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From Boomers to Zoomers: Personalized Subject Lines that Connect with Each Generation

Mar 27, 2024

When it comes to email marketing, personalized subject lines will capture the attention of any person at any age. And that exact type of personalized content sells. The numbers behind this claim don’t lie. In fact: 

Ensuring your email marketing program not only writes personalized email subject lines—but the best possible personalized email subject lines for individuals—is critical to driving profitability. Of course, generative AI like Backstroke’s email subject line generator, makes that easier than ever.

Today, we look at the benefits of personalization through an always fun, sometimes divisive lens. We’ll examine optimized, personalized email subject lines for each of the following generations: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z.

Personalized Subject Lines Go Beyond %%Name%%

Email personalization tailors engaging and relevant subject lines, content, and general messages to individual recipients, based on their preferences, behaviors, or characteristics. Thanks to advancements in AI technology, this personalization can go really deep!

In an ideal world, your team can handcraft custom emails to each and every person in your database, but for obvious reasons, that can’t happen. Rather, you can (and absolutely should!) deploy AI to help make your email content feel more appealing to those individuals, because:

  • 80% of shoppers want personalized experiences. In fact 71% expect it… And 76% get frustrated when they don’t experience it.
  • Yet… this is an untapped opportunity. McKinsey says that only 15% of retailers have fully implemented personalization strategies.
  • 80% and higher are still plotting their personalization strategy or have only just begun pilot initiatives.

Backstroke’s Add Audience and Adjust Tone filters allow users to personalize content for very specific groups of people. Today, we look at those specificities across age ranges. 

Whether you’re marketing to Boomers, Zoomers, or the generations between them, let’s dive into email personalization strategies to apply when using Backstroke to create great email subject lines for each group.

Baby Boomers: What to Include in Their Personalized Subject Lines

Nostalgic and loyal to brands they love, Baby Boomers are a unique group in many ways! While they enjoy a good deal (who doesn’t?), building trust is key to engaging this age demographic. We see their loyalty across all digital marketing platforms too. For example, Boomers are 58% more likely to engage with branded content on social media and 19% more likely to share it. 

personalized subject lines for baby boomers

An example of subject line content that's geared toward Baby Boomers.

Therefore, when generating great subject lines for Boomers, adjust your filter settings to less risky, more corporate tones. This will ensure the email subject line creator will deliver content that sounds authoritative, trustworthy, and more appealing for this group.

personalized subject lines for boomers play it safe

Personalized subject lines for Boomers often play it safe to portray trustworthiness.

And as an extra pro tip: Experiment with adding the iPhone filter to your settings when generating subject lines to connect with the 60+ crowd. They’re more likely to own an iPhone.

Gen X: What to Include in Their Personalized Subject Lines

Gen X, we didn’t forget you! This generation prioritizes personalization perhaps more than any other. 90% of Gen X consumers say their favorite brand treats them like an individual. They want their own, individual, unique needs addressed by the brands they shop with. They report that they’re more likely to choose brands that understand and cater to this sense of individuality.

Having grown up around technology by way of personal computers and the Internet, Gen X appreciates the value it can provide. With 64% of them having made a purchase from an email in the last year, this leaves the door open for email marketers to connect with Gen X by delivering interesting offerings to their inboxes.

personalized subject lines for gen x

Make Gen X subscribers feel special in your personalized subject lines.

We suggest providing them with special promotions or discounts on the products they’re most interested in shopping for. This approach offers a double-whammy of catering to their desire for individualized communications AND their appreciation for added value via technology. Selecting “Product Promotion” or “Specific Sale” on Backstroke’s email subject line generator can address both.

Personalized subject lines for gen x have special offers

Build loyalty with Gen X by delivering special offers to their inboxes.

Millennials: What to Include in Their Personalized Subject Lines

Short, snappy, mobile-focused, and funny. Those are the elements of great subject lines that will capture millennials’ ultra short, 12-second long attention spans. Despite their reputation, millennials aren’t craving subject lines that speak to their individuality. Rather, they prioritize quickness, a sometimes corny sense of humor, and trumpeting social values when applicable. 

personalized subject lines for millennials

Personalized subject lines with self-deprecating humor can win big with millennials.

They’re on-the-go and phone obsessed, so gear your content toward mobile devices, as 59% of millennials check email on their smartphones. Keep the length short. Be sure to add slang and emojis to your filters, to address their need to laugh as the world burns around them.

add that millennial sass to your personalized subject lines

Backstroke's filters will add that millennial sass to your personalized subject lines.

Gen Z: What’s In Their Personalized Subject Lines?

When it comes to their shopping priorities, Gen Z cares most about affordability, brand authenticity, and brand transparency. Loyalty isn’t guaranteed with this demographic, and 28% of them state that deals, offers, and coupons informed their recent online purchases.

personalized subject lines for Gen Z

Make Gen Z-focused subject lines straightforward and sale-oriented.

When generating personalized content for Gen Z via Backstroke’s email subject line generator, toggle its drop-downs to include Sale-focused content to capture their attention. And don’t forget to adjust its tone to be emotional, corporate, risk-taking, or whatever voice your brand embodies.

Cut through the noise and offer a simple discount if you want to capture Zoomer attention.

Beyond this, you should use THE RIGHT slang when connecting with Zoomers . . . and critically, use THE RIGHT emojis. They can sniff out inauthenticity quickly. So tread carefully, and flaunt your true colors as a brand, when creating personalized content for them. 

Generate Great Subject Lines for Any Audience Now

No matter who you’re sending to, Backstroke’s email subject line creator will craft interesting subject lines for your lists. Select from dozens of filters and audience settings to create content that will cut through inbox noise and truly speak to every generation, whatever their needs may be. 

Try it now for free.

Get some serious inspiration and email subject examples sent to your inbox!