Not sure we believe it #1: 68% say “too much contact”

They say it’s like a stalker boyfriend: too much contact makes you cranky, then uncomfortable, and then you finally end the relationship.

That’s what DM News is reporting this week about email as a “constant contact” direct marketing medium. We are not showing their infographic—which is pretty great, actually—but the premise is dramatic:

The Aimia Institute reports that “57% of Americans take steps to actively avoid companies.”

Aside from the amusing visual inherent in this statement (consumers of all types practicing elusive moves to outsmart and outrun pursuing brands), we look at this with a small degree of skepticism. More in a second.

Back to the findings: “Poor communications cause consumers to close accounts or subscriptions (70%), unfollow brands on social media (66%), opt out of email communications (59%), block phone numbers (57%), or delete apps (54%).”

So to clarify the statistics a bit: 70% of the 57% who “actively avoid” brands, right?

The report also states that “too many emails, too often” is the culprit. It seems that some brands “can’t resist” being the stalker boyfriend who texts you a minute after seeing you, and keeps at it all night.

“68% of Americans say they receive too many emails and 17% say they can’t handle the current volume.”

Our reaction is what it often is to “statistics” that are a bit out of context: most people in our low-tolerance culture will say they’re peeved about something, when asked. So when you query survey participants about their emails, most will of course say “my email is sooooo annoying.”

The truth is, if there is a problem, we know why. Clearly some brands are not abiding by customers’ expressed email preferences. And the rest are simply just not that smart about planning out their strategic communications.

Here’s another metaphor/simile: like diet food—just because it’s low-calorie (or low cost and easy/fast to deploy) doesn’t mean you should eat the entire case. (Our thoughts.)

As with most of these news flashes, there is the “other side” to consider:

“56% of Americans are still willing to share their personal details to receive relevant offers, and 48% consider personalized emails from brands useful.”

So brands: are you ready to take the no-more-email-bingeing challenge?

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Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn


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