Have you ever wondered what the best way is to communicate and get in touch with millennials?
I recently discovered something new that seems to be working on the campus of Andrews University, anyway, and I wanted to pass it along here. In fact, I think this finding is becoming more accurate for society as a whole these days, but let me know what you think.
A few weeks ago, I and Tabitha Umali, our Bible Worker Coordinator, paid a visit to our Women’s Dean here on the campus of Andrews University. We wanted to speak to her because we were having some issues hearing back from students on a few fronts and we wanted to get her counsel on the matter.
You see, we have a follow system in place at Pioneer Memorial Church that involves connecting with people who have made decisions during the weekend worship service. I describe the system in the earlier link, but here’s the gist of it. We use a response card every weekend with various next steps. Depending on what someone selects, we have some various stock emails that we send out as the first step.
I began describing to the Dean our follow-up process and then she stopped me.
“They’re not reading your emails,” she said. She then began describing to me the best way to connect with this age group, and it didn’t involve email. Here’s what I learned and what we have changed as a result:
1. Text first
She said that millennials would rather receive a short text message versus anything else. Don’t email. Don’t call. Text. Students and millennials are busy. They’re in classes. They’re eating out. They’re with friends. If you send them a text, they can see it briefly in an unobtrusive way, and then reply at that moment or later.
2. Emails are considered junk mail
They’ll scan some of it, but by and large emails as a whole are getting labeled as junk mail and are being ignored. I’ve personally begun associating email with work and stress and I know I don’t like it, anyway.
3. Shorten emails
If you must email, make it really short. No longer than three sentences, which thinking about it, is the size of about a text message.
A few days after meeting with her, Tabitha Umali and I gathered to take a closer look at the emails that we have been sending out. Sure enough, they were rather long; around two paragraphs for some of them. We shortened just about every email we send out by about 75%. We aimed for three sentences.
So what’s been the result?
For one, more students have been responding back to the emails since we’ve shortened them. A cell number is sometimes not shared on a response card, sometimes all we have is an email address, so we work with that. Finally, I just went through my cell phone, and for many millennials, I don’t actually have their email address, just their cell phone. I think that probably means something.
So what do you think? What have you noticed when trying to communicate and connect with millennials? To leave a comment write below or click here.