Here’s How Each Generation Prefers to Text With Your Business

A good rule for any business, big or small, is to know your audience. Whether you’re selling a product or service, it’s important to know what your consumers like and don’t like, what they need and what they don’t. When it comes to communicating with your customers, your need to understand their behaviors should be no less of a priority.

We know consumers love communicating via text with businesses, but what about diving a little deeper and understanding texting habits by generation? Would your business text baby boomers differently than Generation X? Will Generation Z roll their eyes upon seeing a text for an appointment reminder? Is everyone cool with using emojis?

The Zipwhip team wanted answers to these questions, and we knew you would want them too. So with help from Survey Monkey, we polled members of the baby boom generation, Generation X, Generation Y and Generation Z to get a better look at their everyday texting habits and how they prefer to interact with businesses.

Who took our survey?

Before digging into the results, let’s first break down how each participant was categorized based on age. And to give you an idea of how digitally connected everyone is, we’ve included how often each generation reported checking cell phone notifications on the hour.

Generation Profiles seperated bewteen baby boomers, generation x, generation y, generation z

Now, based on our survey, let’s take a look at the differences in texting habits by generation.

Every generation wants to text with businesses

chart showing if they would liked to get texted by businesses, 64% baby boomers, 76% generation x, 82% generation y, 83% generation z said yes
We love any statistic that drives our message at Zipwhip: Your audience wants you to text them, and now we know the desire spans across all age groups. Seventy-three percent of all respondents said they wish more businesses texted them. It’s time to spring into action and think about how your businesses can use this information, because your texting pool just got bigger.

Whether you’re just getting started with texting communication strategies for your business or need a few ideas to refresh your current plan, take a look at a few of our most common uses by industry and learn how you can incorporate them into your practice.

Your competition is already texting customers of all ages

chart asking if they ever erceived a text from a business, 85% baby boomers, 86% generation x, 86% generation y, 71% generation z said yes
More businesses are catching on that text messaging is a powerful tool to capture their customers’ attention. The survey results indicate that a large group from every generation bracket has received a text from a business, which means not only are a majority of people aware that business texting is a communication option, but businesses are ramping up their customer service and communication strategies to modernize how they interact with audiences. If you haven’t been texting your customers, you’re already behind!

Customers want to be reminded of appointments by text

chart asking if they would prefer to receive appointment reminders through text 67% baby boomers, 83% generation x, 82% generation y, 76% generation z said yes
Companies on the Zipwhip platform use texting in many different ways to cut down on hours spent doing the same task over and over again by phone or email. One of the most popular examples is sending appointment reminders over text.

In our survey, when given the option of receiving appointment reminders over text, phone calls or email, a large majority of participants from each generation preferred texting. The reasons are pretty simple: texting is just so much more convenient. No phone tag to play, no emails getting lost in a sea of inbox messages—just a quick text notification that customers will open and reply to on their own time. Texts have an open rate of 98 percent, which means if you want to increase engagement with customers, texting is the way to go.

Yes, emojis are welcome

chart asking how they fell about a company using an emoji in a text 67% baby boomers, 72% generation x, 80% generation y, 76% generation z said yes
Hesitant to use emojis with your audience because it seems unprofessional? Don’t be! Our survey results show that each generation is OK with emoji use from businesses as long as they’re used in the appropriate context. For best practice, never flood your messages with emojis. Use common sense and insert them to add a little flair, not to deliver most of the message. The last thing you want is your recipient staring at their phone trying to decipher what all your emojis mean.

But ease up on the acronyms

chart asking if acronyms are used once per day 26% baby boomers, 48% generation x, 56% generation y, 62% generation z said yes
While this question aimed to understand how often texters in general use acronyms on a day-to-day basis, businesses can still take note. You may want to consider pulling back on acronym use when communicating with your audience, especially if they fall into the baby boomer or Generation X bracket. Based on the results from this question, if your audience doesn’t really use acronyms in their everyday conversations with friends and family, it’s likely they won’t want to use them with your business.

How can your business reach more audiences?

If you’re not texting, you’re missing out. Register now for a free trial with Zipwhip and connect with your customers on their preferred medium.


We partnered with Survey Monkey to poll 538 people in the United States between Oct. 31 and Nov. 3. The respondents were segmented into four different age groups (baby boomer, Generation X, Generation Y and Generation Z) with an equal number of responses for each segment. While Generation Z is widely categorized as ages 6-23, we only surveyed participants 18 and over. Gender balancing was based on Census and not analyzed for this report.

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