April 21, 2016

Reaching Generation Z

As your team huddles together, several years beyond its youth, to brainstorm the best ways to reach this new tech-savvy generation we call Generation Z, take a second to think about the upbringing of this digitally inclined bunch. In broader terms, Generation Z is comprised of individuals in their teens and early twenties. A group that has grown up with digital products many of us still don’t know how to use. We’re talking smartphones, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, live streaming and live chats.

As a Millennial, I enjoy sharing memories of the wonderful world of AOL Instant Messenger with Gen Z. Sadly, that clever way of chatting is now Stone Age material. Next came Texting, then Facebook Messenger, and then Apps, all of which are still Gen Z’s most common forms of communication. Keeping this in mind, the problem most businesses face when trying to connect with this young audience, who will ultimately drive the market of the future, is that they continue emailing them thinking this will generate good results.

Yes, email is a foundational element to the way businesses work. It serves a purpose, except when it comes to Gen Z. So when you advertise or communicate with them, the odds are that an email or even a phone call will serve as a barrier for most.

How to Fix the Problem

Simple. Use what they use to communicate.


In the Wall Street Journal, a 21-year-old student was asked if they would use email to talk to their friends, and the response was, “I would never think of emailing my friends…They would be like ‘Why don’t you just text me?’ ” (WSJ)


They don’t use email so neither should you when you want to get their attention. Generation Z will use social media channels and app-based chat systems to communicate with one another, but according to The Wall Street Journal, the most common form of communication they rely on is text messaging, otherwise known as SMS. So, this is going to be your best bet.


“Teens and people in their early twenties prefer to communicate via text…” (WSJ)


It’s Instant. Reliable. Enough to keep up with this group that will most likely swipe left and delete whatever cleverly worded email you came up with for the day. It’s nothing personal. Your message just doesn’t concern them if it’s irrelevant or takes up more than 15 seconds of their time. So activate a solution for which they have the time. Something they can relate to. Something that will catch their attention.

Student Housing

Let’s say you’re a property manager of a student housing community. If you have something important to send your residents, whether it’s an emergency situation or an event update, would you rather email them with a 22% open rate (read not guaranteed) or text them with a 98% read rate? (Mobile Marketing Engine)

They’re already texting, so if you send them a text message the odds are they will see it.


Solutions are limitless when activating SMS within the retail space. You can start a mobile sweepstake to gain subscribers. You can send message reminders when someone has abandoned their online shopping cart, generate leads with keywords to text in, or simply update current subscribers about new ads offering significant savings. Whatever solution you choose, you’re going to have 8x more engagement with text messaging, and that’s for everyone, not just Gen Z. (Mobile Commerce Daily)

Maybe the mobile revolution compels you to build an app in an effort to engage customers and generate leads. The truth is, unless your app does something amazing, that no one has seen before, you’ll end up bitterly relating to this stat:


“99% of apps only get used once” (Mobile Marketing Engine)


I’m not completely within the Gen Z range, but I can attest to this fact by looking through the apps on my phone. Most of them are like old books in a new bookcase, idly gazing back from their polished home with a layer of dust coating their edges.

Apps are crowd pleasers, but they aren’t reliable. Not like a text message that is instant and guarantees 90% of all messages are read within 3 minutes. (Mobile Marketing Engine)

Take Action

So if you’re interested in something that is instant, reliable, and extends its reach to Generation Z, contact IRIO. We can shape SMS to solve your business challenges and generate better results.

Text, “Results” to 47464 or click the button below to get started!