How to Be Successful at Sending Email to Generation Z

Andrew Kordek

3 minute read

How to Be Successful at Sending Email to Generation Z

Generation Z is the newest generation to enter into the marketing world over the past few years.  Defined as those born between 1996 and 2010, Generation Z matches if not outsizes the over 60 million millennials. Many companies have been gearing up to find ways to connect with this generation and while some have been successful, I thought I would take the time to explain how to market to them via email.  While I am a firm believer that this generation needs to be targeted using multi-channel campaigns, I want to focus on the email part of the equation.

First and foremost, let’s get a few main facts out of the way to help formulate the basis for a content play to this army of kids and teens.


According to an infographic by Upfront Analytics, Generation Z watches 2x as many videos on mobile as any other demographic. That same infographic also indicates that around 70% of them watch 2 hours of YouTube per day which is totally believable.

Natural Entrepreneurs.

In that same infographic, 72% of the high school students want to start a business someday making them natural entrepreneurs.  They are especially interested in converting their hobbies into a business.

Visual. Personable. Snackable.

Z’s like personal forms of communication where the content is visual and not full of words.  With Gen Z’s companies now have only 8 seconds to communicate value and meaning of their product or service, compared to 12 seconds for Millennials.

Keeping it Real.

According to the 2015 Cassandra Report: Gen Z study, by Deep Focus, 63% of the Z’s want to see “real” people in ads, while only 37% prefer celebrities.

Impact. Balance. Global.

Z’s are interested in dealing with organizations that demonstrate a positive impact on society.  Z’s have global aspirations and they draw inspiration from all over the world.  They want balance when it comes to working.  They would rather have part time work, than work long hours and make more money.

Moments. Stories.  Mobile.

Z’s want moments to be created with stories. But don’t be creepy or intrusive to them.  Micro moments are important to them and they want to hold onto them for a bit, then move on.  Last but not least…they are not mobile first, they are mobile only, and according to Anna Fieler, executive vice president of marketing at Popsugar, twice as more likely to shop on a mobile than millennials.

The big question is this, how do marketers communicate with them in email? The answer is simple: gingerly.  

Email to them can be intrusive and a pain, so the notion of having something “regular” must be tested and tested with a lot of caution.  It’s not about a Saturday weekend sale or a push to them about the latest article on xyz.  

Here are the keys to a successful program with Generation Z:

  1. Behavior is the primary driverLet their behavior in app, in store, on site and in social channels drive what comes next.
  2. Reaction vs. pro-action – Think heavy automation and triggers.
  3. Invest in mapping journeys to understand pitfalls and make changes.
  4. Create micro-moments that mean something.
  5. For goodness sake, do it with images and drive them to a kick ass mobile site or app.
  6. Test the crap out of everything you do, and I mean everything like cadence, frequency, timing, creative, messaging, SL’s, etc. If you don’t have a testing culture in your organization, prepare to struggle with a high chance of failure.  
  7. Create user groups and solicit feedback. Z’s are opinionated as hell and you will get the best insights from them when you ask.
  8. Keep it simple and short.


Generation Z’s are the future spenders and consumers so it’s time to throw out the traditional marketing stuff you have been doing for 10 years and start fresh.  These are interesting and exciting times.

Now go out there and kick ass.


But if you need help, we’re here.


Trendline Interactive

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About the Author(s)

Andrew Kordek

Andrew Kordek is a Co-Founder of Trendline Interactive.

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