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What Annoys Audiences the Most About Marketing Emails

How many of you have ever unsubscribed from a company’s newsletter? I’m going to go ahead and guess that every one of you have at least once. I certainly have on more than one occasion, for a variety of reasons. Some emails were too promotional and not informational enough, some were sent too frequently, and some just looked unpleasant.

I set up and send out the newsletters for Contently’s two publications, The Content Strategist and The Freelancer, so I’m hyper-aware of trying to give our audience a reason to open and click the next newsletter. There’s no way to please everyone, but the right data can give you a good place to start.

Adobe recently conducted a study to find out people’s preferences when it comes to email marketing. According to the findings, 45 percent of those surveys find the most annoying brand email tactic to be sending too many emails. This is down slightly from last year’s 50 percent, which suggests brands may be wising up when it comes to spacing out their newsletters.

Emails that are too wordy or poorly written will earn you the bad graces of 23 percent of those reached, and be careful that you have the right data about the recipients of your email, or you’ll go straight to spam for 22 percent of people.

Speaking of having the right data, the study went on to find that 36 percent of email recipients think having a customized email is somewhat important, while 19 percent find it highly important. Depending on your audience size, this might be enough to warrant audience segmentation—or at the very least, addressing your email to the recipient’s name.

Even if you don’t love the thought of customizing your emails, make sure that the information included is relevant to your audience overall. A third of those surveyed find that receiving recommendations that don’t match their preferences is the most annoying habit of marketing emails, and 22 percent will send your content straight to the trash if it contains an offer that’s already expired. (This should be a no-brainer. C’mon, brands, don’t send people offers they can no longer use!)

Though the technology and communication landscape is changing rapidly, emails still remain an important marketing channel, so long as you avoid the faux pas cited in the study. And hey, if you found this useful and want to subscribe to Contently’s emails and let me know if I’m doing anything that bothers you, feel free to do so here.

Image by Jon Tyson / Unsplash
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