Excessive notifications can become the needy partner of email. We try to keep up with them but eventually, we give up and toss them to the wolves. We have seen the frequency of spam complaints from a single recipient increasing. Recipients are having their mailboxes flooded with notifications and must resort to selecting all of their notifications then reporting them as spam. This flood of spam complaints then makes the mailbox provider think that sender is spamming and will begin to throttle, filter, or block their messages. Now the sender is having deliverability problems and the recipient wants to have nothing to do with the sender. There are solutions!

  1. Put the power in the hands of the people. Notifications should be for the people and controlled by the people. Let people set their preferences for frequency and notification type at account creation time. Some people may want your service, but do not want any email notifications. Others may only want certain types of notifications.

  2. Create a setting where recipients can choose how they would like to be notified. Every time activity happens does not warrant an email. Group notifications in one email daily, weekly or even monthly but make it clear that the recipient can choose the frequency.

  3. We are now in the age of smart phones. A recent study by ReturnPath revealed that the majority of emails are viewed on mobile devices. This means that the space in which people are able to view their emails has decreased. Also, people are checking their email on the go with less time to scroll through their emails. The stakes have risen for each time an email is sent to a recipient. Use your recipients time wisely.

  4. Caution! For those of our sender’s that also use Facebook as their main platform. Notification frequency is more important than ever. Some of our senders have reported having issues getting blocked by Facebook has been cracking down on their “notification spam”. Read this article from Rueters for polemic advice. Facebook notifications should be treated like any other email.

Notifications are a great way to maintain contact and establish a relationship with your recipients. Like any relationship, communication is the key to success. Just make sure that when you do communicate, it is to the benefit of both the sender and the recipient.