How many times have you opened your inbox to find the same old message from a company that seems to contact you almost every day, offering a product or service for which you have no current need? If you’re like most of us, you’ll probably simply press “delete” rather than scrolling to the bottom of the page and unsubscribing. Thus, although you haven’t physically opted out of the e-mail list, you have mentally opted out of e-mails from this company.
This mental opt-out has the same negative impact as actual opt-out or do-not-contact lists for marketers trying to reach their target audience. If a potential customer doesn’t even take the time to read an e-mail, the result is the same as if they had added their name to the “unsubscribe” list, yet many companies aren’t even aware of it.
Mental opt-out usually happens when marketers bombard their customers with too many blanket, untargeted e-mail messages. Often, marketers suffer from the notion that e-mail is free, so they feel they have nothing to lose financially by sending out regular e-mails to their contact lists. However, each irrelevant or untargeted e-mail a customer receives has a detrimental effect, silently chipping away at the chance that they’ll take the time to read the next one. If they associate e-mails from your company with irrelevant news, they’re more likely to simply delete and dismiss, which lowers your company’s reputation in their eyes and makes them feel as if they’re being spammed by your organization.
If you get a reputation for sending irrelevant communications, you are basically asking for mental opt-out. Just because a customer’s name doesn’t appear on the do-not-contact list, it doesn’t mean they are paying attention.
By taking the time to understand each customer as an individual, and using the available technology to fine-tune frequency and cadence of messages, organizations are able to only contact customers with relevant, timely e-mails from which they are likely to read and benefit.