List fatigue is the gradual decline of responsiveness by your email subscribers. Over time, your list doesn’t open as many emails, click through to your website, or forward to friends as often as they once did.
Some email list fatigue can’t be avoided. People retire, move, get married or divorced, have kids, change jobs, get promoted or fired, quit hobbies. When change happens, people no longer need what you’re selling.
However, some list fatigue can be avoided, and we’re going to examine symptoms, causes, prevention, and cures for list fatigue.
You might have list fatigue if you’re experiencing any (or all) of the following:
• Your unsubscribe rate is going up.
• Your spam rate is going up.
• Your open rate is going down.
• Your click-through rate is going down.
• You aren’t delivering content that your subscribers value.
• You’re sending too frequently.
• Subscribers aren’t motivated by your subject lines.
• You’re sending at the wrong time of day or week.
• Your messages are filtered as junk in the subscribers’ email client.
• Your content is poorly written.
• Your emails are badly designed.
• Send content your customers what they want to get, not only what you want to send. You can find this out by analyzing which subject lines get the most opens, which links get the most clicks, and which offers get the best responses.
• Get the frequency right. Tell prospective subscribers upfront how often you will send to them, and then keep that promise.
• Segment your list and send targeted messages to those segments.
• Test to determine the best time of day and the best day of the week for your audience.
• Write well. Start by making sure your content is free of grammatical and spelling errors.
• Design well. Start by making sure the text is easy to read.
• Send subscribers the info they want. Analyze which subject lines get the most opens. Determine which links get the most (and least) clicks. For example, if your list doesn’t open or click on productivity content, then don’t send it to them.
• Review the expectations you set up front with your subscribers. If you are exceeding the number of emails they were told they’d receive, then scale back.
• Take a look at your campaigns. Are they mostly similar in content and appearance? If so, it may be time for a change. Revisit your strategy and determine if a new concept is needed.
• Prune the list. Once a year, ask your inactive subscribers if they want to continue receiving your emails. If they don’t, make it easy for them to unsubscribe.
• Continue to seek new subscribers.
• Improve your writing. You can start by ridding your content of grammatical and spelling errors.
Bottom Line on List Fatigue
To prevent or cure list fatigue, give your people what they want, when they want it.
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