E-mail Marketing: Four Tips to Combat E-mail List Fatigue
E-mail address churn and list fatigue plague your e-mail marketing campaigns, whether you’re aware of it or not. And the fewer addresses you have to e-mail, the fewer sales you close as a result. On a recent conference call hosted by NCR E-commerce Solutions, marketers, including men’s apparel cataloger Paul Fredrick MenStyle and a multichannel apparel and home goods merchant, offered several pointers on how to track, reduce and otherwise combat list fatigue.
1. Limit the number of e-mails you send. One merchant’s hard and fast rule is that customers never receive more than one e-mail per week, even during the holidays. While this merchant executes as many as eight e-mail campaigns in any given week, the campaigns are segmented so no customer gets more than one e-mail in order to reduce list fatigue and unsubscribe rates. At the same time, the same marketer stays top of mind with all its customers by sending at least one message per month to every e-mail address in its file.
2. Then again, test whether fewer e-mails actually impacts unsubscribes. In an effort to lower unsubscribe rates, one cataloger reduced the number of e-mails it sent from twice a week to once a week. As it turned out, unsubscribe rates stayed level, while sales dropped dramatically.
3. Look at the whole customer contact picture. Merge offline customer data, such as that from catalogs, direct mail, insert media, with online data, like e-mail, to get a complete picture of how often your customers hear from you. One marketer noted that this strategy allows you to see if excess catalog mailings are causing higher unsubscribe rates in e-mail campaigns.
4. Provide options when customers try to unsubscribe. Some consumers just want fewer e-mails in their inboxes when they try to unsubscribe to your e-mail campaigns. Before removing customers from your list, ask if they’d rather reduce the frequncy of e-mails rather than being eliminated entirely. If they choose to stay on your list, their continued interest proves you’ll want to continue contacting them — but using their preferences.