Everyone knows that young people – especially students – center their lives around the internet. This is old news. In fact, today’s average student got their first email address at the age of 13 and currently has a mean number of 2.4 email addresses, according to the eROI Student Survey.
This information would lead one to believe that email is a great way to reach a brand’s young customers. However, that may not be the case. The Student Survey also showed that students, on average, read marketing emails on a “rarely to never” basis and only 16% actually take action on marketing emails.
By looking at the ways students are acting, it is clear that marketers may want to reconsider their use of email to reach young consumers. Their behavior shows that this particular channel may not be as effective as others within the direct marketing space.
Social networking and texting, however, are on the rise. 83% of college students use Facebook, 65% use MySpace and 21% use LinkedIn. Additionally, students named text messaging as their preferred means of communication (according to the eROI study).
We need to reach them in the way they prefer, not how we wish. The biggest challenge is our ability to ensure that the desired behaviors do happen. And that we can monetize our investments. It is a conundrum. Do you agree?