How bacon is clogging the arteries of your email inbox.

A while back, in preparation for a facilitation role at ad:tech on an email panel, I read an  article on Mashable entitled “Why Your Email Inbox is Bringing Home the Bacon”.

The purpose of my research was to look at some areas for the email marketing companies/providers on the panel to discuss that may be impacting marketers use of the channel in their communication activities.

The essence of the Mashable article was that Spam isn’t wanted or liked yet Bacon (Bacn) – email that you have legitimately subscribed to: Groupon Deals; Facebook updates; LinkedIn updates; Google notifications and so on – is something people love.

The article referenced research provided by and suggested that 27,397,260,274 Bacn emails were sent every day.

27 billion of them!  Each day. All opt in.

This works out to 4 emails per account, per day. Not many really.

So why the fuss?

My contention is that even though people may really love Bacn, too much can be bad for you as a marketer.

And it seems that it’s a view that achieved a general consensus among the panel and resonated with the audience with nods and tweets acknowledging that many people were now indeed over indulging on “Bacn” email and beginning to get a little sick of it.

While the average quoted above of four per person per day seems insignificant (a throw away statistic) the reality is very different and masks a big issue facing email marketers.

Let’s consider my situation and you’ll see what I mean.

I saved every Bacn email I received over a week.

My definition for what went into the Bacn folder was:

  • something I have subscribed to  • comes out regularly be that daily, multi per week, or weekly. They are rarely read as they’re saved for a time I can get to them. And a final filter was that I remembered subscribing to them (sort of).

My total for the week was 328. That is 46.8 per day. Ten times the average.

Artery – and inbox – clogging for sure.

As the cost of sending an email has become insignificant, now being in the cents or part thereof, its not likely that the company sending these “welcomed” email thinks “…these aren’t being opened, we may stop sending them…”

The point to this is that now direct marketers using the email channel have an even bigger hurdle to overcome.

How does the email we are about to send – one that we have so carefully crafted, that’s highly targeted, with a personalised and compelling offer, and simple call to action – how do we get it read and acted on?

The role of direct marketing strategy, and the actioning of test and learn programs where we consider headlines, offers, time of day and day of week of distribution, image versus text, frequency of contact, change in message depending on whether they’ve opened recent email all become even more important.

Proposition, message, offer, execution and timing – direct marketing fundamentals from years gone by – remain an absolute priority.

Your challenge as a truly effective and relevant direct marketer is to review your current email program and ask yourself a simple question: Are you contributing to the health of your customers, or are you clogging their inbox too?