How to Overcome the Email Overload Phenomenon

When you begin to see full length articles, countless blogs, and an endless stream of social media posts related to peoples’ frustrations with being inundated with email, you realize that this phenomenon is a real thing.  And, it is a real problem for the marketers who are hoping to capitalize on the direct connection with consumers.

Outlook focused inbox and Gmail’s multi-tab inbox are just two examples of what email service providers are doing to overcome the complaints of their clientele.  Yet, this puts marketers at a huge disadvantage.  After all, it is much easier to do a big sweep of email into the trash bin when it’s already been sorted for you.  That means fewer people taking the time to read your headlines, and far fewer taking the time to open the communications.

This is a quote taken from an opinion piece on

I’m specifically complaining about all of the marketing emails that pile up more than the banks of snow in Northern Ontario. Reviewing dozens of messages urging me to buy something, eat something, travel somewhere, donate to a cause, etc, all made me lament over the days when all I had to deal with was no mail, or an annoying chain letter.

One opinion piece may not mean much to your brand, but the truth is that there are millions of consumers complaining about the onslaught of email, and you must be good enough at what you do to entice them to open one of those “offending” pieces of marketing.

Based on this, there has been a push to learn more about the design elements that appeal to consumers, which just might help you avoid the trash bin.

  1. IMAGES, GRAPHICS, INFOGRAPHICS, EMOJIS and anything else that may capture the eye better than simple text can. There was a major uptick in the use of imagery in email last year and that trend is expected to continue.  Choose carefully! They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, but that isn’t always the case.  The right picture certainly is, but a randomly selected stock photo isn’t necessarily going to say much of anything to the frustrated consumer.
  2. A FACE, A NAME, AND A WHOLE HEAP OF HUMANITY If you really want to stand a chance of appealing to a hard-to-please crowd, then you best make your brand approachable and that means putting a face with the name. Storytelling and actually company photos were starting to pop up in 2017 and that is something that we will see more of in 2018.
  3. ANIMATION GETS ACTION The average marketer will not have the knowledge base to create animated figures for use in email. Of course, .gif files are one way to make this happen, but we are likely to see great budget allocations made for the animation of emails in the New Year.
  4. THE CONTRADICTION All of the above who indicate that marketers are striving for a more complex, intuitive, interactive email experience. Yet, one of the more notable trends in recent months is a move by some marketers to transition back to the simplest form of email – text only.  Why?  There is research that suggests that photos, videos, animation, and the rest turn some consumers off because they are unique to marketing email.  In order to blend better with work- and social-related emails, some marketers are opting for a super simple approach.

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