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Email Fatigue

Email Fatigue – Everything You Need To Know

Wish for your subscribers’ engagement levels to never go down? Keep these tips and tricks handy!...

What is Email Fatigue?

Yes, email fatigue is very real. What is it, you ask? Simply put, it is when a subscriber stops engaging with your emails, presumably disenchanted by the manner in which you are communicating with them. Well, with over 333 billion emails (jaw-dropping, we know) being exchanged daily, it’s pretty much an inevitability, we’d say. 

Every passing second brings with it a new competitor, making it extremely difficult for you to secure the attention of your target audience. On top of that, should your marketing efforts (somehow) end up afflicting your subscribers with email fatigue, the damage to your business can be rather irreversible. There are many factors that contribute to email fatigue- irregularity in email timing and frequency, irrelevant content, and unclean email lists, to name a few. So, how exactly does email fatigue hamper your campaigns? And what steps can you take to overcome it? We answer all your questions in this blog. Read on!

Reasons You Should Dread Email Fatigue

As an email marketer, the last thing you would wish for your campaigns is to stay stagnant and unopened in your audience’s inboxes- a fate that awaits you if you aren’t insured against email fatigue. Listed below are some ways in which email fatigue impedes your campaigns.

  • Plummets your engagement: Connecting the dots for this one is pretty straightforward, isn’t it? A fatigued audience doesn’t open any of your emails, bringing down your interaction and engagement numbers in the process. In fact, constantly decreasing open and click-through rates can be a suggestive indicator of your audience suffering from email fatigue.
  • Increases your unsubscribes: Subscribers hit with email fatigue would naturally want to opt out of your communications, resulting in your unsubscribe rates going through the roof. Besides thinning your email list, a high number of unsubscribes can also earn you the scorn and suspicion of ESPs (email service providers), affecting your deliverability in the process.
  • Fetches you more spam complaints: The first thing you should do if you happen to pick up on any signs of email fatigue among your audience is immediately stop messaging them for a while. Because if you continue emailing them using the same strategy (of which they have grown visibly weary of), you will simply be encouraging them to mark you as spam. Subsequently, this will affect your email deliverability.
  • Diminishes the visibility of your campaigns: With growing spam complaints and unsubscribes, your sender reputation will ultimately be sullied by a great deal. As a result, both ISPs (internet service providers) and ESPs will subject your emails to immense scrutiny. This, in turn, will result in a substantial chunk of your messages getting filtered or blocked. The reach and visibility of your email campaigns, thus, will decline significantly. Remember, when your incoming emails get filtered, they do for everyone in your contact list, not just the fatigued ones. 

How Can You Avoid Email Fatigue?

To keep your customers free from email fatigue, it is important that you keep them at the very core of your email marketing strategies. Aim, at all times, to deliver a peerless user experience to your audience, and the results will automatically follow. 

In this section, we will walk you through the practices that will help you keep email fatigue at bay.

1. Maintain Email List Hygiene

If you want your email campaigns to fetch you maximum results, you must work toward maintaining a highly engaged email list. Along with adding new contacts, it is equally important to weed out unengaged and dormant ones from your list. 

The damage caused by such contacts is primarily twofold:

1. They prevent you from obtaining a clear picture of your campaign’s performance.

2. They harm your sender reputation and deliverability, bringing down your engagement and visibility.

Creating an email campaign takes up considerable time and effort. Why would you want to send them to contacts who are least interested to hear from you? (or to those who are not even active anymore?) 

Being sound with your email list management is key to battling email fatigue. Here are some list management techniques you should take stock of.

  • Add fresh contacts to your email list strictly via opt-ins (it doesn’t matter single or double). Therefore, it is essential to set up your opt-in forms properly. At the outset, you must be extremely transparent with your opt-in form offerings. Including misleading promises to acquire more subscribers is a ploy that is severely frowned upon in the email community. Additionally, look to it that your opt-in form has as few data input fields as possible. What do you need, really, to add a new contact to your email list? Their name and email address, right? The ideal opt-in form, hence, should have no more than 2-3 fields (sparing one extra field for contact number).


Take a look at frank body’s opt-in form, for instance.

frank body's opt-in form
  • Rest control in the hands of your subscribers. Email fatigue plagues your recipients when they start getting overwhelmed by the frequency of your emails. To avoid this, it is best to let your readers themselves decide how regularly they want to hear from you. You can do so by providing them with an “Update Preferences” link. 
  • Allow your contacts to unsubscribe. Right from your welcome series, include clear instructions as to how they can opt out of your communications should they ever wish to. This serves two purposes- first, it helps you earn the trust of your subscribers, and second, it spares you from the effort of manually pruning disengaged and disinterested contacts.
  • Deal tactfully with unengaged subscribers. Of course, you can’t impress each and every one of your contacts with your brand of communication. But, if a large number of them are expressing their displeasure, something’s definitely off about your strategy. Start with figuring out all the possible reasons that might be causing them to lose interest in you. Next, address these issues with targeted re-engagement and follow-up campaigns. Only when all these efforts fail to bear fruit, consider the idea of removing these contacts from your list. The cost of acquiring a new customer can pinch your wallet five times as much as retaining old ones. So, make certain that you have exhausted every trick in your customer retention book before taking any drastic measures.
  • Meticulously segment your email list. Sending personalized messages down your recipient’s inboxes is a surefire way of avoiding email fatigue. But, to implement personalization, you first have to divide your customers into different segments on the basis of several parameters like age, gender, occupation, past purchases, preferences, and the like. Practicing segmentation allows you to increase the relevancy of your messages, thereby ensuring that your audience always keeps looking forward to your emails.

2. Ace Your Email Timing

Even the most diligently crafted email marketing campaigns out there will come up short if they aren’t delivered at the right time to your subscribers. Email timing is a rather tricky business, for it is highly subjective. The browsing behavior and internet habits of your target audience will obviously be different from those of your competitors. While scanning through multiple reports and surveys might lead you to a few reliable conventions, when it comes to email timing, the writing can never be set in stone. At the end of the day, you will have to experiment with different times, days, and email types to understand what best suits your target audience.

Keep the following pointers handy to get your email timing spot on.

  • Familiarize yourself with your audience’s demographic. Their age, location, occupation, and other related data points will help you narrow in on the optimal day and time to email them.
  • Different industries time their campaigns differently. B2B, SaaS, and eCommerce players enjoy success by reaching out to their customers during business hours on weekdays. At the same time, businesses part of the entertainment, fashion & lifestyle, and food & dining industry register greater engagement by emailing their readers over the weekends.
  • Be conscious of your email frequency. Bombarding subscribers’ inboxes with emails is what leads them to be fatigued in the first place. How often a particular recipient wants to receive your emails is quite tough to determine. Hence, as we said earlier, the best course of action is to let subscribers specify the frequency themselves.

3. Test Your Emails Across A Smaller Section

Irrespective of how seasoned an email marketer you are, you can never be completely sure of what will resonate with your audience. Therefore, the wise foot forward is to test your emails across a small pocket of your target audience, gauge the response, work in the necessary modifications, and then execute the campaign in its entirety. What parts of your email should you test, you ask? Well, just about everything- subject line, headline, preheader text, CTA (call-to-action), images, custom fonts, and offers. Of course, you can only test one element at a time. So, to facilitate a smooth testing process, we’d suggest you to prioritize your elements, depending on which aspect you are unsure of the most.

Wrapping It Up

Email marketing is the go-to marketing channel for numerous businesses for various reasons- it offers high ROI, lets you implement personalization at scale, and enables you to build a unique brand identity, among many others. However, if you cannot tackle email fatigue, you will not be able to avail yourself of these virtues. We hope the tips and tricks shared above arm you with enough insight to overcome it!

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Rohan Kar

Rohan Kar works as a Content Writer at Email Uplers, An engineering graduate, he was quick to realize that his calling lied in other pastures. When not writing, he can be found participating in elaborate movie marathons or aggressive book circle discussions.

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