By Katie Sweet
We’ve reached the point in the year when marketers aren’t holding back on their outbound communications. I woke up on Black Friday to an absolute deluge of emails from essentially any retailer I’ve ever had any interaction with (or not), informing me of their incredible sales and promotions. Those emails continued into the rest of the day, the rest of the weekend and into this week as well. I feel as though I have never received so many emails in my life. I’m sure I’m not alone in this feeling.
Recently, The Wall Street Journal published an article entitled “Retailers’ Emails Are Misfires for Many Holiday Shoppers.” In the article, Suzanne Kapner outlines the problem clearly: retailers are sending too many emails and consumers are frustrated. In fact, according to Yes Lifecycle Marketing, as cited in the article, the number of retail emails sent last year was 15% higher than the rest of the year, yet consumers opened 15% fewer of them.
While the article is definitely worth a read, the comment section is equally enlightening. One commenter summed up the pain many consumers are feeling when he said: “In general, retailers send way too many emails, creating inbox clutter, as though they think that The Container Store or Cost Plus World Market…is the center of my universe and that the highlight of my day is getting a message from them.”
Another commenter hit home with me when she said: “Many retailers have emails regarding sales, then follow-up with “don’t forget our sale” e-mails, followed by “it’s not too late to save” and “just hours left” messages. It has become just so much junk to manage.”
What’s the Problem?
I understand why marketers feel like they need to send so many emails. This is a critical time of year for them. They have been planning their campaigns for months and they want to ensure that everyone is aware of their ongoing promotions. But, unfortunately, it’s clear that marketers are sending emails with their own businesses in mind — rather than their customers’ real interests. As a result, consumers are experiencing “email overload.”
Yet surprisingly, we found in our annual study that email is the most personalized channel. So why are consumers still dissatisfied? According to Brendan Witcher, principal analyst at Forrester Research, as quoted in the WSJ article, “Nearly 90% of organizations say they are focused on personalizing customer experiences, yet only 40% of shoppers say that information they get from retailers is relevant to their tastes and interests. The ugly truth is that most retailers haven’t done the unsexy work of understanding how to use the data.”
What’s the Solution?
If consumers feel that marketers are sending too many emails, the solution is obvious: send fewer emails. Of course, that may be a terrifying prospect for marketers, particularly during the holidays. But frustrating your customers with a mountain of emails is not the way to provide a winning customer experience. The key to sending fewer emails is to send Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community