On the eighth day of Listmas my data showed to me eight annual mailings…
This post is kind of a bookend to day 3’s “Sending 3 Times Daily” on the effect of overmailing. Today we’re going to talk about undermailing.
Like many people, my mailboxes are overflowing this time of the year. A big part of that is just plain regular spam. “Legitimate mailers” are not the only people who ramp things up. Anecdotally, the number of “have Santa send your kid a letter” emails in my mailbox would beg to differ if you might think that’s not happening, too.
So, spammers are busy mailing people who haven’t asked for the mail. But, there is also a lot of mail going out that I might have asked for, but honestly can’t remember having done so. That’s generally a problem. If someone who works in commercial email and pays attention to these kinds of things can’t remember whether he legitimately signed up for a list, can you even imagine what people who DON’T pay attention to such things are thinking?
There are a variety of things that I could cover, but others have written on the subject before. For instance, see the Return Path post on undermailing for a number of them.
But the important thing to remember is how those things play off of each other. If you look at Return Path’s list, several of those items have definite interplay. If I ever signed up for several of the mailings that I suddenly see around the holidays and then never see again for another year, I don’t remember it. For most people, that means that they’ll click the “This is Spam” button. So, a lack of consistent mailing results in higher complaint rates, which leads to inconsistent inbox placement and potential blocking for the rest of the messages sent by that sender.
Additionally, people change addresses throughout the year, domains lose their owners and sometimes change hands completely. So, in addition to the issues that come up with a single domain, you need to worry about things like spamtraps which lead to the problems outlined in the post a few days ago on SBLs.
What’s the lesson here? Just like with the problem of overmailing, marketers need to find a good cadence and stick with it. The pressure to dig a little deeper into the list and send mail to people who have not heard from the company at all in the last 6-12 months (or more) should be resisted. Tell people what they’re getting into and then stick with that promise.
I’ll thank you, and so will a whole lot of other mailbox owners.