On average, we receive around 121 emails every single day. That adds up to more than 44,000 each year.
With those kinds of numbers involved, it’s not hard to calculate generally the amount of dedicated attention each email gets: not much. There’s even a term for it: “email fatigue.” Like other aspects of life in our time, there’s just too much of a good thing.
As a marketer, it’s common to worry about having to fight against email burnout on the part of our audience. If we send out updates too often, they will be ignored. If we send them out too infrequently, we might be forgotten. Just like with Goldilocks, too much is overwhelming, too little is ineffective, and finding the proper balance is just right.
The key is in figuring out what that balance is.
Optimizing the frequency for marketing emails can be touchy, so here are three tips for perfecting your game.
Cut Back On The Numbers
As with many things when it comes to marketing, less is actually more.
If you’re concerned that the frequency of your emails is starting to tire out, or even irritate your subscribers, it’s probably for a valid reason. Put yourself in their shoes and consider how often you would want to get an email update. If you answered, “Every single day!” then you probably need some sort of hobby.
People are busy. Those 121 emails that they receive on average each day are just a small part of what they have to keep up with.
Even weekly emails can rack up rather quickly. When was the last time that you found yourself thinking how quickly the past week has flown by? It’s like that for everybody — time passes ever more quickly, and the last thing you want your subscribers to think upon seeing your email is, “Didn’t I just get one of these?”
Consider altering your email Marketing schedule to make room for the probability that you’re contributing to the steady overwhelming of your subscribers. Send bimonthly or monthly emails, or, if your email blasts are based on specials and promotional campaigns, consider combining them to cut down on the frequency. Repeat to yourself: less is more, and I want my emails to be a pleasant surprise rather than seem like a daily annoyance.
Offer Options To Your Subscribers
Typically, as marketers, we may feel trapped into giving two options when it comes to setting up email newsletters or alerts: subscribe, or unsubscribe. There is no try.
If that’s the case with you, it’s time to think outside the box.
There doesn’t have to just be an off/on switch. Set up a dimmer dial, metaphorically speaking. Allow your subscribers the choice of getting occasional emails, such as once a month rather than twice a month or more. Would they rather just get a notification of special deals or promotions rather than a newsletter? Or vice versa? Those can be options too.
You could also give them the choice to put their emails on hold; rather than completely unsubscribing, they may choose to defer their subscription for a time, until they’ve caught up with those other 120 daily emails that have been racking up in their inbox.
That’s a pretty quick fix to offer to your new subscribers. Include the options on your subscription form and you’re good to go.
An easy way to present these options to your existing email subscribers is by setting up a preference center, and then — bear with me here — send them an email to tell them about it. Ask them to update their preferences. Let them know it’s for their convenience, and the purpose of the preference center is to better ensure their satisfaction.
Segment Email Lists According To Relevant Interests
Even within any given marketing niche, not every single person is going to be interested in the same things. So peppering your entire subscription list with every piece of available information may not go over so well, and in fact, may result in a mass exodus.
This is where a little judicial research into your subscriber base comes in. Break the overall list into smaller groups, and those groups into smaller groups based on interests, reactions, and preference center results. It makes sense to target your emails, especially when it comes to promotional messages and campaigns — if you have a line of clothing and you’re offering a great deal on dresses, for instance, it’s the best use of your time and materials to tailor your email to women, and then send it to women. Demographic-based marketing is effective in all other areas — email marketing isn’t really any different.
It’s all about doing your research, considering the interests of your subscribers — and timing.