Whoever first made the statement, "You can never have too much of a good thing.", clearly didn't live in the time of email. Few people would dispute the value and importance of email, but there's no questioning that the average consumer gets a lot of email messages everyday. This creates several challenges for email marketers. Not only must they cut through all the noise to reach their audience, but as a recent study indicates, many consumers feel overwhelmed by the number of emails they receive.
Feeling overwhelmed by email is a sentiment business owners must contend with when planning email marketing campaigns. According to a recent study from Campaigner, nearly half (49 percent) of consumers say they receive too many emails from business owners and marketers. In fact, according to the survey results, many consumers would like to receive far fewer emails than what marketers send on average. The Campaigner researchers found that about three in 10 consumers (29 percent) would like to hear from a brand once per month or less.
Don't take any of this to mean that email marketing has outlived its usefulness. In spite of the deluge of marketing emails they receive, three out of four (75 percent) of online shoppers say they're 'somewhat likely' to open branded messages. Similarly, 44 percent say email is their preferred communication method for brands. So it's worth it for business owners and marketers to learn the correct balance of emails to send for a particular customer (or, ideally, give them more options for email frequency when they sign up).
"The findings signal that in this day and age, consumers both expect and appreciate email messages from their favorite brands," says EJ McGowan, the General Manager at Campaigner, in a press statement. "However, savvy marketers must do their due diligence to research and determine what cadence of email is most effective for their audience. Acting on these insights will ensure that campaigns are successful from the perspective of both sender and recipient."
Though this study specific looked at email marketing, some of the takeaways can be applied to other marketing tactics that can become bothersome when overused. For examples, social media apps and websites like to have "notifications" that are designed to tease users to go back to their site. In the past, these notifications were actually specific for the user, such as someone commenting on their content, or something related to content they had liked or commented on. However, now these notifications are increasingly unimportant and more frequent.
Overuse of notifications can be just as annoying to consumers as the overuse of email. Most people have experienced being disturbed by a notification from their phone, only to see that it's a message from Twitter telling you that other people are retweeting things. Facebook puts the number of notifications next to the app icon, and in order to make the number go away, you have to open the app and look at the notifications, which are often stupid things about someone sending you a game request or something.
Email and notifications can be useful to consumers, but it requires balance. Modern consumers have a lot going on at once, and if a brand/app/website is becoming a nuisance through the overuse of email or mobile notifications, they will delete the app or service. Emails and notifications can be used effectively, but marketers need to be aware of how often they're sending notifications and make sure that they aren't driving off customers, by their attempts to keep them.
For more recent research that can help marketers plan better campaigns, read this article on what consumer do and don't like about online search marketing tactics.