We are flushed with emails every day & night, it’s more than ever now and it is just the beginning. You got transactional emails, promotional emails, educational emails, and the list is never-ending.

Since I have been in the center of the email marketing universe I totally understand that it takes a toll on the mental health of consumers. Today I am here to discuss the term popularly known as “Email Fatigue”, it is a state of mind when customers, subscribers or anyone, as fact of the matter, start to feel overwhelmed with the number of emails they receive.

Most experienced marketers do not send more than 3-4 emails per month, but an inexperienced marketer often sends over a dozen emails every month. That’s just quite a lot!! Now when you combine these with spam emails one receives, yeah, you can’t ignore the spam ones. Their sheer number can cause someone anxiety, 14.5 Billion spam emails are sent every day. Yes, a million with a “B”.

Most of these emails often lead to unsubscribers, low engagement rates, and high spam complaints, leading to a bad IP reputation and most of your emails landing in spam or promotional folders. Duh!

I again diverted from the topic, sorry about that, I am trying to beat down the email marketing beast inside for this one. In this article, I will briefly talk about email fatigue and cover topics like top reasons for it? How to avoid being overwhelmed by your inbox especially in covid!! When everything appears to be a problem. The last thing you want is your subscribers burdened by the damn inbox.

Top reasons for email fatigue

Now I have noticed in my experience, the problem of email fatigue is mainly caused due to irrelevant emails, the frequency of emails, or the time of your emails that we receive. Let me explain in a bit detail –

Irrelevant emails

If the emails that you receive provide no or low value, you tend to avoid these mails. Leading to a decrease in open and click-through rates. Also, I would like to talk about a common phenomenon that is very evident to marketers, i.e when you have high stable open rates but CTR is less. That shows that your subscribers are curious about your emails but as soon as they open them either they found them irrelevant or lose interest leading to low click-through rates.

According to a study conducted by Fluent LLC on “Inbox Report”, only 15% of users find email content useful in most cases.

Email frequency

I had pointed above that the frequency of your emails matters when it comes to email fatigue. When planning your email campaigns remember your subscribers receive hundreds of emails daily from all different companies. Each email is fighting to gain their attention.

Your subscribers can start to feel overwhelmed by the number of incoming emails that they simply unsubscribe. You need to make each of your emails worthwhile.

During a study Return Path on the frequency of emails, they found out that subscribers with average open rates of 53% don’t expect more than 5 emails on a weekly basis. If users receive more than that, they tend to feel overwhelmed and quietly opt-out, 91% of subscribers choose to stay silent and unsubscribe rather than complaining or giving any feedback.

This may lead to a low sender reputation, leading to bad delivery rates which eventually leads to the failure of your complete campaign.

Email fatigue can be countered just by some simple tweaks in your email strategy. Let’s discuss how to avoid email fatigue?

Tips to avoid email fatigue

Here are some tips that you need to keep in mind while designing your own campaigns so that your subscribers do not feel email fatigue –

Know your audience

This is the foremost basic step in any marketing plan, i.e to know what and who your audiences are and then provide them tailored content, that ads value. This can be achieved by tracking your email metrics such as –

  • open rate
  • CTR
  • unsubscribe rate
  • spam complaint rate

Marketing is all about testing your content, when you are testing your email campaigns remember to keep in mind how your users behave when you change user content, design, etc. This can tell a lot about your subscribers.

List segmentation

Showing your customers tailored content using list segmentation can exponentially increase user engagement. Dividing your audience into groups by gender, language, country as well as past interaction with your website, you can send more personalized emails leading to more engaged users.

Bulk emails are becoming more and less popular and lead to a bad user experience, decreasing your sender reputation.

The best way is to ask your subscribers about the information they want to receive in the emails. You can always ask them using surveys or can tell them to update their preferences on the website.

Below is an example of how you can create separate preferences for your subscribers.

Source – Society6 website

Find out the optimal sending time

Subscribers often unsubscribe when bombarded with a ton of emails, the optimal setting is to deliver valuable content to your subscribers when they show a need. You should also keep in mind the optimum time for sending your email so that you can get the maximum out of your campaigns.

You can either automate, to deliver emails at the best time or manually test by sending your campaigns at different times and days to optimize your conversions. This way you can easily understand what content to send and how often. Here is an article on how machine learning can stop email fatigue.

Recovering from email fatigue

If you are facing low engagement rates and high unsubscribers, your subscribers can be facing email fatigue. However, there are several ways in which you can help your subscribers recover from this?

Let’s call it a re-engagement email campaign to ease out your subscribers. Let’s look at some ways to do that –

  • Give your subscribers discounts
  • Send valuable emails
  • Give your subscribers a chance to update their preference list, on the basis of topics they are interested in
  • Send triggered emails based on your subscriber’s interaction with your website

Let’s take an example from TradeGecko, in the below email TradeGecko has sent a reminder to subscribers about the company, the email also offers them a helping hand in case they have any doubts, or want help in figuring out how the product works

Re-engagement email from TradeGecko

Let’s conclude

While designing your email campaigns always keep in mind that email fatigue can affect your sender reputation, open rate, CTR, spam complaints, etc. You can help reduce the email fatigue of your subscribers by –

  • Monitoring and analyzing email metrics;
  • Using targeted emails;
  • Providing relevant email content, timing, and frequency.