Facebook reduces email frequency and aims to increase relevance

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Your Friend – “I have some big news. I am moving to Australia in a few months!!”
You – “Nice! I’m glad you got the Job. I’m not jealous… much!”
Non-mutual Friend – “Generic congratulations/shock!!!” = Irrelevant email notification from Facebook
Non-mutual Friend – “Generic congratulations/shock!!!” = Irrelevant email notification from Facebook
Non-mutual Friend – “Generic congratulations/shock!!!” = Irrelevant email notification from Facebook
Non-mutual Friend – “Generic congratulations/shock!!!” = Irrelevant email notification from Facebook

The above will no doubt be a familiar scenario for many who have commented on an acquaintances status or someone you know, without knowing most of their friends. The mass of irrelevant ‘comment’ emails that follow are pretty frustrating, causing many users to turn notifications off. Although turning off notifications would stop the flood of unwanted emails, it would also stop you being notified of comments you would be interested in.

Facebook have attempted to address this frequency and relevance issue and have announced the following:

Facebook email marketing

Whilst the debate into the optimum frequency of send is normally applied to marketing emails, brands need to consider this issue even if they are ‘just sending notifications’ and ‘not trying to sell anything’.

Facebook is trying to sell its users something – a place to spend time whilst online. As such Facebook need to treat all emails as marketing emails and ensure they contain more relevant notifications at an appropriate frequency.

All users are different however and wish to be notified of activity to varying degrees.  It is good to see that Facebook is directing users to their preference centre, where users can decide the exact type and frequency of emails they receive – something all senders can learn from.

Facebook’s new found respect for its users is likely down to the emergence of its first main competitor in recent years: Google+.

For more information on the optimum frequency of sending emails, read Choosing the right email frequency.

About Craig Loynes

Marketing Manager at Emailcenter, the UK's largest independent ESP. Connect with +Craig Loynes on Google+ or follow on for more email marketing insights.

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