Now, we don't even need to mention inbox fatigue to realise what the downside of this might be. Nevertheless, BizReport covers research from Coherent which shows that three in four retailers are reliant on email for revenue, and so more than half send out three emails per week and one in ten send five every week. Five a week! That's pretty much every day.
Throw in some research from Engage Hub and we're back on to the downside of strategies built around frequency. Nine in ten consumers have had at some stage unsubscribed from a retailer because, you guessed it, they got too many emails. A quarter of those unsubscribing did so because they were dismayed by receiving an email every day.
The reason why another quarter of those who have unsubscribed pull the switch on a retailer is not frequency-based, but it's closely related. One in four unsubscribers found that the content of retailer emails wasn't just too frequent, it was irrelevant -- and so they had no qualms about ejecting that particular brand from their inbox.
Yes, my friends, we're back to "batch and dispatch" or "spray and pray." It's the topic that just won't go away because so many brands are living in the moment and not thinking a little further down the line. It's the most simple axiom of digital marketing to understand. If you send too many emails and if they're irrelevant to the audience, people will take little notice and will switch off. If you do the opposite and personalise, or at least segment audiences, and send out relevant information at an optimal frequency, they won't.
Now, this is usually the time when dire predictions are made about email. However -- and this is just my gut backed up by quite a bit of reading up on the stats over the past couple of years -- the demise of email is much foretold but rarely visited.
It seems that consumers are fed up with cluttered inboxes, but every piece of research I've seen shows that this annoyance isn't spread evenly across all brands. No -- consumers know who's bombarding them with irrelevant information, and they're unsubscribing from those. In some cases they're opening new accounts which are not given to brands, so they remain marketing-free, but they're still checking the inbox where retailer offers are appearing.
So consider this a backing up of what many savvy email marketers already know. Email always leads in ROI, that's why so many brands major on it. However, it's not a golden goose that will always lay an egg on demand. Keep the frequency too high and relevance too low and a brand will pay the price.
But here's the point. It's the errant brand that pays the price. Sure, email as a whole goes down a little in a subscriber's opinion -- but it's the worst offenders who are routed out.
Email itself just keeps going from strength to strength.