9 Gen Z-Friendly Email Marketing Tips

9 Gen Z-Friendly Email Marketing Tips

9 Gen Z-Friendly Email Marketing Tips

In the quest to captivate the Gen-Z audience with email marketing, we’ve gathered insights from nine marketing experts, including content strategists and CEOs. From creating clear, concise, and visual content to sending infrequent, high-quality emails, discover how to make your email campaigns resonate with the youngest, digitally-savvy generation.

  • Create Clear, Concise, Visual Content
  • Embrace Authenticity and Relatability
  • Highlight Social Responsibility
  • Incorporate Visual Storytelling
  • Optimize for Mobile
  • Include Peer Reviews and User Content
  • Personalize with Interactivity and Relevance
  • Showcase Diversity and Inclusivity
  • Send Infrequent, High-Quality Emails

Create Clear, Concise, Visual Content

My top tip for making your email marketing Gen-Z-friendly would be to write clear and concise copy. It has to convey your message clearly, swiftly, and in a straightforward manner. Given their short attention spans, the key is to hook them immediately. What’s more, I have found visual elements, like images, videos, and even emojis, to be incredibly helpful when creating content for Gen-Z.

Ahsan RazaAhsan Raza
Content Strategist and Copywriter, Qureos

Embrace Authenticity and Relatability

Keep it authentic. Gen-Z values genuine connection and transparency. Ditch the corporate jargon and speak their language. Share stories, behind-the-scenes content, and make it relatable. They’ll engage with brands that feel like a friend, not a faceless entity.

Casey JonesCasey Jones
Founder, Head of Marketing, CJ&CO

Highlight Social Responsibility

One of the most important things you can do to make your email marketing as Gen-Z-friendly as possible is to emphasize authenticity and corporate social responsibility. Gen-Z loves authentic connections and brands that stand up for social causes.

From our work at Messente, we’ve found that sending messages demonstrating your brand’s commitment to causes that matter to Gen-Z consumers can dramatically boost engagement rates. In addition, research shows that Gen-Z shoppers are 60% more likely to buy from companies that stand up for the causes they care about.

Personal stories are one of the most important ways to connect with Gen-Z. For example, when we ran a campaign highlighting our sustainability initiatives, younger audiences responded positively to the message and the transparency and narrative behind our efforts.

Communicating with Gen-Z is about more than just transactions. It’s about building trust, communicating your values, and telling a story that aligns with them. When you do this, you’ll not only capture their attention, but you’ll also build a long-term customer base.

Uku TomikasUku Tomikas
CEO, Messente

Incorporate Visual Storytelling

Focus on visual storytelling and interactivity when engaging Gen-Z in your email marketing.

Growing up in a digital-first era, immersive experiences and engaging visuals capture and retain the attention of this generation. Incorporate rich media, when you can, from GIFs, videos, and interactive elements, such as polls or quizzes, into your email marketing.

Aside from being engaging, this also makes your email content shareable to their friends and followers, thereby expanding your reach. By leveraging these dynamic elements, you are creating memorable experiences that resonate well with your Gen-Z market and, at the same time, opening up an opportunity to develop a relationship and build a community through conversations that they look forward to in their inbox.

Tristan HarrisTristan Harris
Demand Generation Senior Marketing Manager, Thrive Digital Marketing Agency

Optimize for Mobile

As the founder and CEO of Cleartail Marketing, I’ve spearheaded several campaigns that successfully engaged the Gen-Z audience, learning vital strategies along the way. Our approach has always been to blend data-driven insights with creative content to capture this vibrant demographic’s attention.

For instance, we achieved a 5,000% ROI on a Google AdWords campaign by tailoring our messaging to resonate with Gen-Z’s values and digital behaviors, demonstrating the power of aligning content with audience preferences.

One tip I’d emphasize for making your email marketing more Gen-Z friendly is to prioritize mobile optimization and visual content. Gen-Z is predominantly mobile-first, meaning they’re more likely to engage with your email if it’s easy to navigate on their smartphones. We’ve found significant success by incorporating visually appealing elements like GIFs, short videos, and high-quality images that align with the message’s essence, making the email content not only more attractive but also more digestible.

For example, integrating an interactive infographic in an email campaign increased our click-through rate by integrating engagement directly within the content, catering to Gen-Z’s preference for interactive and visually stimulating media.

Moreover, authenticity and personalization are key. In our LinkedIn outreach and Google listing campaigns, we personalized our messages to reflect the recipient’s interests and behaviors, which dramatically increased engagement rates. We learned that Gen-Z appreciates when brands take the time to understand them and tailor content accordingly. This demographic values transparency and relatability, so sharing real stories behind your brand or showcasing user-generated content can significantly enhance the authenticity of your communication, making your email marketing efforts more effective with Gen-Z.

Magee CleggMagee Clegg
CEO, Cleartail Marketing

Include Peer Reviews and User Content

Marketing to Gen Z effectively requires connecting with them on a deeper level. They need to feel like they can relate—so they rely more on peer reviews than on brand advertising, especially in email marketing.

Peer reviews are central to 82% of Gen Z’s buying decisions, making it a good strategy to include client testimonials and reviews in email marketing, as well as any relevant user-generated content from customers in this age category. At Marketized, we have adapted to this, and we highlight UGC (user-generated content) whenever fitting.

Ioana MarinIoana Marin
Co-Founder, Marketized

Personalize with Interactivity and Relevance

To make your email marketing resonate with Gen-Z, it’s essential to tailor your messages to their interests and communication preferences. My top tip centers on interactivity and personalization. Gen-Z values authenticity and meaningful engagement. Therefore, incorporate interactive elements like quizzes or polls that not only entertain but also provide value by understanding their preferences.

This approach creates a two-way conversation, making them feel heard and connected. Personalize your content by weaving in topics they care about, based on their past interactions with your brand. By adopting this strategy, you make every email an opportunity for Gen-Z to connect with your brand on a deeper level, based on their terms and needs.

Valentin RaduValentin Radu
CEO & Founder, Blogger, Speaker, Podcaster, Omniconvert

Showcase Diversity and Inclusivity

Gen-Z highly values diversity and inclusivity, wanting to see themselves and their peers reflected in the marketing content they consume. Incorporate images, stories, and testimonials from a diverse range of customers in your email marketing.

Showcasing real people of different backgrounds, identities, and lifestyles not only resonates more deeply with this generation but also strengthens your brand’s commitment to inclusivity. This approach fosters a sense of community and connection, making your campaigns more relatable and appealing to a Gen-Z audience.

Alex TaylorAlex Taylor
Head of Marketing, SEO Specialists, CrownTV

Send Infrequent, High-Quality Emails

People, especially young people, don’t love email marketing. Frankly, a lot of email marketing is indistinguishable from spam. The rub is that email is one of the easiest ways for organizations to get in front of potential customers.

And Gen Z is a prime market segment. But they don’t want to be nagged. The key is to make your emails infrequent but good. Think highlight reel, not a congressional hearing. Gen Z wants snappy and to-the-point. That’s what your email marketing should be.

Temmo KinoshitaTemmo Kinoshita
Co-Founder, Lindenwood Marketing

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8 Tips for Dark Mode in Email Design

8 Tips for Dark Mode in Email Design

8 Tips for Dark Mode in Email Design

In the evolving world of email marketing, adapting to dark mode can be a game-changer, so we’ve gathered eight tips from top designers and marketing experts. From embracing contrast without simple inversion to designing with dynamic backgrounds and adjusting imagery, these professionals, including a senior graphic designer and a marketing director, provide their best advice for crafting emails that shine in any theme.

  • Embrace Contrast, Avoid Simple Inversion
  • Outline Graphics, Use Creative Shapes
  • Utilize Transparent PNGs, Muted Colors
  • Select Soft Colors, Test Extensively
  • Test Brand Colors Across Modes
  • Understand Client-Specific Dark Mode Rendering
  • Avoid Vibrant Colors, Use Subdued Tones
  • Design with Dynamic Backgrounds, Adjust Imagery

Embrace Contrast, Avoid Simple Inversion

Make contrast your guiding star in dark mode, but remember that simple color inversion isn’t the only solution—carefully consider how each element in your design (text, colors, images) will translate to a dark background to ensure readability and avoid harsh, eye-straining combinations.

Think light text on dark backgrounds. But it’s more nuanced than just inverting everything. If you have colored elements or images within your email, carefully evaluate whether light-on-dark or dark-on-light works best for that particular item. Selective inversion is key.

Ihor KirpichnikovIhor Kirpichnikov
Senior Graphic Designer, Ikagency.com

Outline Graphics, Use Creative Shapes

Ensuring your email graphics stand out in both light and dark modes requires careful consideration and creative solutions. When designing for dark mode, one key technique is to outline any dark and transparent elements with a white stroke. This contrast ensures that your graphics remain visible and impactful, regardless of the background.

However, to truly enhance the visual appeal and maintain the fun element in your campaigns, consider incorporating white backgrounds into your graphics—but with a twist. Instead of settling for plain, rectangular backgrounds, frame your graphics with interesting, unique shapes. This strategy not only makes your content pop in dark mode but also adds an element of surprise and creativity that can captivate your audience.

Experiment with different shapes and designs like arches, rounded corners, or other unexpected forms to give your graphics a distinctive look. The key is to select shapes that complement your overall design while ensuring they remain invisible in light mode for a seamless experience. This approach not only addresses the visibility issue in dark mode but also elevates the aesthetic appeal of your emails, making them more engaging for your subscribers.

Remember, the objective is to balance functionality with creativity. By implementing these strategies, you can create email campaigns that are not only accessible in both light and dark modes but also memorable and engaging for your audience.

Amber AndrewsAmber Andrews
CEO and Digital Artist, Andrews Artistry

Utilize Transparent PNGs, Muted Colors

One critical tip for creating email designs that are dark mode-friendly is to use transparent PNGs for your images. This ensures that your logos, icons, and other graphical elements seamlessly adapt to both light and dark backgrounds without the need for alternative versions. In one of our recent projects, we found that emails incorporating transparent PNG images significantly increased engagement rates in dark mode settings, as they retained their visual integrity and allure without appearing out of place or jarring against the dark background.

Another aspect we’ve focused on is the adaptation of colors. In emails designed for dark mode, it’s crucial to select colors that are muted yet distinguishable in a dark setting. For instance, using pastel shades or softer tones of primary colors can enhance readability without causing eye strain. We’ve applied this approach in designing email templates for a campaign, resulting in a 15% higher open rate in dark mode users compared to previous campaigns. The key was in meticulous A/B testing, where we tweaked color schemes and measured user engagement across both modes, honing in on a palette that works harmoniously in both light and dark settings.

Lastly, it’s not just about the visual elements; textual content must also be optimized for dark mode. We use lighter font colors that are not stark white but rather off-white or light gray, which reduces glare and makes reading more comfortable. Our experience showed that this subtle shift in font color can significantly reduce bounce rates from emails viewed in dark mode.

In sum, designing for dark mode in email campaigns is a nuanced process that requires a careful balance of visuals and text, alongside rigorous testing to perfect. Through transparent imagery application, muted color selection, and font color adjustments, we’ve been able to craft emails that resonate well with users irrespective of their display preferences.

Dylan CleppeDylan Cleppe
Co-Founder & CEO, OneStop Northwest LLC

Select Soft Colors, Test Extensively

A significant part of creating an engaging customer experience is ensuring emails look great across all viewing modes, including dark mode, which has gained popularity among users for its aesthetics and reduced eye strain.

One strategy that has proven effective is the careful selection and use of colors that perform well in both light and dark modes. For instance, we avoid using absolute blacks or whites for backgrounds and text. Instead, opting for softer shades of gray as backgrounds and off-white for text can significantly improve readability and visual appeal in dark mode. This nuanced approach helped us enhance the open and engagement rates of our email campaigns since it preserves the email’s aesthetic integrity across different user preferences.

Furthermore, we’ve emphasized the importance of testing emails in various environments. This includes using email design tools that offer previews in both light and dark modes. Testing isn’t just about ensuring the email doesn’t break; it’s also about fine-tuning the visual experience to ensure that elements like logos, images, and buttons are clearly visible and attractive in dark mode. This level of attention to detail has been crucial in driving desired actions from our subscribers, regardless of their default viewing mode.

Incorporating dynamic content in our emails has also added a layer of personalization that resonates well in any mode. For example, by using dynamic content blocks, we ensure that product images and personalized recommendations look great against both light and dark backgrounds, creating a seamless experience that boosts engagement and drives conversion.

In conclusion, mastering email designs for dark mode isn’t just about flipping a switch on color schemes; it involves thoughtful design, extensive testing, and leveraging the right tools to ensure your emails engage and convert, no matter the user’s preference. Through meticulous attention to detail and an understanding of user environments, we’ve been able to create email campaigns that stand out.

Steve PogsonSteve Pogson
Founder, First Pier

Test Brand Colors Across Modes

If your brand has specific colors, ensure they are adaptable to both light and dark modes. Test your brand colors in different modes to make sure they remain visually appealing and maintain brand consistency.

Dark mode typically reduces the brightness of colors, so it helps to adjust the brightness and saturation of them to ensure they maintain their vibrancy and visibility in a dark environment. You may need to slightly lighten or modify the colors for optimal visibility and consider different shades that are adaptable in both modes.

Dark mode implementations can vary across different platforms, operating systems, and devices. Therefore, I find it vital to test your brand colors in various environments to ensure they are well-represented regardless of the specific dark mode implementation.

Ray WangRay Wang
Principal, RW Digital

Understand Client-Specific Dark Mode Rendering

Familiarize yourself with the differences between email clients first. Each email client is unique, with its own set of features, capabilities, and programming. This issue even affects how dark mode appears in different email clients, whether on mobile, desktop, or other platforms.

Every client has its own way of showing dark mode, based on its rendering engine. This leads to a lack of a uniform standard for how dark mode should appear across devices. The way dark mode is rendered can vary, creating inconsistencies in the user experience.

In some situations, even when a user switches their device to dark mode, the email might still be shown in the regular, light mode. This mismatch between light and dark modes can be uncomfortable for some readers’ eyes. However, doing partial color inversions, like reversing a light background to dark and dark text to light, tends to work well for most people as it strikes a balance.

To make sure your emails look right and are easy to read, it’s important to keep up with the latest on email clients. Know which ones have dark mode. Keep an eye on their software updates and changes in features. Then, use this information to create the best possible emails for dark mode.

Precious AbacanPrecious Abacan
Marketing Director, Softlist

Avoid Vibrant Colors, Use Subdued Tones

Avoid using pure white in your color scheme if you can; I’d recommend going for something off-white or light gray where a lighter touch is needed. It makes a pretty significant difference for dark-mode emails while maintaining a relatively bright look and feel if that is part of your branding.

Generally speaking, you want to stay away from vibrant colors when planning content for dark mode, because they will appear overly bright and harsh against most dark backgrounds. Stick with using them for backgrounds, which works best as a little pop, in my experience.

Dragos BadeaDragos Badea
CEO, Yarooms

Design with Dynamic Backgrounds, Adjust Imagery

One actionable tip we’ve implemented with success is designing emails with a dynamic background. Instead of selecting a solid color background, we utilize a CSS trick that allows the background to automatically switch between light and dark themes based on the user’s preference. This ensures that the email’s background never clashes with devices set to dark mode, enhancing readability and overall visual comfort.

This approach not only elevates the user experience but also subtly underlines our brand’s attention to detail and responsiveness to user preferences. Another key aspect is the careful selection and adjustment of imagery to suit both modes. We’ve found that adding a white border around dark images or logos significantly improves their visibility in dark mode. This simple yet effective trick prevents images from blending into the background, ensuring they remain eye-catching and effective regardless of the user’s theme settings.

In our experience, this minor adjustment has led to higher engagement rates, as visuals continue to play a pivotal role in email marketing effectiveness. Furthermore, in our email designs for dark mode, we prioritize the use of softer, neutral tones for text to minimize eye strain. This adjustment aims to cater to the increasing screen time and the resultant user fatigue, ensuring that our messages remain engaging and accessible. Our A/B testing has shown that emails optimized for readability in both light and dark modes have a higher open rate and prolonged engagement, underlining the significance of thoughtful, inclusive design practices.

The journey to optimizing emails for dark mode is iterative, relying on continuous testing and adaptation to refine the user experience. Through these practices, we’ve managed to stay responsive to user preferences, ensuring our digital communication remains effective, inclusive, and considerate of our diverse audience’s needs.

Rex LiuRex Liu
Chief Revenue Officer, GoSite

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