89 Percent of Millennial Customers STILL Prefer Email


Email is Top Marketing Channel, Especially Among Millennials

The latest report from Campaign Monitor finds the American love affair with email is stronger than ever. While more than half of those surveyed (52.7 percent) check their accounts more than 10 times a day, Millennials are the group most likely to take action based on an email.

Small Business Trends spoke with Andrea Wildt, Campaign Monitor’s CMO about the 2017 Consumer Email Habits Report: What Do Your Customers Really Want?

Email is Top Marketing Channel

“We went out and surveyed about a thousand consumers trying to understand how they reacted with brands,” Wildt said. “What we found is email is the number one way consumers wanted to be communicated with.”

Reflect Their Preferences

The numbers back Wildt up. A full 76 percent of respondents are happy with the emails they get from brands. They feel they are accurate, relevant and reflect their preferences. While this is good news for small businesses looking to focus their marketing efforts, they need to set the bar high.



“We found that in retail, the competition is fierce,” Wildt says. “This means our customers in this space need to be able to cut through the noise.  They need to understand their customer base and what their preferences are.”

Take Action on Emails

Millennials lead the pack of those groups likely to take action on emails they receive. In fact, 58 percent of this group usually donated to a non profit’s request through email. Only 18 percent of the 55 years and older group did the same.

Wildt says when you look under the hood, this statistic shouldn’t be all that surprising.

“Millennials have grown up with all of this technologym,” she explains.

These age differences play out through the small business industries too. For example, 89 percent of the under 35 set prefer emails from retail shops as opposed to 67 percent of the over 55 group.  Even in travel, hospitality and entertainment, the numbers are all basically the same. The only noteworthy difference is in the 55+ group and the entertainment industry where the preference for email jumps to 78 percent.

Across the Board

Across the board, these same consumers give the edge to the bottom line when personalized subject lines are stacked up against discounts offered through emails. Although discounts and personalization are the top reasons respondents open emails,  offering a discount was cited by 72 percent with a personalized subject line close behind at 62 percent.

“This all comes back to the fact that consumers want to feel the brand actually knows them,” Wildt says. “They want to feel like they have a one to one relationship.”

Other Online Media

Email was even the clear winner when compared to other kinds of online media. For example, it ranked as the favorite with 66 percent as compared to the 23 percent who favored social media and the 25 percent who preferred brands get in touch through mobile apps in the retail space.

Reading Email Photo via Shutterstock

5 Comments ▼

Rob Starr


Rob Starr Rob Starr is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. Rob is a freelance journalist and content strategist/manager with three decades of experience in both print and online writing. He currently works in New York City as a copywriter and all across North America for a variety of editing and writing enterprises.

5 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    There is still some use for email. It is better for longer messages. Shorter messages can be sent on messenger but longer messages with attachments should still be on email.

  2. Yes people do use email because you cant sent long massages through messenger or WhatsApp. Beautiful write up too.

  3. Thanks for the article Rob.

    Would you say that the way people view email has changed over the past few years in that it is no longer viewed as being a personal way to communicate?

    Has there been a shift in that most millennials use email to stay in touch with brands or receive offers but use social media or messaging apps to maintain and build relationships?

    • Rob Starr

      Hi Vinay.
      Good question. I think text has become more of the platform to communicate personally. Social media has it’s place too. Personally, I use email for business almost exclusively.

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