How to Make Sure Your Subscribers Don’t Drown in an Email Flood

My husband and I have decided that this spring we’re going to accomplish a home improvement project every weekend. This resolution has resulted in a brand spanking new garden in our backyard… and me learning about the dangers of over-watering.

Over-watering is like over-communicating. It’s a risk when you’re working with plants, and it’s a risk when you’re sending emails to your customers or members. After all, we all know what it’s like when the same company or business sends us five emails a day. Not only do we tend to not open all of those emails, but we may even unsubscribe from the list.

So, how can you make sure you aren’t drowning your contacts while keeping them well-watered enough to blossom into customers? As always, it helps to have a plan!

Decide what’s in the mix

Make a list of everything you plan to do in the future to stay in touch with your contacts. You’ll want to include any initiatives that involve email marketing, Facebook promotions, or event marketing. Make a note if you use an Autoresponder too, or if you send out direct mailings or make outgoing phone calls.

Figure out your frequency

Now that you have that list, start noting how often you’re sending communications to your customers. Do you do a direct mailing twice a year? Are your newsletters monthly or weekly? Jot those numbers down and get an overview of everything you’ve got going out, and how often.

Bring out a calendar

Whether you use an online calendar or one that hangs by your desk, find one that has a lot of room to make notes. Why? Because this is the fun part. This is where you are going to take some time and start putting all of that information in step one and two on paper. Be as creative as you like! By writing all of these things out, you can visually see how your plan plays out.

Review the Calendar for Conflicts

Once you have everything down (or while you are getting it down) you’ll want to take a look at what conflicts might be rearing their heads. If your weekly newsletter is falling in the same week as your fundraiser and your quarterly survey, you may need to come up with a strategy to make sure that none of your messages get lost.

Or perhaps just the opposite is true. Maybe there are a few weeks where your customers aren’t hearing from you at all. What a great time to get a new deal out!

By seeing what’s ahead, you’ll be able to avoid over or under-communicating with your customers and make sure that all of those communications don’t go to waste.

How do you make sure you’re not over-emailing your subscribers? Tell us below!


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  1. I’ve been receiving 2-4 Constant Contact emails in my inbox per DAY! That’s just way too many for me to read. It’s generally good material and information I’d like to read, but if it were once a day, or every couple days, there’s more chance I’d read it. I feel like my inbox is cluttered with Constant Contact emails. That makes me hesitant to send out as many emails to our lists!

    • Dave Charest •

      Hi Cheri,

      Thanks for the feedback. Are you subscribed to the blog or a particular newsletter?

  2. Coliin •

    Subscribed to the Blog and most of them are from the “Our Expertise” section (3rd Tab) Once in a while there is one from the “Fresh Insights” section (2nd Tab). In 6 days I have received 15 Blogs. Only one on Saturday May 5, and none on Sunday May 6. SO FAR on May 8 I have received 4 starting at 8:30, then 10:27 then 11:46 all AM and one at 3:28 PM, but the day is not over I expect more. I also feel run over with the Blogs, like Cheri said at 1:43 pm. Some that I have taken time to read – the topic has to grab my eye – are excellent and I mark for later rereading, but I usually don’t have the time to go back. When I first started with CC, one of our members said, “I hope you don’t send “stuff” out more than once a week or I’ll just have to block all of the emails.” I have been careful and still have a bunch that are never opened. HOW DO I GET THEM TO OPEN THE EMAIL. I only send one out to a particular segment a month. I did send out 2 to one segment in only one month out of 11 so I think I am doing what I should to inform and request action.

    • Dave Charest •

      Thanks Coliin,

      One thing you can do re: the blog if you want to get the posts less frequently is click the manage subscriptions link in the email and you can select a digest version so you don’t get his every time we post.

      Re: getting your email opened, it’s possible that some of your emails are getting opened and not registered because they don’t have the images turned on. (There’s an invisible image in each email that allows for the opens to be tallied, if someone opens an email without turning on the images it doesn’t count as an open.) That aside there are a few factors that play into getting your emails opened.

      1. Recognition – Make sure the from name and email address are something they recognize
      2. Relevant content – Make sure the content is focused on your audience. Is it stuff they really want to know about?
      3. Intriguing subject line – As you mention it needs to grab their eye AND make them want to find out more

      Hope this helps.

  3. Thanks for the insight. Exactly what I just was trying to describe to my HOA last night. We’re going to one per week now, should be about right for us. Not really sure which day of the week would be best, I’ve got limited data to determine if it matters to our open or click through rates. But the general consensus from the board is Tue or Wed…thoughts?


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