Combating Message Fatigue

Erin Reeve | | August 21, 2018

In today’s “always on” world, we are constantly bombarded by thousands of messages from multiple sources, across various mediums. We’re made aware of this when we’re checking our email or regular snail mail, reading an article online or scrolling through our Facebook feed. In fact, new terminology has been created to describe the feeling that we all get from this kind of excessive messaging: communication fatigue (often referred to as message fatigue, as well).

Association marketers that do not account for message fatigue put their communication strategies at risk for being completely ineffective (i.e., “lost in the mix”). They may experience high volumes of blocks and unsubscribes, and they might be being marked as spam. In this article, we will review how your association can combat message fatigue.

Message fatigue occurs when consumers are repeatedly blasted with impersonal and untargeted communications. Below are some tips to combat this from happening at your association.

  1. Focus on building relevant and high-quality messages that are beneficial to each target audience. This may require you to build user personas. In other words, you’ll need to create your messaging around intended obstacles and challenges that members and prospects may face in a particular role. Before attempting to make a hard sell, try to give content consumers freebies (such as ideas or insights) that will benefit your prospects directly. Doing so will create trust, and it will help you become a trusted thought partner in their space.
  2. Diversify Your Messaging. Don’t create one message and continue to send it repeatedly. Think of your communication strategy much like you would a conversation with a friend; repeatedly sending the same message will only turn them away and/or eventually cause them to ignore you. Instead, you can create an A/B test in ClearVantage to determine which message will perform best with your prospects. Simply set up different appeal codes in CV and track them to obtain your custom results.  
  3. ASK. If you want to know something about someone, the best way to find out is by asking them directly. The same goes for your content consumers. Create a survey or a preferences section of their online portal, where they can update and/or submit their preferences to you directly.


So what is wrong with failing to recognize and combat communication and message fatigue? Many people today experience what has come to be defined as “information overload” - meaning your message (unless it’s REALLY appealing) is likely to get lost in the sea of other voices. Too much communication from the same association, whether it’s the same message or not, can annoy consumers and  damage your brand’s image. That said, reiterating the same or similar message repeatedly can increase the amount of damage done. Both communication and message fatigue can lead to lower response rates and a huge decrease in member and prospect engagement. Luckily, implementing A/B testing in ClearVantage Association Management Software can help you engage your prospects with customized, engaging, and unique communications. ​


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