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How to Overcome Email List Fatigue

Sep 12 2009, 11:08 AM

Email list fatigue has become a real topic of debate among email marketers. Some customers may not receive your emails because of spam filters. Some do receive your emails but do not open them because their mail account is inactive. But what about those people who don’t read your emails anymore because they are no longer interested? Such customers do not wish to break all ties with you; however there is a definite drop in their interest level. This phenomenon is called ‘email list fatigue.’ Though it is not possible to avoid this issue, there are ways to counter its impact.

So, how does one deal with email list fatigue? For a start, try to identify your inactive customers within a certain time period, a year for instance. This period is sufficient to gauge the amount of interest your clients have shown in your emails. The number of emails sent during this period depends on your emailing frequency. Let’s assume you send one email in a month; this means you would have sent out a total of 12 emails in a year. Now, take a look at your customer data. Consider those addresses which have received all 12 emails. From these addresses, find the number of users who have opened your emails and clicked on links. The customers who haven’t received or opened your emails are inactive customers.

The point of identifying such customers is not to remove them from your list but to try and reactivate them. Take a look at some techniques that you can employ to reactivate inactive customers and counter email list fatigue.

1. Supply them with fresh content

Fresh and high quality content is a must when you seek to rekindle interest among disinterested customers. Put yourself in their shoes and come up with ways to evoke interest among them once again.

2. Limit the number of sales pitches

It is acceptable to make subtle sales pitches with great content, once in a while. However, avoid making sales pitches on a frequent basis. An overdose of sales pitches will result in killing your customers’ interest in your emails.

3. Follow a frequency schedule

If you send more than one email per month, there is a possibility that your customers may feel overwhelmed. The best thing to do is send emails when you have something worth communicating. Make sure you send a newsletter at least once every month. If you fail to do so, your clients may forget that they had subscribed to your emails.

4. Use the same name and address in the 'from' field:

Your clients will look the name and address in the ‘from’ field and decide if they want to read your email or even open it. They will not open the email, if they do not know the sender. So, avoid changing the details in the ‘from’ field. If you must change it, then inform your clients accordingly.

5. Make the subject line creative

Your subject line is the deciding factor when it comes to the opening or deletion of your emails. For this reason you need to create a subject line that will capture the imagination of your customers. If you can’t come up with a creative line, consider hiring a professional to create it for you.

6. Let customers unsubscribe if they want to

Let customers unsubscribe from your campaign, whenever they want to. For this reason, you should provide an unsubscribe link in all your emails. There’s no point in keeping disinterested customers on your list.

7. Give customers special offers from time to time

Give your customers new and special offers at regular intervals. You may offer them a discount on products and services or even a free trial. For instance, if you have a book store, you can give your customers a discount on the latest releases or bestsellers.

8. Keep taking new subscriptions

Regardless of how active your list is, don’t stop the inflow of new subscriptions. This is because peoples’ interests change very swiftly. New subscriptions will ensure that your list doesn’t become dysfunctional due to a lack of interest on the part of your subscribers.

9. Change the day and time of sending

If you haven’t had much luck by sending emails on a particular day and time, change both of them. It may or may not work but it’s worth a shot.

10. Change the format

You can also alter the format of your emails. If you have been sending your emails in HTML format, and they don’t seem to be doing the trick, you can consider using the text format for a change. Of course, the content and links you provide need to be a lot more specialized.

11. Keep track of the emails

Create a separate list for the most important domains. Keep a track of how your emails have been faring in all those domains. If they are unable to make it past spam filters, try to develop other versions, which will get past spam filters.

12. Send your clients postcards

You can request clients to revise what they want in the emails. In return, you can send your clients postcards offering them something valuable.

13. Understand the needs of your subscribers

It is possible that all inactive clients may have something in common. They could all be women or senior citizens. If that’s the case, try and identify their needs or preferences. For instance, if you publish a newsletter on fitness for males, you could include content for females and categorize it into different age groups so that none of your subscribers feel left out.

14. Form joint ventures cautiously

Form joint ventures only with those companies whose clients are interested in what you offer. If you form joint ventures with companies whose clients have no interest in your offerings you will just end up with a new batch of inactive customers.

It’s not possible to completely avoid the issue of email list fatigue but the techniques listed above should help you deal with its effects. Once your customers start responding to your emails, add their addresses to the list of active customers. In doing so, you will know for sure how many of them are yet to become active again. So, give these tips a try to combat email list fatigue! Good luck!

Posted in Lists & Signup Forms

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