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What to do About List Fatigue

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Are you feeling a little fatigued today?

If so, do you know why you feel that way? Not enough sleep? Too many projects on the go? Not enough vegetables in the diet?

Understanding why fatigue has taken over is one of the most important steps when trying to put a spring back in your step.

The same concept can be applied to your email marketing campaigns.

Have you noticed a downward trend in the number of people on your subscriber list or in the number of opens you have for each campaign?

This drop in numbers could be due to list fatigue.

In our last post, Determining your optimal email campaign frequency, I touched on list fatigue briefly but now I want to go into greater detail and share a few tips on how you can manage it.

List fatigue is a reduction in your active subscribers other than bounced and unsubscribed subscribers. They are the people that don't unsubscribe from your list, but they also don't open and read your emails.

Some possible reasons why subscribers are not reading your campaigns:

  • They may have moved on to different interests or do not need your service anymore.
  • They may have signed up with an email address that they rarely use and have totally forgotten about. For example, if you have a list of 1,000 people, you may lose 300 subscribers during the year simply from changing email addresses. This might not show up in your bounces or unsubscribes because people stop checking their old email accounts.
  • Your email campaign might be getting caught in their spam filters. - You are sending them way too many emails and they don't take the time to read them anymore.
  • You caught their attention once with something relevant, but now all your subject lines look the same. Basically, instead of unsubscribing, they are waiting for you to send something new that catches their eye again.

So jazzing up those subject lines should be your first move to manage list fatigue. You can create the best promo or newsletter in the world, but if people don't open it, they will never know what it is about.

As an email marketer, trying to prevent inactive subscribers in the first place should be your ultimate goal.

If you want those inactive subscribers to revisit your emails, try engaging them in the following ways:

  • Provide relevant and quality content. There is no substitution for this if you want to keep subscribers opening your emails. Providing helpful tips that will grow your clients business is always a great way to go. For example, point out the benefits of using Twitter or other new trends in the industry.
  • Do a little bonding with your subscribers and offer a survey to find out what they are looking for. This shows them that you care and that you want to do your best to help them.
  • Ask people to either respond to your emails or comment on your company blog. People like it when someone wants to hear their success stories. The more places you allow subscribers to give feedback, the better chance they will.
  • Give them something to look forward to in your next email. This kind of hook can be as simple as breaking down valuable content into Part 1 and Part 2 and promise Part 2 in the next email. Try not to overdo this, however. People could become impatient if they are left to wait too many times.

The bottom line is you will never fully stop list fatigue from happening, but by following the above advice you can certainly minimize it and make it less of an issue.

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