How much is too much? Let’s talk about communications limits.

How much is too much? Let’s talk about communications limits.

Even if you’re compliant with email laws, spamming is really in the eye of the beholder.   Do you wonder if you’re contacting customers too often?  Here are some tips on making your communications count.

  1. Start by documenting everything your prospects and customers are getting.  That means from sales, customer support, communities, notifications from blogs and social media.  In my experience, these always add up to more than you’d think and more contact means more noise and lower response.
  2. Once you have that answer, you can see what the customer experience is like.  Does everything you send have value?  How often do you ping their inbox?  And what is the level of engagement?   Are your prospects responding?
  3. Now ask yourself how well each email meets your company objectives.  Do all of them make you money or move prospects down the pipeline?  Or is there fluff?
  4. Next, grab a whiteboard and the team sending emails and discuss what you’ve found.  What isn’t necessary?  Where is there overlapping messaging?  What doesn’t meet objectives?  Eliminate what you can and calendar the rest.  Most companies start with emails once a week or once every other week.  And while you’re together, decide what the email calendar process is going to be and who is going to enforce it.
  5. For the one with that responsibility, when you have to decide which emails get priority, focus on company objectives and customer experiences.  If you have marketing automation, you can use segmentation to help you prioritize more efficiently.  A perfect example is if you have an event in a particular geo – invite the locals to the event.  Email your new whitepaper offer to the rest.  Ditto for content that is more specific to one target audience.  It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
  6. In fact, segmentation helps you do more with your email program across the board.  Your more engaged and interested contacts should get more frequent contact.  And your named accounts should get special offers just for them.   And customers need different content than prospects.
  7. And what about the least engaged names in your database – those who have never responded to anything? Are they valuable?  How did you acquire them?  Is it serving them or you to contact them?  I recommend a reactivation offer or two and then placing unresponsive names on marketing suspend.  If they re-engage later, you can go back to more aggressive contact.   If not, you’re taking a chance with SPAM complaints or delivery issues.
  8. If you’re going to limit your contact, be very choosy about the time you send your emails.  An email sitting in someone’s inbox when they’re not at their computer is an email deleted as part of email triage.  Don’t blast on holidays.  Don’t blast at 6 a.m. on a Monday.  (Hint – this is particularly important with set and forget programs like nurture.  Take a moment and see just how many emails are scheduled to go out on the Fourth of July.)
  9. Be adamant about sticking to the plan. Most companies experience slippage and send more and more email as time goes on.  Every new email needs to be vetted for value to the recipient and how it meets objectives for your company.   Forever.
  10. But, like everything direct marketing, analytics are king.  Set up your contact strategy and look at the results each time you blast.  If your response rates are rising, you might be able to increase the contact frequency.  If they’re low, look at what your offers are and see if you need to refine. But checking analytics means you never have to guess.

Successful emails are meaningful and on the right cadence to the right audience.    Need an outside opinion on your programs?  Contact me.

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