We recently discussed the explosion of direct email marketing compared to other types of consumer outreach. We discussed some of the unique advantages of email marketing as a medium, as well as some of the economic reasons for its growth.
One thing we did not explore is the fact that opt in email marketing may be getting more effective over time. This is counter-intuitive to some extent. Most marketers would expect that the more email newsletters and special offers a company sends out, the more likely they are to induce consumer fatigue become invisible to their most important market segments.
In certain ways this is true. You don’t want to send out a deluge of messages only to find that you have desensitized your audience. But even though email marketing may not necessarily gain effectiveness at the individual level, on the whole you can count on the fact that people are becoming more technologically savvy. As this happens, people should become more and more comfortable with online marketing replacing their traditional offline counterparts. More importantly, they should become more responsive to online direct marketing.
According to a new study by the prominent marketing firm Epsilon, this is exactly what is taking place. The study found that the upcoming generation of adults (ages 18-25) are more receptive to opt in email offers than their older peers.

A higher percentage of millennials report that they want to receive certain types of permission-based emails more than once a day including specials/offers from online merchants (34%), entertainment (32%), sports (28%), special offers from traditional (offline) retailers (26%), electronics information (21%), and telecommunications information (21%).
Millennials want to receive offers more often and are willing to stay in programs rather than their elders who are more likely to unsubscribe.

The researchers concluded that using email segmentation to target specific demographics is particularly important in light of this data. While we agree with this conclusion and strongly support the use of highly personalized and well-segmented email marketing campaigns, we also see a message of encouragement for early adopters of internet-based forms of marketing and advertisement.
As the important younger generation of adults continue to fill positions of power and prominence, the companies that have worked to form relationships with them will also prosper. This is an important time to start gaining experience with direct online marketing. The sooner you buy email marketing software and start building up your mailing list, the more entrenched you’ll become in the most valuable segments of your market.