Are Your Customers Experiencing Marketing Oversaturation? Here’s How to Deal with it

June 11, 2020 | 4 minute read
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Crafting engaging and highly personalized communications for your customers across different channels is crucial to the success of your business. It helps build stronger relationships, increase brand recognition, and boost interaction with customers. But what if you’re overcommunicating? Well, you’re running a significant risk that your customers will become burned out and disengaged.

A staggering number of marketing messages are sent every year by various brands. According to Statistica, over 281 billion emails were sent and received each day in 2018. With so many channels and different forms of communication available to marketers, customers find themselves bombarded with marketing messages from many different sources.

Decreased engagement: a common symptom of marketing fatigue

To try to attract consumers’ attention, marketers reach out via many channels. If there is no coherence in the cross-channel messaging and the cadence is too frequent, it’s all but assured that there will be a steep decrease in response rates.

When customers begin to feel overwhelmed as a result of receiving too many messages from the same brand, they will:

  1. Skip or delete messages

  2. Initiate spam complaints

  3. Not respond, lowering your response rates

  4. Unsubscribe

  5. Think badly towards the brand

The right number of messages for a given time

How much is too much? This is a lingering question for most marketers. It’s essential to understand that customer interactions with your brand are different across various channels and periods. One customer may be interested in your promotional emails, while another customer may enjoy interacting with your mobile app.

You don’t have to send the same number of messages across each of your channels though; you can concentrate on one channel that is producing results more than the others. For example, if a customer engages more with email, you should focus on targeting that person with an optimal number of emails rather than sending a large number of SMS or mobile app messages. Pushing a high volume of messages on a channel that a customer doesn’t engage with is a surefire way to cause fatigue.

Analyzing fatigue personas

The data modeling techniques of Oracle Responsys can help you analyze your audience and bucket them under four fatigue personas:

  • Undersaturated
  • Just right
  • Saturated
  • Oversaturated

Oversaturated recipients demonstrate a significant decline in engagement, as they feel they are receiving too many communications from you. Reducing the number of messages, you send and ensuring you offer only the most pertinent and relevant information is a reasonable tactic when attempting to reengage. 

Gaining visibility into the undersaturated segment presents a huge opportunity for you to interact more with these customers. Here recipients are brand loyal and are interested in knowing more about your products. Targeting the undersaturated segment with personalized content is bound to significantly increase engagement.

With fatigue analysis, marketers are able get insight into the distribution of the four different fatigue personas and turn up the message cadence of underexposed customers and reduce the frequency for oversaturated recipients on the verge of disengaging.

Watch our video to learn more about how you can assess your brand’s marketing fatigue.

Example: Distribution Report of Fatigue Personas for Email Channel

A key marketing tactic is to identify the customers who have engaged most recently and frequently. This tactic is commonly implemented as an RFM (Recency, Frequency, Monetary) score. An audience segment with a high RFM score may be expected to have a low-fatigue score and will tolerate receiving a greater number of messages with higher frequency. Likewise, identifying your recipients with low RFM scores allows you to identify where to decrease email frequencies.  Check out Oracle’s RFM feature that can identify these audience segments quickly and easily.

Key takeaway

Fatigue analysis will significantly improve the cross-channel outreach of your brand. It will help you understand different engagement metrics of customers and their trends over time across different channels. It will also enable you to pay attention to how frequently customers are opting out.

Brands hoping to strike the right tone with all their customers should consider the following:

  • Make the most of the visualization tools in Oracle Responsys to determine recommended message frequency caps and set up more balanced cadences

  • Embrace message testing techniques like A/B and multivariate testing and cross-channel outreach

  • Strive for cross-functional alignment on messaging strategy, tone, and cadence.

  • Pay attention to negative KPIs such as email and push notification opt-out rates

The health of the customer relationship is key.  It’s important to understand different engagement metrics of the customers and their trends over time. This in turn will help you find the right communication frequency for each customer across each channel for your brand.


Oracle was named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Email Marketing Service Providers, Q2 2020. Read the report to see why. 



Preethika Sathyamangalam Kalyanasundaram

Preethika S. Kalyanasundaram is a Senior Product Manager at Responsys, Oracle CX Marketing. She loves to work combining the best of technology, data, product and design to execute a successful product vision. Among Preethika's specialties include Email, Personalization, Usability, AI, Multi-channel and Content management. She holds a M.S degree in Computer Engineering and Information Assurance from Iowa State University.

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