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Email marketing is a critical tool for organizations of all sizes and industries. With email marketing, firms can attract new customers and engage with existing ones, alerting subscribers to upcoming discounts and new products and services.

However, as effective as email advertising can be, it can also cause problems for businesses when not utilized properly. There are many ways that an email marketing campaign can fall flat. Of these, one of the most critical to avoid is disregarding subscriber preferences when it comes to frequency.

An email too far
Writing for MediaPost’s Email Insider, Chad White recently noted that for many years, one of the leading reasons individuals have cited for unsubscribing is “too many emails.” Far too often, email marketers get carried away and send out barrages of messages, inundating subscribers’ inboxes with offers, updates, newsletters and more.

This is a critical error. The individuals who have signed up to receive messages from an organization have clearly expressed interest in the firm’s products and services. By sending too many messages to these individuals, marketers inadvertently drive away some of their most loyal customers.

Preferences matter
White asserted that email marketers should pay attention to subscriber preferences when determining how often to send out messages. This information, he noted, can be achieved in two ways. First, organizations can directly ask subscribers how often they would like to receive updates and offers. Alternatively, firms can use email marketing tools to monitor subscriber behavior when it comes to opening and clicking through emails. This way, an organization can use list segregation tactics to meet individuals’ frequency preferences.

White also noted another key subscriber preference: mobile email. Individuals are increasingly relying on their smartphones to read their email, and marketers that fail to take this trend into account run the risk of being left behind. According to a recent Return Path study, Americans will likely be reading more emails via mobile devices than on desktops and laptops by the end of the year.

As numerous industry experts have highlighted, some techniques that work very well for conventional messages may not be as effective on mobile devices. For example, images may not resonate as well on smaller screens.

According to White, marketers can once again either ask subscribers directly or use tools to determine whether they would appreciate mobile-friendly email campaigns.