Signs of Email Fatigue

Posted at Aug 2, 2019 2:00:29 PM by Katie Weedman | Share

If you are researching the signs of email fatigue, chances are you have already noticed a negative trend in your email marketing engagement metrics. By understanding the signs and causes of email fatigue, you can take action to get your email engagement metrics back on track.

Signs of Email Fatigue | Email Engagement Metrics | THAT Agency of West Palm Beach, Florida

What Is Email Fatigue?

Quite simply, email fatigue happens when your subscribers get tired of receiving your email messages. The signs of email fatigue include lower open and click rates and higher unsubscribe rates. A negative trend in these key email engagement metrics is not only concerning - it can harm your sender reputation, which ultimately hurts your bottom line.

What Are the Causes of Email Fatigue?



According to a survey conducted by Edison Software, 74 percent of Americans admit to being overwhelmed by email marketing frequency. If you consider your own experience as a consumer, I am sure you can relate.

For example, I visited a shoe retailer's website for the first time a few weeks back. During my visit, I put a pair of ballet flats into my online shopping cart. I began the checkout process, which required me to supply my email address to create an account. It was after creating the account that I discovered the shipping for the order was going to cost almost as much as the shoes themselves, so I abandoned my cart.

Shortly thereafter, I received an abandoned cart email message from the retailer. No big deal, right? A few abandoned cart messages are to be expected.

However, instead of receiving just a few abandoned cart messages in total, I started to get between two and four sales messages every day - and that was triggered by one website visit with one almost-purchase. The abundance of emails I received as a result felt like an onslaught of spam, and after a week or so of deleting the messages, I was beyond annoyed...so I unsubscribed.

While my example ended with an unsubscribe, recipients who weren't email marketing professionals like me would not have been as kind. They probably would have marked the email messages as spam.



To add to my annoyance at the frequency of the messages I was receiving, every email from the online shoe retailer focused on ballet flats.

Now, I don't know about you, but I wear a variety of shoe styles, from ballet flats and espadrilles to sneakers and flip flops. Thus, while I applaud the retailer's email personalization efforts, there was a level of common sense lacking in regard to relevance.

How to Respond to the Signs of Email Fatigue?


How to Respond to the Signs of Email Fatigue | Watch Video | THAT Agency of West Palm Beach, Florida


Remove disengaged subscribers from your list

A good way to do this is to send a "We Miss You" message to those contacts who haven’t opened an email from you in a long time. Use the "We Miss You" message to bring those contacts up to speed about what they’ve been missing and to incentivize them to reengage by offering an especially worthwhile reward - like a hefty discount or an extra-meaty freemium.

If, despite your best efforts, the contacts remain disengaged, stop sending them emails. A slightly smaller email marketing list is better than a disengaged one. Low email engagement harms your sender reputation, which can ultimately hurt your bottom line.


Invite your subscribers to update their email preferences

The more information you collect from your subscribers, the more accurate and relevant your email communications can be.

Create an email preferences landing page where subscribers can specify their interests and choose how often they want to receive your emails (e.g., daily, biweekly, weekly, monthly, or not at all). Be sure to use the data collected to adjust your email marketing frequency and content accordingly. In other words...


Segment your list

Avoid sending "email blasts" en masse. Doing so increases your chances for email fatigue.

Instead, use your subscribers' preferences and their demographic and behavioral data to segment your list. This helps ensure you send the right email to the right person at the right time. (But, unlike the online shoe retailer in my anecdote, use some common sense. Being overly relevant can backfire.)

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, reinvigorating a fatigued email marketing program requires careful planning and execution. Consider enlisting the email marketing experts at THAT Agency to manage your email marketing program for you. Contact us today for a free review of your email list hygiene and strategy.


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