Sometimes More is Less

The Consumerist reminds us today of just how smothering companies can get when they abuse their email privileges with customers.  They point out this web comic by Brad Colbow that walks us through several stages of email frustration.

Email Frustration

Sometimes, in all the excitement of having a prospect opt-in to receiving communications, organizations can get a little carried away by OVER sending information.  Whether it’s event reminders, registration confirmations, invitations to visit their new social network…colleges and universities have also been known to smother their prospects with too many emails.

Automating communications – while certainly efficient – can be dangerous if you’re not careful.  In the case of Brad’s cartoon, the poor soul didn’t even leave his computer before he was bombarded with messages.  It may seem like the stuff of cartoons, but this does happen in real life too.  This is why email marketers are always asking themselves, “How frequently should I send emails to customers?”

And just as there’s no set answer to the “best time of day/week” to send email question, the ideal frequency will vary as well.  But marketers across a number of industries have found that, generally, sending a low volume of triggered emails can have high returns.

The key (as always) is to keep things relevant and direct.  Avoid all the noise of sending too many confirmation emails or too many follow up emails.  After all, if they ignored your first few emails, what are the chances they’ll read your next (almost) identical email?