Why businesses text to reach millennials

By Tracy Blanchard, TextMagic

With 85 percent of millennials owning smartphones (the largest generational demographic in the US), 78 percent sleep with their smartphones next to them. Therefore, it’s no mystery why marketers are checking in with their young clients on their device of choice: their mobiles.

Whether it’s shopping, dating, looking for a job, paying bills, arranging a ride with Uber or finding directions, this generation is doing it all with their cell phones. Businesses that ignore them do so at their peril when you consider that millennials represent 1.78 trillion dollars in spending power and by 2025, they’ll represent 75 percent of the workforce.

Millennials’ love affair with all things mobile means that businesses who market to this group with texts are reaping big rewards.

Millennials love to text

Every generation has jumped onto the texting bandwagon. It’s quick, cheap and convenient. But nobody texts like millennials do. 72 percent of millennials say they text 10 or more times a day and 31 percent text 50 times a day or more. What kinds of things do millennials like to receive texts about?

  • Appointment reminders
  • Delivery notifications
  • Payment reminders
  • Fraud alerts from their banks

They much prefer texting to voice calls or social media when it comes to customer service issues. In fact, 60 percent prefer to text companies to resolve problems.

They’re responsive to text marketing

Millennials don’t just enjoy texting friends and family. They also respond positively to businesses who reach out to them via text. Even businesses with traditionally low engagement with millennials managed to increase their involvement with texting campaigns. In fact, sending a text caused an increase in engagement of 11-30 times. A call-to-action sent to a millennial via text is 40 times more likely to be answered than if it were sent via email.

They join loyalty clubs

Marketers have had great success with SMS loyalty clubs and that includes with millennials. There’s a mythical perception that millennials don’t engage in brand loyalty, but 60% of them report being committed to certain brands. They are quality seekers, with 77 percent of millennials saying they prefer brands that have a great product. Asking a millennial to join a loyalty club is definitely not a waste of marketing energy.


They have specific marketing tastes

By now, most marketers are aware that millennials have different values than their parent’s generation. They are putting off milestones such as starting families and buying houses in favor of life experiences. Millennials, more than any other generation, are interested in content, authenticity, stories and personalization. Don’t be sales-y. The key is seamlessly integrating your brand with their lifestyle and needs. 64 percent of millennials say that they respond to messages that are crafted to fit their cultural interests (sports, music, movies) and 62 percent want messages that help them solve lifestyle-specific issues.

What’s next for millennials and marketers?

Here are two trends that can help marketers reach millennials (and both are mobile):

  • Millennials have been early adopters of mobile innovations such as mobile pay. As mobile pay grows in popularity and credibility, millennials can be expected to lead the way.
  • Snapchat is the preferred social media channel for millennials with streamlined, uncluttered newsfeeds and content that caters to their interests without missing the mark like Facebook often does. Marketers who figure out how to implement click-to-buy on Snapchat will be harnessing the purchasing power of the millennial generation.


Bonus: As brands incorporate text messaging with other marketing platforms, here are some key words to consider when communicating with millennials: Personalization, lifestyle, experiences, authenticity, innovation, passion, connection, discovery.


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