Email Fatigue


When you’re an email marketer, you’ve got much on your mind: the content of your email, send times, send volume, A/B testing, etc.

Sometimes, coming from the marketing side of things, trying to find the Holy Grail to keep your subscribers engaged.

You also might fall into the trap of more is better, when in reality, you should be focusing on having your customers appreciate your emails.

If you’re constantly bombarding your subscribers with emails, you are putting yourself at risk for something called email fatigue. In this article, we’ll describe what email fatigue is and how to optimize your email, and email list, to prevent your subscribers from becoming tired.

What is Email Fatigue?

If you’re thinking email fatigue isn’t a real thing, let’s start with a statistic by MediaPost: 74 percent of Americans surveyed claimed to be tired of the abundance of emails they receive.

74 percent!

Email fatigue happens when customers/subscribers get tired of receiving emails from a particular company (or sometimes in general).

Marketing veteran Dave Lewis of iMediaConnections describes “email fatigue is the result of two things: mailing irrelevant content and mailing at too frequent a cadence.”

As such, emailing your subscribers irrelevant content too much can result in them disengaging with your brand.

Signs of Email Fatigue

If you’re noticing a decrease in engagement from your subscribers (this includes opens, clicks, and even unsubscribes) this typically means that you’re sending too many emails and your subscribers are tiring of it.

And it may not be just a general cause of disinterest in emails altogether. Some people just don’t engage with irrelevant emails.

Email fatigue not only hurts your sales figures, but it can also harm your sender reputation. There are some cases where you can’t get people who are suffering from email fatigue back, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all a lost cause.

In fact, as a marketer, email’s high ROI and relatively low cost can make you want to send as many emails as you can. You should be focusing on sending the right type of emails instead.

Tips to Improve Email Fatigue

So now you know email fatigue is a real thing, but what can you do if you notice your subscriber’s engagement with your emails is starting to wane?

Try to re-engage!

A re-engagement campaign is a fantastic way to try and get the fatigued back. Make sure you have enough data on these particular subscribers to where you know what will get them back.

Also, be sure to write a catchy subject line that’s different than what you normally send. Remember, these people are tired of receiving your emails—they need something that is going to wake them up.

Alas, not every re-engagement campaign is going to bring everyone back. Actions typically speak louder than words. If they’re not responding to your re-engagement efforts, take the time to remove them from your list altogether.

Email Marketing

A slightly-smaller list is always better than poor email hygiene. Clean up!

Inquire Within

Let’s face it—sometimes you might think your product is better than it really is to some people. They might have purchased your product as a gift for someone, or maybe it really was a one-time thing and they’re only a little interested in what else you have to offer or purchasing again.

That’s why it might be prudent to offer the fatigued an option to subscribe down to only getting bi-monthly, monthly, or quarterly emails.

People don’t have time to change their email settings based on the changes in their lives. Bringing the offer to them might make them appreciate your brand and think of you if they ever need one of your products in the future.

Setting up a preference center on your website that’s synced to your mailer is another fantastic way your customers can make sure they’re receiving relevant emails from you and can dramatically decrease the effects of email fatigue.

Segment Your Lists

Taking the last two sections into consideration leads us all the way back to make sure you’re sending the right emails to the right person at the right time.

Every single one of your subscribers is a unique individual and you should track their behavioral data and their demographic data and learn about your subscribers.

Use that data to craft the best possible email to keep them engaged and ready to purchase from you again in the future.

Try to Avoid Casting a Wide Net

Sending emails in mass volume and frequency can get you some opens and some clicks, but if you do that, you’re doing what’s known as casting a wide net.

email fatigue

Some people don’t want to get caught up in that net, and that’s when email fatigue can really catch up to a person.

Instead, follow the segmented sections above to try and craft the perfect email for each subscriber. Some things that can work and keep your subscribers engaged are:

  • When an offer is available for something they have already purchased
  • When there’s an update or a newer version of something they have already purchased
  • Remember the preference center from above? If there’s something available that hits what they signed up for in the preference center
  • When an offer is available for something that similar to what they already purchased

Curated and thoughtful emails are the key to keeping your subscribers engaged and free from email fatigue.

As mentioned before, sometimes once a subscriber becomes fatigued, they might always be fatigued. Cleaning up your email list on a scheduled basis is always recommended.

Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your customers and subscribers up to date and engaged with your email marketing! Happy emailing!

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