Lyris Connections Blog

Girls are from NARS and Boys are from Jupiter: 3 Takeaways for Marketing to Gen-Z

Nov 21, 2012 by

Imagine being in high school again. Except instead of scribbling in your spiral notebook during study hall, you are tweeting from your iPad while streaming Hulu. As a marketer it is important to stay current with media and the way in which your audience is consuming your messages.

I wanted to get a look into what Gen-Z thinks about email marketing and digital marketing as a whole. Over a combination pizza and soda I sat down with my 17-year-old sister for a tell-all about email marketing.

After sharing email examples with her, we agreed that NARS Cosmetics is a brand that both she and her friends would admire, and most importantly, the email messages resonated with her.

What’s your subject?

Soon after we subscribed to receive emails, NARS launched a campaign to highlight its Limited Edition Andy Warhol collection, and immediately the interesting subject lines piqued my sister’s interest:

  • Limited Edition! Self Portrait Eyeshadow Palettes            
  • NARS Andy Warhol Color Collection — Personality as Color + Free Shipping Any Order
  • Discover the NARS Andy Warhol Experience — Films & Superstar Looks
  • The Electric Energy of Warhol’s Factory — Shop NARS’ Silver Factory Gift Set
  • NARS Andy Warhol Larger Than Life Lip Glosses — Superstar Inspired High-Shine             
  • Introducing NARS Andy Warhol — Color Collection & Gift Sets. Discover Now

Takeaway #1: It’s all about the subject line. If you’ve leveraged a preference center or your marketing analytics to determine your customers’ interests, make certain your subject lines reflect that. Gen-Z is always on the lookout for ways to bring back popular trends of the 60s, 70s, and 80s, so subject lines mentioning Andy Warhol are sure to instantly resonate.

Additional Resource: Stellar Subject Lines: 12 Rules That Get Results

When are you sending?              

I started receiving the NARS Andy Warhol Emails on November 1— just in time for the holiday buying season. But teenage girls are not only focusing on what to buy for their girlfriends this season, but they are preparing for prom and senior portraits— which take place starting in March.

Takeaway #2: Timing is everything. NARS got the timing right, and will certainly be top-of-mind for any Gen-Z girl who received an email about this collection in the past few weeks.

What does your email look like?

Style conscious Gen-Z girls aren’t likely to engage with emails that aren’t graphically interesting. The challenge for marketers is to make product promotion visually appealing.

Takeaway #3: Consider the big picture. Sure, NARS’ intention with its email campaign is to sell products, but it makes Andy Warhol the most important feature of the emails, using his signature style and sharp pops of color to draw in its savviest subscribers. Even in the emails that feature close-ups of the products, Andy is consistently front-and-center, primarily in the design but also in the email copy.

Here’s an example from the email below: “For Andy, the factory characters were like a full spectrum—personality as color.”

Here are a few more email examples from NARS Cosmetics. 



Additional Resource: Email Design No-No’s Guide for Non-Designers

I’d love to hear if other digital marketers are taking a similar approach to reaching out to Gen-Z audiences or finding success with other tactics. Please share your challenges and successes below.



Briana Iwuji

About the Author: Briana Iwuji

Briana Iwuji is the social media manager at Lyris with a background in public relations and partner management. Briana is a social media enthusiast and is responsible for developing, managing and marketing the social media identity for Lyris. Follow Briana on Twitter @Briana_Iwuji

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