Monday, 12 September 2011

Can you have too much of a good thing?

In short - yes. Is that a bad thing? Again - it can be.

I think it is vital that supporters feel that they have had the choice in what they receive after all they are more likely to look at them if they are not wondering 'why the hell am I getting this'?

And with the sheer amount of communications people receive these days, I think that this mindset is helpful. The issue then is of course, 'I have agreed to receive this but are they relevant to me?' The other challenge is then I think getting the balance right in terms of frequency.

As a supporter of a charity that, put it bluntly, I adore and can do no wrong in my eyes... well sadly they are starting to and part of this is because I am getting too much feedback.

Yes - I know! It sounds mad - but it is true. For me the constant notifications that there is a new update waiting for me is actually making me feel.... guilty. Every time I look at my email and see the subject lines still bold as unopened emails it makes me recoil.

I know this is not their intention and in the past their off-line feedback has been wonderfully gratifying on all levels. But right now with a new notification of an update generally once a week, sometimes more it is getting to the point where I can't and in fact won't go and view it.

What is the damage I hear you ask? Is there any harm? Would I give more to the next appeal to assuage my guilt? Is it such a bad thing? Well to me it is. My relationship with this organisation is not based on guilt - it never has been.

Did I sign-up to receive the updates? Yes, I did. But what is interesting is how I am starting to change my view on how the organisation works. Whereas before, the feedback felt it was reporting on a success hard won and significant, now the constant updates feel merely like a churn of case studies.

Thankfully, the damage thus far is that I have changed my preference and have opted out of receiving these updates entirely. Partly because there was only those two options: to receive or not - which is a shame in itself.

Interestingly, as I was writing this I found this abstract about the under provision versus the overprovision of partner support in the success of marriages, and it reminded me that people's relationships with the causes they support are very similar to a marriage and it's probably good to bear that in mind.

Thank you as ever for stopping by.