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Email Marketing In a World of Too Much Email

An irony of email marketing is that even the people crafting and sending the emails think they get too many marketing emails. But how many is too many and what can we do to make sure the emails we send as part of our marketing rise above the rest?

A MarketingSherpa survey asked adult internet users in the US why they unsubscribe from email lists and 1 in 4 said they did so because they receive too many emails—the most common reason among respondents in the survey.

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Winning The Numbers Game

According to the article, “40% of US internet users said receiving marketing emails once a week was preferable. This was more than twice the number of respondents who felt receiving emails monthly was about right—the second most popular choice”.

Of course, not all emails are created equal, and the content and usefulness of your emails play a major role in whether they annoy your audience to the point of unsubscribing. Unfortunately, the article goes on to state that only 15% of email users said they find marketing emails “often” or “always” useful, while 29% said they were sometimes useful. And more than half (57%) said they were “rarely” or “never” useful.

Tips For Making Your Emails Stand Out

Given the importance of mobile, and the fact that people are looking at their emails throughout the day (and judging them), it’s important to get a few basic things right when looking at your email campaigns:

1. Get permission

As the research above shows, people already feel they get too many emails, and they demand that the emails they do get be useful. So it should be assumed that if they didn’t ask for the email, they probably won’t consider it useful and will want to unsubscribe as quickly as possible. Ensuring that everyone you are emailing is expecting your emails will set your email campaign up for success right from the start.

2. Optimize for mobile

Think of how you read most of your emails. If it’s on your phone, consider a time when you received a long email from a brand, or one with photos that didn’t download, or one with a really tiny font. If your emails frustrate your audience or don’t fit into their routine, they will stop paying attention.

3. Use data to be relevant

More personalized emails perform better than the shotgun approach of treating your entire list the same. Take time to develop and understand your audience personas, create segments that will help you provide relevant and useful content. Even simple segments based on gender or location will go a long way.


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