Watch out, baby boomers—millennials are on track this year to overtake you as America’s largest generation, according to recent research by the Pew Research Center. These young adults, who will range in age from 23 to 38 in 2019, are positioned to make healthcare decisions for themselves, their own growing families and their aging parents.
Yet 45% of them don’t have a primary care physician, according to a July 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation poll.
How can healthcare providers best reach millennial patients, fostering the trust and connection that sets the stage for long-term health relationships and patient engagement? The answer is to communicate with them through the technology they’re already using every day in their fast-paced lives.
Millennials are tech savvy and mobile-first; more than 9 in 10 own smartphones. With their phones always at the ready, texts and emails that can easily be read on these devices are a direct, convenient way to connect with millennials. A joint survey from Salesforce and Harris Poll found that 71 percent of millennial patients want their providers to use mobile technology to book appointments, share health data and manage preventive care. In other words, mobile technology isn’t just a value-add for millennials—it’s a baseline expectation.
Texting is part of the routine for millennials. A Pew study found that 97% of Americans use their phone’s texting feature at least once a day—and 100% of 18- to 29-year-olds use text daily or more often. That’s something healthcare providers who want to connect with the millennial generation can use to their benefit.
It’s a myth that millennials don’t use email. In fact, they spend more time on their email than any other generation. To cut through inbox clutter and truly engage millennial patients, messages should be concise and to the point. Millennials are accustomed to quick answers; texts and emails sent to them should deliver relevant information in an easy-to-digest format.
Video is another effective way to engage with millennial patients. According to a 2018 ClearVoice survey, when a video is available along with an article or blog post and the information is identical, nearly four times as many millennials prefer to watch rather than read.
Connecting with millennial patients through technology, including video and targeted texts and emails, can help move them from disaffected consumers to partners in their own patient-centered care. Learn more about using mobile messaging for patient engagement.