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Whether you’re marketing to solar installers or consumers, you should probably pay attention to this chart, which reveals that every age demographic overwhelmingly prefers to be contacted by email.

From 18-year-olds to retirees above 65, they all want you talking to their inbox, and very few want you talking on the phone.

Based on this chart, the big take-away for me is that people, regardless of age, want to be in control of how you communicate to them. The more invasive you get into people’s daily lives –i.e. phone, door-to-door, online commercials—the less people prefer that form of communication.

Why is email communications king? Because it makes your solar prospects and customers feel like kings and queens. That is, with a wave of their mouse, prospects can open and read your email on their own sweet time…or not. If they don’t want your info, it’s easy to delete or unsubscribe. And if your solar company didn’t originally get the prospect’s permission to send an email (shame on you), then they can also easily mark you as spam.

On the positive side for solar marketers, if people of all ages have asked for your solar product or service info, they can, like kings and queens, grant your solar company an audience through opening your email and reading your solar info, perhaps even clicking on your links or contact button.

On the other side of the graph, we can see that customers significantly dislike you to communicate in person, with telemarketing, with online videos, and with online commercials. These channels are more invasive and interrupt people’s lives—with the exception of online YouTube videos.

It’s unclear from the Marketing Sherpa article why YouTube videos are less preferred as communication, especially since YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Perhaps it’s because YouTube communications are too passive.

That is, if a prospect wants information about your solar service or product, they’d rather you deliver it to their email inbox instead of spending time searching through YouTube for your video information. Without any more information, that’s my theory.

The bottom line is that the overwhelming majority of people of all ages prefer that (solar) marketers communicate through email. Now, should we listen to what our customers prefer? Of course. UnThink Solar.

Tor Valenza a.k.a. “Solar Fred” is the Chief Marketing Officer of  UnThink Solar and the author of Solar Fred’s Guide to Solar Guerrilla Marketing. For more solar marketing info, sign up for the UnThink Solar newsletter or follow @SolarFred on Twitter.