Grabbing millennials’ attention with an email newsletter

group of millennials on their devices
When it comes to seizing the interest of a millennial, the window of opportunity is a very small one.  Thanks to their tech-driven lifestyles, their attention spans are smaller than that of an ill-focused goldfish.  In fact, a recent study by comScore revealed online ads targeted toward millennials have to be around 5 to 6 seconds to be effective.

When it comes to targeting messaging to this crew, it is evident that quick and dirty is your best route.  But the platform of choice is where things can get dicey.  More than likely, in your marketing office, resources are limited, so you want to know where you can get the most bang for your buck.  Oddly enough, you can find salve in the good old fashioned email newsletter.

Despite their high-distraction rate, millennials actually prefer the newsletter format.  Thanks to rising issue of fake news and click-bait like headlines, news outlets and social media aren’t the go-to source for finding credible information – they’d rather go directly to the curator themselves.

With that being said, sometimes this platform and the art of attention-grabbing don’t necessarily play well together.  But that doesn’t mean they can’t.  Follow some of these tips and tricks and you will find your millennial audiences spending a lot of more of their allotted online time with you.


Millennials are the pioneers of making it all about them.  They can pretty much tailor anything to suit their needs.   From online styling businesses like Stitch Fix to personal playlists on Spotify, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all format.

Giving your newsletter a personal touch could be as simple as using the right email software.  From segmenting your lists to utilizing dynamic content, these simple suggestions can provide unique ways into reaching this audience more effectively.  Analytics can guide your insight into their initial needs and you can continue to build from there.

Provide the what – and the why

Millennials also crave connection.  Most of this group pretty much lives online, so it is imperative they can relate to the community that is trying to reach them.  This might mean you need to ditch the traditional journalistic ways of delivering the news.

It might be high time for your brand or organization to try a new voice.  And a voice with an opinion.  The most popular newsletters currently out there are ones that are written in a personal matter, with personal commentary.  They sound very similar to your best friend telling you about their day – easygoing and witty in nature.  The Skimm is a great example of what millennials enjoy reading – they provide not only the news event, but why it is relevant.

Respond across all platforms

Email can be accessed anywhere – from a desktop to a mobile app.  But if your format doesn’t function that way, that part doesn’t really matter.  When sending out an email newsletter, it is crucial that the information is fluid across all devices.

The comScore study also revealed that millennials spent 61 percent of their online time in smartphone apps, 8 percent on the mobile web, 25 percent on desktop, and just 5 percent on tablets.  You might have the best written newsletter on the block, but it might as well be spam if it can’t be delivered in a variable fashion.

In less than two years, millennials will make up half of the workforce.  Gaining this audience’s attention is no longer a suggestion, but rather a necessity.  Don’t let these goldfish swim off into a better and brighter pond – give them that shiny object outside the fish bowl you’ve had in your pocket all along.


Not sure you have the expertise to create email newsletters that reach a millennial audience? MultiView’s content marketing team can help.

And if you’re an association executive who needs assistance increasing your millennial member newsletter readership, we have experts here who can help on that front, too!

MultiView Team Expert Julie Bernhard

Julie Bernhard

News Briefs Executive Editor

Share This
Get new blog posts sent right to your inbox!