Millennials are the generation most likely (in fact, 44% more likely) to permanently disengage with brands if they receive high volumes of mass, generic email communications, according to a study by The Aimia Institute. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

The study, which dubbed this consumer group 'High Volume Sensitive', found that Generation X had only a 13% likelihood of falling into this group.

However nearly three out of five (59%) of these High Volume Sensitive consumers indicated that the volume of email communications they receive from brands overwhelms them.

The results were similar for SMS messages (60%) and push notifications (62%).

High Volume Sensitive consumers will only engage if the content they receive by email, for example, is tailored to them personally. If it is not personalised and too frequent they confirmed that they will quite happily:

  • Block numbers (80%);
  • Close accounts and unsubscribe from email lists (84%);
  • Delete apps because of push notifications (82%);
  • Unfollow brands on social channels (86%).

A defining feature of the High Volume Sensitive consumer is that they have the same willingness as others to share their personal data. However, they are also 2.3 times more likely to disengage when bombarded with large numbers of irrelevant messages.

"Millennials are the 'always on' generation, but it is a mistake for marketers to make assumptions about their communications preferences. Just because a person shares their details with a brand does not mean they want to be inundated with lots of generic messages," said Martin Hayward, Senior Vice President, Global Digital Strategy & Futures for Aimia. "Marketers must work harder to listen to individual customer preferences and tailor communications appropriately. Privacy, permissions and preferences are increasingly crucial elements of future customer relationships. Get it wrong, and High Volume Sensitive consumers are ruthless in cutting brands off."

The study, which aimed to identify how businesses can use technology to establish the best possible communications approach and avoid 'message overload', was conducted in the UK, France, USA, Canada and India, querying 2,000+ consumers in each market about their digital communications preferences.