Cutting the cyber clutter: email marketing

Opened up my email account this morning – 104 new/unread emails. Great.

Email Marketing - Blog #2 (b)

I usually check this account every morning and cull, but this time I’ve left it 4 days. Rookie mistake.

I flick through, aimlessly deleting those I already know serve me no purpose/ value

I only keep 8:

  • The Australian – summary of the top news stories of the day (handy)
  • Refinery 29 – a blog that ranges from fashion to health, and everything in between (they’re definitely targeting a female audience)
  • My dad… though I’ve deleted the ones he forwards from the AMI (I am already a member, yet he still sends them through. Bless)
  • Witchery and Myer both have emails about sales promotions for me
  • Tony Bianco – telling me about their latest shoe designs
  • And finally, one about home wares; I can finally semi-justify my interest, considering I’m aiming to move out of home in the next 6 months

The rest are gone. No regrets. No sifting through my deleted emails, wondering what I’m missing out on.

Most of the clutter is from deal websites and e-tailers that I rarely shop from. They’re just not as relevant to me. Yet I continue to be bombarded with communication, despite not having shopped there in months.

It’s like an annoying kid that keeps asking you “why?” – eventually you yell “just BECAUSE!”, and you’re done with entertaining their attention seeking behaviour.


E-tailers, enough. If you’re emailing me through the email for my membership details, then surely you’re able to track the last time I came online. The beauty of the internet and the age of information that we live in is that you can get to a very personal level with direct marketing.

So, if I’m not visiting you, stop attacking my inbox with irrelevance. Maybe cut it down to 1/3 of the traffic, or keep it interesting. Emails don’t just have to be about making the sale. My favourite regular emails are from Refinery 29 – a magazine-style online blog.

All I’m saying is,

rg1024_big_mail_iconIf you can segment your customers, especially in the unique one-on-one way that you can online, then do! Don’t keep spamming me just to stay in my inbox. It doesn’t make me read them.

Etailers – get smarter about your email marketing – don’t just send the same emails to whoever is signed up to your page.

Be more strategic than that.


And look, if you feel the need to throw in a small discount to encourage a sale, all the better 😉

Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing a more ‘on demand’ style of direct marketing coming through; like the ability to subscribe to different types of emails from one e-tailer.

Let me know in the comments –

  • What are some of your ideas for making email marketing more effective/ engaging?
  • Do you guys experience the same frustration with e-tailer/ brand email marketing clutter? What are your tips to manage email traffic?

Until next time,

N. Apple_bitten.svga


23 responses to “Cutting the cyber clutter: email marketing

  1. i get so many emails everyday from coupon/deal sites and always delete over half of my emails without looking at them. i agree that they need to put more thought into their emails and gain more insight into who the recipients are.

  2. Retailers trying to keep consumers loyal really need to put better effort into their marketing strategies through email. My suggestions are keeping emails personalised or somehow relevant to the consumers previous purchases to prevent their brand being moved to the span section.
    Great blog & love your signature! 🙂

  3. I design and build eDM’s 5 days a week. It’s a tough gig when you get your briefs from marketing managers who :
    a) decide it’s good to send out 3 eDM’s a week
    b) send out the equivalent of 3 pages of information in one email
    c) send the same email out over and over again because not enough subscribers opened it the first time.
    d) do all of the above

    So yes, I know it’s on the designer to ‘sell’ the message in a visually appealing way – but if the email doesn’t even get opened, who do we put the blame on?

    You’re right Nat, more strategy would be lovely in the e-commerce world. But first, I guess some companies have to realise… she’s just not that into you.

    • Good to hear about this from a designer’s point of view! I can imagine it would be quite tough to balance engaging and interesting along with all of those requirements. It would be great to see some strategy – I guess the only way they’re going to get the message is if we keep talking about it 🙂

  4. I use a very strict rule which is quite effective but requires some discipline. Whenever I recieve a message that I don’t see any value in, I scroll down to the very bottom of it and hit “unsubscribe”. Immidiately. No exceptions. It has become a habit and as long as I do it at once I most often don’t recieve any mail from that source anymore. 🙂

    • Good point, I could unsubscribe from more sites. My problem is the FOMO I get in case one random week I’ve been amazing at budgeting and I’m in the mood to spend there. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  5. I find it so frustrating that these companies make it so easy to join their mail lists yet so difficult to unsubscribe from them. While they are aiming to to offer me discounts, rewards or just keep me informed all they do is clog up my email accounts, make me waste my time deleting the spam and that just annoys me and leaves me with negative feelings towards the brand. For me, over 95% of the emails only harm the brands image. There are some really good points in this blog and this is something that really should be looked into by marketers.

    • I completely agree with you! I wish they would let us choose a certain level of frequency, or to opt down (as in choose to be emailed less), if not out of their email lists more easily. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Great article. I must say that it is sometimes frustrating indeed especially, when you’re expecting something urgent or important and what you’re receiving is only deals and useless stuffs. But, I must say, it actually sometimes take a lot of time to clear those useless spams. If only they are smarter and not just auto-spam…

    • Agreed. The almost passive way that some companies approach EDM will hopefully be a thing of the past before too long. I’m hopeful that they will get smarter about it 🙂

  7. i subscribe to coles newsletter. I like it when they are doing the flybuys double point, they have this button -activate now- on the page right when u open the email, and therefore u dont have to go to specific link and fill up your id etc. its so handy. And to control my junk email traffic, i normally just unsubscribe those that i dont like…

    • Sounds like you’ve got yourself a fairly efficient system for dealing with your email traffic. I like the convenience that the FlyBuys double points offers with the simple activate button in their email for special offers. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. I hate when this happens. For this reason i created a whole separate email for when i’m not particularly interested or just doing a one off use. I call that one my spam-email and i RARELY check it. Probably once every 6 months. Whenever i do check it… It is flooded! I just delete all for a bit of a spring clean and then it happens all over again! I am very picky. If i want to subscribe to something… like my YouTube account, Sephora and UNiDAYS… I use my personal email 🙂

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