About a year ago, I wrote a post asking the question: How often should you email your subscribers? It’s a question that almost every company involved in email marketing asks themselves on a regular basis. In that post and after discussions with other marketers I respect, the general consensus was that anything more often than every 4 or 5 days will likely be seen as an annoyance and as spam.
In fact, there was a study done by DoubleClick that found 49% of consumers say spam is “email from a company I have done business with but that comes too often.” So, just because someone subscribes to your list doesn’t mean they won’t think you’re a spammer.
The reason I’m bringing this up is because my inbox has been going crazy the past couple of weeks. Why? Because Mother’s Day is just around the corner. We all know that billions of dollars are spent by consumers each Mothers Day. So, it makes sense that companies are frantically trying to outdo one another so they can get their grubby little hands on my hard-earned dollars, but things have gone way too far.
Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and From You Flowers are 3 email lists that I’m on because I bought various gifts for my girlfriend and my mom several months ago. The first 2 companies already email way too often as it is, regardless if there’s a holiday coming up or not. Not a day goes by that I don’t get an email from at least one of them…usually both. The only reasons I haven’t unsubscribed yet are because I always just delete the message without opening it and I’m also interested in email marketing, so it’s fun to see how some companies approach it.
But now that Mother’s Day is almost here all 3 companies have stepped up the frequency of their emails. I agree that it’s a good tactic to do this when you have a time-sensitive message, but there’s a thin line between urging me to get my mom something nice and pestering me every hour with another “last minute sale” that I need to take advantage of before it’s too late.
That’s the danger of emailing too often. What motivation does someone have to take action if they know you’re going to be emailing them with another offer (usually a better offer) the next day? It’s like the story of the boy who cried wolf. Sooner or later, people just stop paying attention to you when you’re constantly screaming at them.
By the way, I didn’t make a Mother’s Day purchase from any of these companies. Instead, I’m taking my mom out to dinner, and I’m making a donation to her favorite charity under her name.