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Email set to become ‘dead’ to young consumers

Tuesday, 12 October 2010 | By Oliver Milman

Young people are increasingly shunning email, with a new report predicting that the medium will soon be ‘dead’ as a method for businesses to reach the youth market.

 

The annual Urban Market Research report, compiled by youth marketing agency Lifelounge and Sweeney Research, found that just 10% of 16 to 30-year-olds spend five hours or more a week on email.

 

The report cites increasing use of social networking website and texting from mobile phones as impacting upon the use of email among young people.

 

Dion Appel, CEO of Lifelounge, says: “The young adult market is relying of email less as social networking and community groups allow them to communicate directly.”

 

“Look at the likes of Facebook or LinkedIn – they all have a direct messaging methodology built into them. Young people aren’t relying on Outlook or Gmail or Hotmail for that direct messaging.”

 

“Brands need to keep a close eye on email marketing to make sure it’s providing the right messaging. Some may have to look at partnering with trusted publishers to send emails.”

 

Other insights into Australia’s $68.56 billion youth market include the revelation that 80% of young people frantically multitask while surfing the web, although 56% spend at least one hour a week ‘pausing’ by reading a book.

 

The biggest average weekly outlay is on household expenses, at $403.86, followed by socialising and entertainment, $122.42, and clothing and accessories, $99.71.

 

Nearly half of the 16 to 30-year-olds polled still live with their parents, although the proportion with their own mortgages has risen from 11.5% last year to 14% this year. Nike, Smirnoff and Nokia are among the most admired brands, with Facebook, Google, eBay, Hotmail and YouTube named as the five top websites.

 

Happily for start-up businesses, young people are welcoming of new brands, provided that they offer something of value, according to Appel.

 

“Young adults are really open to brands that enhance their quality of life,” he says. “They are very open-minded and will try new things provided that they give an experience that is credible and relevant. They favour brands that have an active engagement with them, not a one-off interaction.”