OMG! How Teens Respond to Email…Srsly

  |  October 18, 2012   |  Comments

Are you doing everything you can to earn young peoples' attention online?

She is shocked to see your emails aren't mobile compatible!

Kids today. Am I right?! Those starry-eyed, digitized bambinos with an iEverything make up a huge portion of the online demographic pie. So what does that mean for email marketing?

When drafting email text for teenagers and young adults, make sure your copy is short. My research has shown that shorter copy beats longer copy every time, even if the longer copy is much more compelling and entertaining. Don't try and explain your message; just provide a couple sentences that tell the reader what you're asking them to do, embed a large picture, and link to your action-step (whether it's a shopping page, more information form, etc.).

When I was growing up, AOL was the world's greatest invention. I lived for the "bang bing…kssshhhh…kssshhhh…ding" sounds of the modem, the lightning bolt icon that meant my login was successful, and the novelty of having my own personal email address. But don't forget, in 2012, email ain't nothin' new. You have to earn young peoples' attention now, because when it comes to the Internet, they've been there, done that.

If you're lumping all age groups into one subscription, I encourage you to rethink that method and have a separate list for teens/young adults. Teens in 2012 have a completely different view of the world than adults, but they're not children, either. It's your job to understand them, not patronize them, so it's up to you to be an active participant in their world. I recommend that you subscribe to some popular teen blogs/newsletters and familiarize yourself with their likes, dislikes, language, and general mentality (whatever you remember teenage life being like, I promise you, it's nothing like that now).

And yes, teens definitely opt for mobile devices over computers, but a big portion of their mobile use is devoted to email, so you're still in the game! Just don't forget to make your messages mobile-compatible, or you've lost them again. ;)

Cyber or Online Bullying image on home page via Shutterstock.



Christine Doré

Christine Doré is an e-mail marketing manager at PETA in Los Angeles. As part of the Marketing Engagement team, she focuses on email strategy and optimization. Her team's innovative tactics for audience segmentation and online advocacy have been twice awarded at the national level and continue to be trailblazing strategies for the non-profit community.

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