 🐶  + Uber #UberKITTENS 🐱

Uber was a trailblazer in engaging a community; its marketing tactics both breed fierce loyalty and build partnerships in local communities where it matters most.

Uber is a engagement trailblazer, breeding fierce loyalty and building partnerships with local communities.

Not only does the company Ride for a Cause, but #UberGIVING aims to make a difference in our cities.

Each #UberPUPPIES and #UberKITTENS campaign supported a local cause. In my inbox’s case, the Greater Plains SPCA in Kansas City.

Uber really hit the jackpot here. What could be better than a mobile-friendly, pet-friendly world?

These are just a few of the tactics you can use to try and engage with the Millennial generation. There is no right way to do it; the mistake is not trying to target the customer base that is driving a large portion of your sales.

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  • Duke Vukadinovic

    Duke Vukadinovic

    4 years
    Many of us think that millennials are migrating from email, but that's not true. They just have more channels to communicate through. Marketing to them effectively means being present in all these channels – including email – and using their strengths to our advantage
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