The Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing to Gen Z
When it comes to running a successful bank or financial institution, relationships are key. There’s nothing more valuable than a roster of happy, loyal customers who are committed to your business for life.
To gain this loyalty, you first need to gain trust with potential customers — in this case, college students. And you can build that trust by offering students the educational, engaging content they need to understand what your bank has to offer.
From starting school to graduation, college students could use your professional guidance to help them understand and make good decisions about their finances.
Offering this assistance through education and outreach can help lower the risk of them moving to another bank. From there, you can guide them through many other chapters in their lives – like marriage, a mortgage, and other big financial firsts.
But how do you connect to college students in the first place? Turns out acquiring college-age customers is one of the many advantages of email marketing.
Despite the popularity of social media, you might be surprised to hear that college students often use email to stay connected to companies they’d like to explore a relationship with.
A mind-blowing 95% of Gen Z says email is a life essential.
If you’re skipping over an email marketing strategy, chances are you’re missing out on a connection with many loyal college-age customers. And many of them use email specifically to build relationships with the brands they love.
Around 58% of Gen Z opens and reads their emails more than twice a day, leaving you plenty of opportunity for connection. And Gen Z makes up for a buying power of about $44 billion in their own money, and over $600 billion of their parents’ cash.
Nailing your email marketing strategy could mean big changes for your bank. Here’s how your bank can capture more college student conversions with email marketing.
Many banks are as focused on connecting to college students as you are. So you’ll want to make sure your email campaigns stand out from the competition.
To capture the attention of college students via email, you’ll first need to have a general understanding of Gen Z’s values and how they translate to successful marketing.
Being relatable to college students doesn’t necessarily mean all your employees need to be their age.
In your email campaigns, avoid talking down to college students, or trying too hard to embrace lingo that doesn’t quite come naturally to you. Oftentimes, this can seem disingenuous.
Instead, make an effort to level with them so they feel as if they’re treated equally to other generations.
Let them know you’ve looked into the unique challenges they face — like learning how to balance bills and student loans or struggling to afford a car. Along with their struggles, highlight their desires: authenticity, fun, and easy life decisions.
Be constantly on the lookout for indicators as to what they’re receiving by analyzing your open rates, bounce rates and click-through rates. These can help you determine which emails college students not only opened, but stuck around to read or, even better, engaged with.
Statistically, Gen Z is much more focused on being frugal than generations before.
Not only do they have higher student loans compared to the cost of living, but they also witnessed their parents struggling with the recession of 2008. More recently, their own finances may have felt the economic impact of the pandemic.
Through these experiences, they may feel like even during the times when they have money, it might not always be around
Make sure college students know that joining your bank will help them save money –whether it’s with little to no overdraft fees, palatable interest rates on credit cards, or ways to open accounts for free.
College students have become wary of “greedy” companies solely focused on revenue.
Instead, they prefer to give their business to banks that give back in one way or another.
Be straightforward with your mission when email marketing to college students.
Let them know much more than the structure of your business, and share your ethos as well. This gives college students more of an “in” to relating to your bank and being proud to feel like part of your community.
You can also do campaigns displaying ways you give back. Perhaps it’s periodic donations to homeless shelters, or partnerships with environmental organizations.
Give back to your community and give college students a way to join you in your efforts and you’re guaranteed a much higher chance of brand loyalty.
98% of Gen Z owns a smartphone. In the US, around 50% of them prefer to use it for internet browsing.
Make sure your emails and email call to action are mobile-friendly and that each of these items is covered:
If you’re blowing up college students’ phones with email notifications, it can feel very invasive. At the same time, customers appreciate consistency when it comes to brands’ email marketing cadence.
Send emails targeted to college students around 3-5 days a week, during time windows when they’ll likely be expecting them.
The more focused your content is, the more receptive to multiple emails they’ll be.
For example, if a student has already opened an account with you, make sure they move to a list in which pitches for accounts are no longer sent. Instead, send them useful account upgrades or information they might have overlooked.
Another way to ensure your emails are relevant to college students is to ensure your emails are timely and relevant.
While you can’t climb into their brains to see what they’re thinking about, you can use things like their school calendars and popular social media holidays to determine what’s relevant at the moment.
Create a calendar that includes these dates, birthdays, and other relevant occasions, and use the dates to help guide your email content. Pay attention to things like graduation, and send them a “congrats!” email, perhaps with a discount or small gift.
By only sending emails in your free time rather than following an email marketing strategy, you could be blowing it in more ways than one.
Lower your risk of sending valuable college students away by recruiting our help. We’ve run countless email campaigns and designed strategies aimed at Gen Z that have shown immense success rates.
We’ll handle everything from creating a plan suited specifically for your bank, to scheduling and monitoring each email that gets sent so we know where to improve.
We even provide exclusive lists of college students, so you won’t have to break your back growing your email list before you even start sending them. Contact us today to get started! >