How To Notify Users Without Being Spammy

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Growth.Design - Case Study #024

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Last Sunday, I was grilling some food when I saw this in my inbox...

...4 emails in 4 hours!


When you force people to do something, they tend to do the opposite of what you want.

Especially when they feel their freedom of choice is threatened.1

1Growth.Design, 101 Cognitive Biases & Principles That Affect Your UX (2020)

Imagine, it's like having a weird neighbor call you during lunch...


...Knock at your door a few minutes later…

...And come back in the afternoon while you're relaxing outside...

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Nobody would do this in real life... so why do we let this happen in our digital life?

This is bad for 3 main reasons...

1) 📉 Lower Open Rates:
If people engage with one email, they might never open the others.

Users don't Care About Silos

One of the reasons this situation happens is because departments don't synchronize well with each other.

Be careful not to let internal miscommunications influence the user experience negatively.1

1Public Digital, Silo working is strangling user experience (2019)

3) ⛔️ More Unsubscribes:
People will try to "clean" their notifications to receive less.

Luckily, there's a quick fix...

2) 💥 Conflicting CTAs:
Each email is promoting a different thing. People won't know what's more important.

Clear Path = ↑ Engagement

People don't want to overthink.1

Make it really easy for them to choose what they have to do next, and they'll engage with your content.

In this case, I'm left with an unclear choice between 4 competing actions.

1Steve Krug, Don't Make Me Think (2013)
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The "Anti-Stalker" Segment:

Simply create a dynamic segment in your CRM that removes everyone who received an email in the past day!

Now... How can you implement this?

Here's a quick checklist, plus an advanced strategy...

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📮 Respectful Email Notifications

And if you want to go a bit further...

One last thing for you! 

...Sync the email with your push notifications, so you don't duplicate the CTAs (between email and app) and provide a redundant experience!

Depending on your CRM the execution might be different (Custom field, Campaign filter, etc.)

Create the "Anti-Stalker" segment/filter

Document the step-by-step so anybody from any team can easily apply this technique for new campaigns (or current automations). 

Include this process in your team's wiki

In your step-by-step, make sure the people left out of the segment can receive the campaign the next day.

Schedule campaigns the rest of the audience

You can send this case study by email to your colleagues, so you're all aligned (we even prepared a small message.)

Sync with other departments to minimize overlaps

If you learned something...

Retweets are  welcomed too!

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You completed Growth.Design's Case Study #024:
"The Anti-Stalker Segment"