Email marketing fatigue: not all inboxes are created equal


marketing fatigueWhen looking from an overall perspective, the open and conversion rates of email marketing in general have been dropping for a while. We all know why: consumers decide how they want to interact with businesses and there is an increase in the number of communication channels. It’s the reason why cross-channel marketing, segmentation, personalization and relevancy are so important.

Email marketing fatigue is an issue. The same goes for what we call marketing pressure: simply said, the volume of interactions with people across divisions, marketing programs and even channels. It’s why we offer campaign planning tools to avoid an overabundance of communications and of potential clashes between several campaigns. It’s also why we believe that the consumer and his or her behavior are key in triggering interactions.

Obviously, the degree of email marketing pressure and fatigue, depends on numerous factors such as the industry, the segments, the type of emails and campaigns, and so much more.

And of course, it depends on the individual consumer as well. Many people have their inbox flooded, several don’t. 

Various businesses – rightfully - worry about email marketing fatigue and have begun decreasing the amount of emails they send. The fact is that taking a customer-centric and cross-channel view of email marketing is the best way to approach email marketing. An email campaign that is integrated with customer and behavior data can improve customer loyalty.

Email marketing expert Mark Brownlow recently tackled the topic in an article on his Email Marketing Reports website, that contains some really good numbers and ideas. I developed a few below.

There is no single inbox reality

Brownlow says one factor many email marketing campaigns overlook is the fact that customers on email lists are individuals with a variety of tastes, desires and needs. Managing email marketing fatigue is not about reducing email marketing under the assumption that everyone on your list has a full inbox.

Furthermore, remember that many people have more than one email account today with each account used for a different purpose. Consumers are smart individuals. Dealing with email marketing fatigue and marketing pressure is about the individual consumer and thus requires an advanced approach whereby optimization happens while taking into account several factors. Yes, segmentation and personalization matter very much indeed. 

Targeting the segment that doesn’t suffer from email marketing fatigue

While in general, businesses should be increasingly careful about marketing pressure, there is also an opportunity for segments of consumers who are not at all suffering from email marketing fatigue, sometimes even by asking if they would welcome more email. Using a phrase such as “If you like these deals, let us send you more” is a way to improve an email marketing approach in retail, for instance. It is important to remember that not all inboxes are created equal.

Although with the plethora of information on email marketing fatigue that is available, the fact is that there are still consumers whose inboxes are not overloaded and who would welcome email offers as long as there was a benefit to them, such as promotions or deals. How do you know? Ask, measure and test.

The best way to avoid being a victim of email marketing fatigue is by making email interactions more relevant and personal, and by putting the consumer behind the driving wheel.

Obviously, other best practices such as choosing the right subject line and having the right content also make the difference between a customer opening an email or deleting it immediately.

Finally, use the tools that exist, such as our marketing pressure and campaign planning features, to avoid clashes and marketing fatigue.

Efficient customer interactions: how to prevent marketing fatigue? Optimizing communication in a cross-channel and customer-controlled world.White paper Marketing Pressure & Fatigue

Download our white paper "Efficient customer interactions: how to prevent marketing fatigue?" and learn how to optimize communication in a cross-channel and customer-controlled world.

Download the paper, including essential tips, here.

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