Selling to Millennials: 3 Must-Have Conversion Tactics

by 3 09/18/2013

What’s with young people these days?

We’re relentlessly critical, wear flip-flops to work, and aspire to change the world. It’s an understatement to say that we have a bad rap, and the good old Internet has gone so far to call us narcissistic. Some of us would rather watch cat videos than read the news.

These stereotypes are entwined with a key problem that millennials face today. Marketers have trouble connecting with us.

Over and over again, we’re bombarded with awkward stock photos and newsletters that are just plain boring. We see websites that look like they were made in 1997, and we instantly run and hide.

I stand behind my claims because I’m a marketer and a millennial. I am intimately familiar with both sides of the equation.

I also know that my demographic group is one that brands cannot afford to ignore. Our purchasing power is on the rise with nearly 1 in 10 of us earning six figures or more.

So how do you reach this hyper-critical, impossible to please, unbearably casual group?

Here’s what you need to do to earn our business now and for life:

1. Understand What Motivates Us

As easy as it is to brush millennials off as narcissistic, what’s important to understand is that we are a product of our sociology.

Marketers need to speak to millennials in terms of our values. Don’t stereotype us. Speak to us in a language we understand, and we’ll listen—we really are paying attention.

Take a lesson from Asana, a startup productivity platform. From their imagery to value proposition (efficiency), they are in a position to build a strong connection with their audience base. Their marketing message is inspiring and simple:

“Do great things.”

That’s that.

Asana 2

2. Make Us Laugh

Every generation has has a tough time. We get it. It doesn’t change the fact that millennials are struggling to find meaningful work and high-paying salaries.

If we want to go to graduate school, we’re looking at six-figure expenses, and many of us are stuck with unmanageable student debt loads. Did I mention we’re highly educated? In other words, we’re well-versed in the art of satire.

We love to laugh. We need to laugh. And we need humor that reminds us how beautiful life is and that the world will never crush us. We will persist, and our dreams will come true. In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to laugh along the way.

Slate Magazine executes this concept beautifully. Take a look at their Facebook page—a referral traffic driver. The call to action here is to like the page. The value proposition is short, sweet, and hilariously on point:

“Procrastinate better.”

That’s why Slate keeps winning millennial hearts.

Slate

 

3. Get to the Point

At any given time, we have 100 different things on our mind. We are notorious multitaskers who are glued to our mobile phones. Keep your marketing message as short and sweet as possible.

Think usability: Tell us exactly what to do, what to expect, and what we should expect to get.

The minute we get confused, we churn. That’s because we’re fast researchers. When we hit a roadblock, we find an alternate solution.  Sometimes, that means jumping to competitors.

Take a lesson from Clarity’s clear and compelling value proposition:

“Get expert advice that will help you make faster decisions to grow your business.”

Clarity Homepage

Final Thought

Here is the most important tip to keep in mind. Purchase cycles aren’t always short. They can cycle on and on as buyers weigh their options and find answers to objections.

Successful conversion optimization strategists understand that nurturing relationships is invaluable to the customer acquisition and retention process. It means embracing psychology and building bonds for the long term…

Even if those customers think and act differently than you expect.

Embrace millenials as they are. You’ll reap the benefits in future sales.

Selling to Millennials: 3 Must-Have Conversion Tactics from Kathryn Aragon

 

About 

Ritika Puri is a San Francisco-based blogger who writes about trends in business, internet culture, and marketing. She’s inspired by the intersection between technology, entrepreneurship, and sociology. By day, she works for a large online media company, and after-hours, she runs her writing consulting business, UserGrasp.

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3 COMMENTS

Sarah Bauer

As a millienial and marketer, I approve of these tips! Adding to the point on the value of efficieny and results, I think it’s important for marketers to make it clear why Content X (blog post, article, video, whatever) is worth the user’s time. The more concise and compelling the initial message is, the more likely we are to give it our full attention ( atleast until the next Miley Cyrus video ;) )

September 18, 2013 Reply

Richard Jonas

Ritika,

Great article. Thanks for sharing your insights so clearly.

Your advice is particularly helpful to me because I’m in the life insurance business. Numerous studies have proven that Millennials are highly uninsured or under-insured. This represents both a great opportunity and a serious challenge. An opportunity because a group of people as highly educated as Millennials quickly grasp the value of life insurance if they are presented with the facts in a rational and persuasive fashion. The challenge arises mainly from the fact that life insurance sales people have a bad reputation in general but are also perceived as a bunch of old white guys with zero comprehension of how to effectively (and respectfully) communicate with younger generations.

I believe these perceptions can be changed but it will take more than just good copywriting and killer websites (can ya dig it?). It will require life insurance professionals to adopt fundamentally different attitudes toward Gen Y. Once attitudes (and biases) change, honest and respectful conversations can start to develop.

My company (PrivateQuote.com) is committed to opening those lines of communication with Gen Y. Our goal is to evangelize the benefits and affordability of life insurance to a generation that Big Insurance hasn’t bothered having a conversation with. This article will greatly help me in those efforts.

Can anyone suggest other resources that would help me do this? I’m particularly interested in learning how other industries with old white-guy reputations that have successfully reached out to Gen Y.

Thanks again!

October 12, 2013 Reply


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