Email marketing continues to remain one of the most direct ways to engage your audience. Believe it or not, email campaigns still deliver the highest ROI in comparison to all other marketing channels! Sure, sending an email is a reliable way to grab your customer’s attention, but can too much of a good thing start costing you subscribers? A thousand times, YES!
Take, for example, those display ads that pop up when you first log into Facebook. Do you even notice them anymore? Chances are your response is, “Nope!” Consumers who are bombarded with ads on any platform tend to ignore them, and the same rings true for your email campaigns. It’s time to tread lightly, know your audience and give them what they want.
What are the Main Reasons for Email Unsubscribes?
1 in 4 people told MarketingSherpa they unsubscribed from email lists simply because they get too many emails in general. Others said that they would click that unsubscribe button faster than you can say, “hot potato” when one specific company sent them too many emails in a short period of time.
How Often Should I Send an Email?
So, let’s chat. How often is too often for email marketers to hit your inbox? One study indicated that 40% of US email subscribers preferred emails from companies once a week. The second most popular choice was once a month!
Is Email Marketing Content Important?
What’s one of the largest deciding factors in unsubscribes? Content. Let me say that one more time – CONTENT! It’s absolutely vital to be sending content that offers specific value to specific subscribers, instead of simply sending a blanket email “to make sure everyone knew we were having a sale.” Does it make sense to send a dog food sale email to someone who doesn’t have a pet? Stop it- just stop it.
When promoting a sale, be sure to target the email to the right audience and wrap that promotion up in content that actually ads some value for that specific audience. For example, the aforementioned dog food email might be better received if it was coupled with a video link showing subscribers how to teach their pup a new trick.
What Can You Do to Prevent Email List Fatigue?
1) Start at the beginning and focus on your open rates. Monitor to see if your messages are even getting read in the first place. Try A/B testing your headlines and providing different value propositions to see what works best with your target audiences. You can even try sending emails at different times during the day or on various days of the week to see if that makes a difference.
Need a good example? Check out The New York Times. The Times has achieved a 70% open rate with emails to their subscribers. How in the world did they do that?! The news leader actually sends targeted messages to each of their customer segments – all content is tailored to what the subscriber wants to see and when they want to see it!
2) Pay close attention to the subscribers who opt out and which campaigns trigger the opt outs. Sometimes unsubscribes are simply the cost of doing business, right? Yes and no. All great marketing leaders question themselves and their campaigns to find out what didn’t work so that adjustments can be made.
Trust us when we say that email list turnover is totally normal. However, take a moment to do a quick evaluation – Are your campaigns providing value (or enough value)? Is this list stale or unqualified, dooming your campaign from the start? Figure out the reasons behind the trends and begin to take steps to improve.
3) Ensure that each time you send a campaign that your subscribers are doing more than simply skimming the content. What’s the point of your email? Are they following your lead? For example, are they clicking to buy right then and there, going to read a blog on your website, or clicking on a few social share buttons? Keep track of your results to discover the best calls to action for your brand’s target audience.
Try doing an A/B test of your calls to action. Which information and offers does your audience find compelling? What makes them want to learn more about your brand? Don’t forget to use custom URLs to help align your email analytics with your web analytics!
Bottom Line: Preventing Email Fatigue
To prevent email list fatigue and to keep your lists healthy, strive to include relevant messaging that is personalized to each subset of subscribers. If you continue to have a high unsubscribe rate, it may be time to clean your list and rework your email marketing plan. If your list is stale or you’ve gone overboard in your efforts to saturate the market, it can impact your email performance and deliverability over time. Engagement will steadily decline, audience size will begin to diminish, and email providers will doom you to the spam bin.
So here’s the dirty little secret: Quality always trumps quantity. Optimization is key – focus on making the most out of each and every interaction you have with your email list.