Resources Hub » Blog » How Ecommerce Retailers Can Use Email to Engage With Millennials

This is a guest post from Megan Wright of

Millennials, individuals born between the years 1980 and 2000, make up the largest proportion of the workforce in the U.S. and Canada. It is estimated that by 2025, millennials will make up over 75% of the global workforce.

This generation also has enormous spending power that will continue to grow as the generation matures. For instance, in the U.S. alone, millennial shoppers spend over $600 billion a year. Clearly, this is a prime demographic to target if you want your ecommerce business to succeed, especially given this generation’s digital aptitude and comfort with online shopping.

But the question most new and growing ecommerce retailers have is, “How can I sell to the millennial powerhouse shopper?” Well, there’s no magic trick, but the following tips will help you form an effective email strategy.

Focus on nurturing a robust brand

With the advancement of technology and social media growth, the gap between brands and consumers is quickly narrowing. Now, people want to buy from brands, not corporations. 

Millennial buyers, in particular, are interested in brands. In fact, most millennials consider themselves to be as loyal to brands as their parents are.  This means if you can create a brand millennials can relate to, they will likely become a long-time customer. This brand loyalty can be further solidified by aligning your brand with the social issues they care about most. 

A great example of this is eyeglass brand Warby Parker. This brand has developed its brand based on sustainable manufacturing and their dedication to the “buy-one-give-one” model. They donate one pair of glasses to those in need for every pair purchased. They communicate these programs brilliantly through email, social media and their blog to continually align themselves with their millennial customers.  

This welcome email introduces Warby Parker's newest subscribers to their brand and shares the company's value.

Please keep in mind that millennial shoppers will conduct their own research before they buy from you. So, take care to keep your online reputation clean and keep up your end of the deal. If you aren’t actually doing the good your brand is founded on, then you could quickly end up being outed online and lose all credibility.  

Consider a coupon and loyalty strategy

Millennials desire an open give-and-take with their retailers. They appreciate brands that give something in return for the relationship. This is why coupons drive 69% of sales to millennials.

Remember, millennials don’t have as much wealth as their predecessors. They are price conscious and want the best deal before they commit their hard-earned income. The following statistics will help you understand just how much millennials love coupons:

  • 23% of millennials need coupons with at least a 50% discount, although 17% will appreciate a discount of any amount.
  • 63% are more likely to check in to different businesses if they will get a coupon in return.
  • A 20% discount can prompt almost 50% of respondents to visit a retail location.

Millennial shoppers also love loyalty programs. Seventy-three percent (73%) of smartphone users would like to use their devices to interact with a brand’s loyalty program. A majority (75%) are ready to switch to a brand that offers real-time discounts while shopping, and 84% of consumers prefer to visit websites of retailers who offer loyalty programs.

You can integrate loyalty reward tools, like Yotpo, into your current ecommerce and marketing messages. As customers meet predetermined purchase thresholds or frequency you can dynamically message them through email or SMS about rewards they’ve earned from your brand. 

Loyalty rewards email example

Seize your chance by incorporating online coupons and a loyalty program in your ecommerce site, and you will begin to attract millennial shoppers.

Optimize your shopping experience 

Millennials are early digital adopters across devices, social platforms and even new forms of payment like Bitcoin. These consumers are on the cutting edge, which is where your shopping experience and marketing needs to exist.


When creating your brand’s marketing strategy, consider all possible millennial consumer touchpoints before they actually make a purchase. Do you have the business intelligence to know when a specific customer starts the browsing process in one channel before making the purchase in another? Brands that can react in real-time with omnichannel marketing will win in today’s marketplace. 

For example, consider Tina, a 30-year-old professional who launches a smartphone app from her favorite skincare brand while waiting on her friend. The app automatically directs her to products she has purchased in the past while showcasing complimentary products she may be interested in. 

She doesn’t make the purchase within 24 hours which kicks off a personalized email based on her status as a VIP customer. She is notified about a 20% off coupon to be used toward her next purchase. She clicks through to complete the transaction. Mission accomplished!

visual journey builder for email marketing


Sixty-three percent (63%) of millennials use their smartphones to research, browse and shop. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that 72% of people prefer mobile-friendly websites. This means that if you want to tap into this market, you have to ensure that your ecommerce site is optimized for mobile.

Payment forms

Millennials expect brands to offer a wide range of payment options – specifically the option they prefer. Venmo, Apple Pay, Paypal, credit card, in-app purchases and cryptocurrency, just to name a few. Since they grew up in the digital age, millennials are used to adopting the transaction method that makes their life easier or provides rewards for their loyalty.

The biggest trend in the Fintech space is the desire of millennials to use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to make purchases. Brands like Overstock, Expedia, CheapAir, and Newegg joined the growing list of companies who offer cryptocurrency payments along with other forms of digital payment.

For online retailers considering Bitcoin payment options, make sure you connect the payment gateway to a cryptocurrency exchange wallet like OKEx, Coinbase or Paxful to immediately convert Bitcoin to fiat. This will avoid any sudden swing in the digital currency’s price that could lead to lost revenue. 

Create a social media marketing strategy

A few years ago, star-studded ads and celebrity endorsements were the way to go if you wanted to capture the market’s attention. But with millennials, this tactic is less effective. According to recent research, 78% of millennials are unmoved by celebrity endorsements. What should you do? Go social.

Millennials are big fans of social media platforms. Before purchasing anything, they will ask their friends for advice, mostly using social media such as Twitter and Facebook. They are more likely to buy something after their friends or family recommend it, and they trust these recommendations more than what the brand itself says.

Create a content marketing strategy aimed at millennials

One of the primary ways millennials learn about a company and its products is through content consumption. Millennials will research before they make a purchase, and most of this research will happen on a company’s website. This tells you that if a millennial is interested in your product, they will search for the content you produce.

Therefore, you should aim to create content around your products, deals, coupons, sales, and product releases because this content is just as crucial to your site visitors as your social media marketing content.

To better appeal to millennials, ensure your content is visually appealing across all devices. Be sure to use images and videos too. That being said, although they value content, millennials prefer to be in control of how they engage with you. So make sure they can easily opt-in and out of your subscriptions, email list, etc.

Wrap up

Marketing to millennials can seem like a hectic task, but it’s not. If you are quick to adapt to new trends and you implement the tips we’ve talked about, you will begin to attract the right shopper: the millennial shopper.

Be careful not to alienate other customer segments as you target the millennial shopper. Your campaigns should include a variety of elements to appeal to other demographic targets.

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This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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