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Every diligent marketer is at risk of over-marketing. It’s an easy line to cross, partially because it’s hard to see where the line is from our positions. We need to regularly assess the effectiveness—or more important, the friendliness—of our messaging in order to retain and grow our customer following.

The ultimate aim, of course, is to send compelling and timely messages that will provide value and drive sales. But in order to do that, we need to keep our marketing efforts in check.

Here are a few tips on how to do just that:

Count Your Opt-outs

Keep tabs on how many of your email and social media subscribers are signing out of your marketing messages. A high or rising number of unsubscribes is a pretty good indicator that something is going wrong.

One advantage of counting opt outs in your social media and email marketing is that you can automatically tell which branch of your marketing has the problem, if not exactly what the problem is. For that, you’ll have to do some closer examination.

Check the Frequency of Your Emails/Texts

How often are you sending out your messages? There’s a difference between staying in touch and being a pest, and a marketer usually won’t be able to know the difference until people start getting annoyed and opting out.

Be aware that different social media venues have different thresholds for messages. Emails are generally the least frequent, and depending on the industry could range anywhere from a couple of times a week to once a month.

Check Your Content

Another factor that might be annoying your customers is what you’re saying. Customers don’t respond well to repetitive messages or messages that don’t provide them with any value. Sending out several messages in a row that announce the same sale (and not even worded differently) is a sure way to get a customer to opt out.

Instead of sending the same thing over and over, mix it up a little. Establish a social media channel or editorial calendar where you can plan out your messages in advance. That way you can also vet any repetitive or low-value content.

Follow Your Competitors

To get a better idea of what the industry standards are for sending out marketing messages, take a look at what your competitors are doing. See how frequent their messages are, and what kind of content they’re sending out. Evaluate what you discover to see which strategies are worth following, and which are better left at the side of the road.

Follow Yourself

For the ultimate litmus test, get someone whose opinion you trust to sign up for all of your marketing updates. Have them assess the quality and frequency of your messaging, and where you need to improve.

The reason you’re asking someone else to do it, and not signing up yourself, is that your opinion may be biased. You may have been so closely involved in the marketing process that you don’t actually see the problem.

Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & Creative Director of Logo Design Works. Since 1998, Mash has helped thousands of businesses express their brand messages through creative and award winning logo designs.