‘List Fatigue’…Or Just Strategy Fatigue?


Share on LinkedIn

The Problem: My database is delivering steadily declining response rates. How do I overcome "list fatigue"?

The Solution: Take the time to find out what your customers and prospects really want to receive from your organization, and how they want to receive it.

"List fatigue" is often a euphemism for the customer and prospect fatigue that results from marketing that’s largely untargeted and undifferentiated. I call this "spray and pray" marketing.

When the same kind of generic message goes out to tens of thousands of people at a time, it’s inevitable that interest, and response rates, will drop. When economic times are tough, the decline usually occurs at an accelerated pace.

If customers or prospects feel that your marketing is not relevant or exciting, they are likely to forget that they opted in to your list (a common occurrence), and will consider your emails to be spam. In a recent MarketingSherpa survey, 74 percent of respondents defined "spam" as "e-mail I did not sign-up to receive."

The solution is to stop "spray and pray" and adopt opt-in/preference driven communications.

Have an opinion about "spray and pray" versus opt-in/preference driven marketing? Comment below and share your thoughts on this post!

However, we must explain exactly what information we’re asking for, why we’re asking for it, and the customer benefit of targeted and relevant communications. When customers have a compelling reason to self-profile and share detailed information, they will opt-in in significant numbers.

Forbes.com highlighted our article Target That Marketing as posted by Investor’s Business Daily.

Microsoft’s online Business Resource Center is a best-in-class example of an opt-in/self-profiling relationship strategy. By creating a Voice-of-Customer driven opt-in relationship marketing program, Microsoft generated opt-in rates that ranged between 45 to 95 percent — the opposite of "list fatigue"!

Try This:

Learn more about Microsoft’s targeted opt-in relationship program. Then conduct research to understand what value proposition would be required to motivate your customers and prospects to self-profile their preferences and opt-in to a deeper relationship with your company.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ernan Roman
Ernan Roman (@ernanroman) is president of ERDM Corp. and author of Voice of the Customer Marketing. He was inducted into the DMA Marketing Hall of Fame due to the results his VoC research-based CX strategies achieve for clients such as IBM, Microsoft, QVC, Gilt and HP. ERDM conducts deep qualitative research to help companies understand how customers articulate their feelings and expectations for high value CX and personalization. Named one of the Top 40 Digital Luminaries and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here