Although email marketing to millennials is still a hot (and super important) topic, email marketers now have an additional generation of users to consider: Gen Z. Born anytime after 1997, Gen Z recipients will become increasingly important and prominent as they grow up and start making (i.e. spending) money.

But how exactly does email marketing differ between generations? As an email company, we’re just as curious about email as you, the email marketer. So we set out to collect data on email usage across multiple generations in The Future Of Digital Communication. In this post, we’re focusing specifically on data from the report that illustrates how Gen Z uses email now and how that may change in the future.

Gen Z email usage and best practices

85% of Gen Z respondents said they use email at least monthly, and primarily for exchanging personal emails and receiving emails from companies. We expect this to evolve as their generation enters the workforce and begins opening and engaging with an additional business email channel.

“I started high school recently and now email is a great way to communicate about work efficiently with peers and teachers.” – male Gen Z respondent.

With this in mind, you can start to pull together an email marketing plan that considers the usage and needs of Gen Z recipients. Right now, they are using email less than other generations, so dialing it in to provide only relevant and contextual content will be critical for reaching Gen Z.

Sending non-relevant promotional email that will be hard to act on will decrease engagement and not only harm your deliverability, but also lose your recipients. Wondering if you’re sending too much email? Check out Fighting Email Fatigue to see if you may need to scale back some of your email campaigns.

Where is it all going?

Like the above data suggests, over the next few years, Gen Z says that they expect their email use to increase the most of all generations.

83% of Gen Z believes their email usage will stay the same or increase in the next 5 years.

Optimizing and iterating will continue to help you find success when emailing to Gen Z recipients. Unlike the more stable and predictable GenX and millennials, Gen Z will likely experience a large spike in email usage in the next few years.

If you can collect the generational information of your uses, this can help you as you segment and personalize your email content. Once you have the data available, A/B testing is a great way to gauge how your emails are performing with your users.

Consider testing within your Gen Z segment as well as against other generations to compare their engagement. For more on A/B testing, check out our A/B testing strategy best practice guide.

Takeaways

Although Gen Z uses an array of digital communication methods, email is still a core part of their daily digital usage. In order to capitalize on that, it’s going to be crucial to keep in mind the following:

  • Identifying your user by generation will help you tailor your messages and keep better track of recipient engagement.
  • Targeted messages that resonate will be more likely to convert and keep your GenZers engaged.
  • Performing A/B testing within generations as well as testing across generations will help you glean a better picture of your user engagement and where there might be room for improvement.
  • Keep a close eye on the metrics of your Gen Z users and notice how that changes over time so you can provide them with messages they want, at the time they want, and in a way that transforms them into your high-converting users.

And finally, all the data in the world can help you as you build and optimize your program, but keep in mind that you are the expert in your email program so finding a balance in the data will be key as you analyze and perfect your email marketing program.

If you want to dive deeper into the data or read more from the report, download your copy of The Future of Digital Communication.



Kelsey Bernius

As content marketing manager at SendGrid, Kelsey oversees all functions of the SendGrid Delivery blog including scheduling, writing, editing, and publishing. Her downtime is dominated by either her mountain bike or skis (depending on current weather forecast)–and mixing up a salty marg afterward.