We all know that email relevancy is crucial in developing an engaging and successful email marketing strategy. Let’s be real – finding a completely irrelevant email in your inbox is straight-up annoying. Moreover, it also makes email recipients much more likely to not only ignore your email, but to actually take negative actions against it, such as marking it as spam. However, as an email marketer, it’s easy to become complacent and underestimate the importance of email relevancy, especially if you haven’t seen any concrete consequences yet.

It’s time to change that, because in 2017, email marketing relevancy is more important than it’s even been before – and we have the stats to prove it. 

Fluent recently performed a study to evaluate consumers’ perceptions of email marketing in 2016, and the results should be enough to jolt any email marketer awake. Only 15% of American consumers consider the email marketing messages they receive to be frequently helpful. On the flip side, a full 57% of respondents said marketing emails were rarely or never helpful.

Still not convinced? Here are some stats that will raise the stakes. 41% of respondents said that they ignore unwanted emails – not so bad, right? Wrong. Lack of engagement is one of the biggest hurdles email marketers face, but unfortunately, this is the best-case scenario. Another 41% of consumers said that they unsubscribe from unwanted marketing emails. By sending irrelevant emails to those recipients, you’re losing a subscriber, and you may even leave behind a negative impression of your brand in the process.

However, the really bad news is that 18% of responders said that they mark unwanted marketing emails as spam. Once your emails start getting trapped in junk folders or, worse, directly reported as spam, you’re not only failing to reach your subscribers, you’re also endangering your domain reputation and risking getting blacklisted. No email marketer wants that.

The solution? Well, the obvious answer is to write more relevant emails. Yes, it takes more effort, but it will pay off in the long term. We have to start getting in the habit of putting ourselves in our recipients’ shoes and making sure we’re not just pushing our own agenda on them with no thought to what they want.

Another part of the formula is ensuring that your email lists are pristine. That means cleaning your lists regularly, making sure that they are properly segmented, and taking advantage of granularly targeted email lists.

So email marketers, it’s time to get your act together! Let’s collectively make email relevancy our top priority as we move into 2017!