Monday, July 11, 2011

Over Messaging

One of the things that I think people do in business these days is either over-message or under-message.

It’s easy to over-message, by sending something every day to people that isn’t interesting, or contains too much marketing. As an example, I am on the Woodcraft and Rockler mailing lists, and they both message too often. I get 1-2 emails every week from them with some sales, which really means that there’s always a sale.

Now once in awhile that works, and perhaps it does drive people that really love woodworking to spend more with them, but I think it may annoy a lot of people and I’m sure there are people that either a) unsubscribe, or b) only look at the emails when they feel like spending money.

What would I rather see? I’d like less frequent emails, with more rare sales, or the same frequency, but some interesting content in the newsletter that might get me to read for 5 minutes. An editorial, a tip or trick, a way that someone uses a tool on sale.

If you send out frequent emails, I’d encourage you to do a few things. First, track unsubscribes and if you start getting a lot of them, make sure you lower your frequency or find out why. The other thing I’d do is let people offer feedback. Perhaps some of them only want to get emails regurarly and others don’t. If you don’t have a technical way to do this, split your lists up. Put people into less frequent email lists and send them every other newsletter, or even combine two of your others into one and send it to them less frequently.