Inbox Overload: How Much Email Is Too Much?

6.29.15---Inbox-OverloadHave you ever gone to one of those networking dinners where local businesspeople get the chance to glad-hand and swap elevator pitches in the hopes that they’ll find someone who either wants their services or knows someone else who does?  There’s always the one guy there who has that uber-slick look about him, gives you a bad vibe, but is insistent on trading business cards with you.  You smile politely, trying to nonchalantly edge away from this guy, muttering something to the effect of, “Yeah, well, I’ll give you a call if I’m in the market for your business.”

“Hey, great!” he responds, “Hey, is it alright if I give you a call?”

“Sure, sure,” you reply, happy to get away.  But, you haven’t gotten away – now this fellow is calling you almost daily, giving you his heaviest sales pitches, desperately hoping to wring some business out of you.  This guy has quickly escalated to the top of your irritation list, to the point where even if you desperately needed whatever business services he offers, you would go anywhere else but his company for those services.

Are You That Guy?

You may have groaned in acknowledgement as you read that description, either from personal experience or from simply imagining the situation.  And if I were to ask you if you believe you are guilty of that annoying, irritating marketing of your services or products, you would likely be quick to say “No way I would be that insensitive and off-putting with a potential customer!”

Let me ask you this:  how often do you send promotional emails to your house email list?  Every few days?  Every day?  More than once a day?

Unfortunately, many email marketers become “that guy” without realizing it by virtue of an overly aggressive schedule of email blasts.   Even if prospects have willingly given you their email addresses because they have purchased from you in the past and were so pleased that they want to be kept in the loop for upcoming sales and special offers, it won’t take long to turn them from satisfied customers to unhappy former customers if every time they open their inbox there’s another email from you screaming “BUY SOMETHING!” from the subject line.

How Much is Too Much?

There’s no magic formula for determining when you’ve crossed the line into Too Much Email territory, but you’ll know it if and when you get there.  You’ll see your email list start to dwindle as frustrated folks unsubscribe.  You’ll see your sales numbers begin to drop, too.

The best advice is to err on the side of caution.  A once-a-week sales flyer type of email is certainly acceptable, especially if you maintain consistency in day and time of your send.  If you build an expectation within your audience that they’ll see an email from you weekly on Tuesday mornings, you shouldn’t suffer the wrath of the inbox hawks.  Once a day, on the other hand, can get annoying fast.

I’ve seen some websites actually put the decision in the recipients’ hands: when you sign up to receive emails, you are given an option as to how often you want to receive mailings.

Quality Over Quantity, Always

Despite what your intuition – or a less-than-ethical marketing manager – might tell you, the way to raise your sales numbers is not simply to blast even more emails out there.  The first place to look for improvement possibilities is the content of the emails you are sending out already.  Remember, the email has one job: to get the recipient to take action.  Any recipient of your email is going to ask themselves one question before deciding whether or not to visit your website, take advantage of a coupon, or signup for an offer:  “What’s in it for me?”

If your email traffic isn’t where it needs to be, chances are good that your emails are not answering that question.  If your email content shows the recipient the benefit he or she will receive by taking action, whether that be a special discount, an online-only sale, or free shipping, once a week will prove to be more than often enough.

Need Help Strategizing Email Content and Schedule?

The experts at Synapse Marketing Solutions are skilled at creating compelling, eye-catching emails and helping you find the right sending schedule.  Start a conversation with us today!

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