Know Your Audience - SMS Marketing to Millennials

Engage customers effectively: Understand market needs and Millennials' impact on your business for tailored communication.

Mathew Gorka

By Mathew Gorka

December 19, 2022

7 min read

Know Your Audience - SMS Marketing to Millennials

What do sales, customer success, and retention all have in common? They’re all about delighting your customers. Delighting your customers means communicating with them on their terms. Two things are clear: first, you have to know the needs of the market. Second, you have to know your customers. We hope to provide some of that insight tonight by looking at Millennials and their impact on your business.

It’s a foregone conclusion that SMS marketing is advantageous for all of your digital marketing needs. Let’s look at the numbers. With 98% open rates and 95% of recipients responding to SMS marketing messages within 3 minutes of delivery, you’ll see results fast. Let’s also look at the preferences of the market. 90% of people prefer to receive text ads over direct calls and email ads. 90% of people gain value from SMS loyalty programs and 75% state they want special offers to come in via text.

Now that we know what the market is looking for, let’s take a closer look at Millennials. A Millennial is any person born between 1981-1996, which means they are ages 26-41. Millennials have had a bad rap over the past few years for being entitled, lazy, and often living on their parents' dime. Times have changed though with many Millennials surging into positions of power in the workforce, buying homes, and starting families. Millennials now have their own money to spend, ideals, and demands to go along with it. Not addressing this cohort would be a huge mistake.

Older Millennials have lived long enough to remember life without a smartphone, but are still extremely reliant on them. They have years of experience using their phone for day-to-day needs. Younger Millennials are the first group of people who have had a mobile phone for as long as they can remember. This affects the behavior of Millennials when it comes to purchasing goods and services.

There’s no suspense here…Millennials love SMS marketing and messaging. How much? Let’s quantify it. 72% of Millennials text more than 10 times a day. It’s clearly their preferred form of communication. 75% prefer SMS for deliveries, surveys, and promotions. 60% want the ability to text their preferred businesses. If you’re not sending these customers SMS marketing, you’re missing out.

Fortunately, for the fitness industry, Millennials hold wellness in extremely high regard. Despite earning less than older generations, millennials spend more on wellness, specifically nutrition and fitness. Millennials and their Gen Z counterparts pour over $158 billion into the wellness industry annually [source]. To break that down into more bite size pieces, the average Millennial spends roughly $2,000 annually on fitness.

Why do they love fitness so much? It is in part due to a great sense of health awareness. Also, Millennials love sports. In a 2020 study, 68.7%of Millennial respondents from the United States stated that they participated in fitness sports, making them the generation with the highest participation rate. Youth, however, is not directly correlated to fitness sports participation. Proving this point is Gen Z, younger than Millennials, who have the lowest participation in fitness sports. This means fitness sports is clearly a priority of Millennials and may not simply be replaced by the next cohort of Gen Z.

Though each individual's reasoning for belonging to a fitness studio or participating in fitness sports is different, there are some trends and services that resonate with Millennials. First and foremost Millennials are attracted to things that offer a sense of community. 63% of boutique fitness studio members state they enjoy the community aspect, while 47% appreciate the atmosphere. In fact, this drives many Millennials to sign up for classes. Fitness classes like pilates and yoga lure in 45% of Millennials, which is 18% larger than their older counterparts.

Fitness industry marketing, when done right, should meet the expectations and demands of this profitable cohort. It starts with understanding that Millennials respond better to digital marketing. They prefer SMS marketing above emails, calls, direct mail, etc. They want to participate in group fitness classes and activities. They would like to be able to socialize and feel like their class/studio is a community.

And if you build it, they will come. 36% of Millennials will splurge for a fitness membership as opposed to 20% of other generations. They are also loyal. Millennials are loyal trend-seekers and followers. They want to exercise in a welcoming community of new and existing friends. They are also goal oriented. Can you help them finish their first triathlon? Can you turn your cycling class into a competition? Millennials want a badge of honor to signal their fitness excellence to the rest of the community.

Millennials spend over $7 billion a year on fitness club memberships. For fitness studio marketers, it must be a goal to attract as many Millennials as possible. When marketing to millennials keep in mind that they praise authenticity. This is another reason to use SMS marketing or SMS messaging to drive your value proposition. Start by addressing each person by name. Back in the day that would take a lifetime. With Helios automations it can be done in a matter of seconds. Simply add the {firstname} automation to your message and each contact will be addressed by their first name.

Next, try to get a conversation going. Provoke your recipients to reply by staying personal. Ask questions and try to get to know them. This is facilitated by Helios templates. You can quickly draft an expert template, save it, and share it with the whole team. With customized flows, you can follow up several times, distill exactly the information you need, and create a human connection with each prospect or existing customer.

When it comes to activating those templates and flows, look no further than Helios segments. By segmenting your audience into groups you can assign specific templates, flows, and representatives. Customer retention messages need to be different from prospective customer texts. With Helios you can make unlimited templates, flows, and segments to ensure each customers’ needs are addressed.

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