Matthew Hollister

Although marketers may debate whether email fatigue exists among consumers, it is true that because your clients are inundated with both legitimate email and spam, they may be either completely ignoring or just not engaging with your email messages as often as you’d like them to.

“Just because someone subscribes to your email doesn’t mean they want to get it,” says in-bound marketing consultant for small business John Kreiss, president of JP Kreiss, based in Northboro, Mass.

Kreiss cites a study that found 40% of consumers report messages as spam simply because they don’t want to receive them anymore. “And a highly irritable 35% of online users consider spam to be ‘email from any [emphasis added] commercial entity rather than from an individual they personally know.’”

Kreiss, who is in the email-fatigue camp, worries that by serving the “customer who gets a marketing email every month and two years later hasn’t given you anything, [you] might be wasting your time and possibly harming your company [if] they feel like you’re intruding on them and say negative things,” which can quickly go viral.

Follow the Bread Crumbs

Use tracking analytics in Constant Contact or Google Analytics to see how many people open your email blasts or e-newsletters and to find out what they’re reading and how much time they’re spending with your email. “If you get someone who doesn’t even click open your email and you’ve been emailing them for years, they’re most likely not interested,” Kreiss points out.

Cleaning House

Kreiss suggests not only periodically scrubbing your email distribution list to get rid of any incorrect email addresses but also sending an email asking if recipients are still interested in receiving your messages. “If you send out an email quarterly, do a check once a year,” he recommends.

Once you know what subjects people are interested in — how to prep a home for winter; project details; handyman information — target homeowners with information on those topics. “Maybe they won’t buy from you,” Kreiss says, “but … they can be a good referral source.”

Kreiss finds that sending videos is effective — particularly if they’re short (less than two minutes), funny, and relevant. “Email’s basic goal,” he says, “is to position you as the expert so that when someone thinks of remodeling, they think of your company.”

And that’s where the fatigue camp meets the camp of more-is-better. Top-of-mind may win out as long as you are creating positive brand recognition for your business.

—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.

Related articles:

Paul Winan’s blog: Reach out and touch your clients. Do it regularly. Here’s why

Avoid the Vortex: Email may not be the best way to communicate

Happy (Paper) Trails: How-to go paperless in the office