Technology

Report: Are You Sending Too Much Email?

By / Mar 18, 2016 (iStock/Thinkstock)

A recent report covering the retail sector says saturating inboxes with too much email can hurt engagement and lead to complaints from recipients. The solution, according to the marketing firm First Insight, is to send fewer, more personalized messages.

Email is a big workhorse for associations, but if your recipients hear from you too often they might tune you out.

That’s according to a new report from retail marketing firm First Insight. The company’s findings show that email has a lot of potential to build loyalty and inspire spending, but the saturation strategy used by many email marketers may prove counterproductive.

While focused on the retail sector, the study highlights issues that are relevant to associations, including the frequency of sending emails. Two-thirds of people who receive more than five emails per week from the same source tend to say they receive too many emails, according to the study. In comparison, just 21 percent who received fewer than five emails per week from the same source complained about the frequency.

“The communications are not only too frequent but are basically meaningless to consumers,” First Insight Chief Commercial Officer Jim Shea noted in a news release. “What consumers really want is for retailers to take the time to know them and make recommendations about clothing or products that are in line with their personal taste.”

Some of the tips the study has to offer:

Focus on the consumers who like email. The study found that 8 percent of consumers actually like receiving a lot of email and are OK with 10 or more messages a week from the same sender. By targeting this specific audience, you may have better luck with your marketing approach.

Improve your targeting. Throwing the same email at every single subscriber means you may be sending people things that are totally irrelevant to them. The study recommends building up data on your consumers so that you can better understand their demographics as well as their buying behaviors.

More effective emails mean better results. The study found that when retailers took the time to better understand their audiences and personalize emails, recipients were more likely to act on them—whether by opening them, forwarding them, or buying something—than if they considered the messages too generic.

Interested in learning more? You can sign up to receive the full study via the FirstInsight website.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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