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Are Your Emails Causing Too Much Stress?

If you’re like most members of the current email marketing world, the idea of negatively impacting the psychological health of the person on the other side of the screen is something you’ve never even considered. After all, every email or newsletter you send out is simply trying to enrich and engage these valued audience members, right?

While your intentions might be in the right spot, the reality of the situation is that your plan could be inherently flawed and potentially harmful. To ensure that your emails aren’t generating unnecessary levels of stress for contact list members and are always seen as a welcome arrival in the inbox, let’s spend a few moments covering the surprising findings from a new study conducted by the team at the Future Work Centre in London.

Breaking Down the Future Centre Findings

As part of a study of 2,000 workers in the United Kingdom, the workplace psychology research team from the Future Work Centre found that checking email late in the evening and early in the morning generated excess stress among participants. Additionally, automatic push notifications further exacerbated the problem when compared to simply checking emails at set times or intervals.

On the surface, discovering that receiving an inbox full of emails at odd hours creates a stressful reaction isn’t all that groundbreaking. However, the truth of the matter is that the problem runs much deeper in terms of the lasting implications. Feeling pressure to answer or acknowledge these “off the clock” messages for both private consumers and company representatives – the primary target of business-to-business (B2B) email marketing campaigns – can negatively affect an individual’s mental health from a long-term outlook.

The big key here is that sustained stress – from any source and not just marketed messages that come at irregular hours – is a toxic inclusion of a regular routine. Workplace productivity, personal happiness, and even relationships with friends, family, and other loved ones can all suffer when a person is exposed to high levels of stress for long periods of time.

Rethinking Your Email Approach

So what’s a brand to do if it doesn’t want to create stress and promote an unhealthy mental outlook for its customers, but still aims to tap into the power of email marketing? According to Newstalk’s Adrian Collins, the only way to truly overcome this hurdle is by rethinking your approach to email marketing.

One of the best ways to go about this revamped approach is by considering the role of an email marketing “curfew” within your current inbox operations. Taking into account time zone differences and setting limits for when triggered and scheduled messages can fire off does take a little extra work on your end of the equation, but these preventative measures help minimize the chances that your brand ends up bombarding valued target audience members with late night and early morning offerings.

From an optimization perspective, there’s a real possibility that working out a new approach to your email timing could help your campaign win on two fronts by also serving as a way to improve interaction and increase conversions. Specifically, Econsultancy’s David Moth reports that email open rates increase after 12 P.M, while peaking between 2 P.M and 5 P.M.

This means that your brand can boost opens simply by honing in on these more agreeable timeframes. Naturally, you’ll need to test and tweak these numbers a bit to find the time slot that fits your target audience, but this guideline can definitely get your next campaign off on the right foot in terms of addressing the email marketing stress dilemma.

Taking This Mentality a Step Farther

Once you have your email marketing operations heading toward a more stress-free sending schedule, it’s a good idea to keep the ball rolling and consider what else you can do to help alleviate this kind of negativity among your contact list membership. Asking some tough questions – “Am I sending emails too often?” “Is my content overly aggressive or ‘pushy?’” and other poignant queries about the consumer experience – guarantees that you have a meaningful understanding of what’s happening with your messages once you hit the “send” button.

There’s no denying that adopting an approach that limits the stress factor for your audience is far from an easy affair. However, with all that you’ve learned about this issue – and how to counteract it in a meaningful and relevant manner – guiding the way, there’s no reason why your future marketed messages can’t invoke a substantially more positive and healthy response among your target audience moving forward.

About Victor Green

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