Use case-specific natural interaction limits

Based on the use case which a company serves, there’s a natural limit to the number of interactions which it can have with the vast majority of its users or customers. For example, most people will check their social media profile once to a few times a day, go grocery shopping once or twice a week, and buy clothes somewhere between once a month and once a year.

These use case-specific natural limits should inform the frequency with which the companies serving these use cases attempt to attract users or customers to their service through private mediums like notifications and messages (I’m excluding email from this analysis because email lists have abused the medium to such an extent that email is fast approaching a public communication channel). While one attempt a day is reasonable for a social media site, it’s too frequent for the vast majority of grocery and clothing sites.

Despite these use-case specific natural interaction limits, many companies attempt to engage their users or customers far more frequently than suggested by their use case. Unless you’re part of the 1% of customers who shop for clothing each day, this is irritating. Such companies lose more from the 99% they irritate than the 1% which accept their attempted engagement frequency.

The ideal solution is to segment your users or customers to deliver relevant messages tailored to their personal usage or purchase frequency. If you can’t do that, it’s best to respect the natural limit to the number of interactions inherent in the use case you’re serving.

Companies that fail to do this likely incentivize their marketing team based on short-term usage or purchase metrics without taking into account the long-term user or customer churn that these actions cause. So this is the problem that needs to be addressed.

Originally published at Thoughts of a VC.