This is an important question; one that we are asked quite frequently.
The short answer is, it depends. (My favorite answer!)
Finding the delicate balance of how often you should email your customers isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on:
- What your list members expect from you.
- When someone opted in to your list, what did you promise? If it was a monthly newsletter, then send a newsletter every month.
- Perhaps you offered to send weekly tips. Sending an email every week is appropriate.
- If you offered early-bird pricing or advance notice of sales, then send your emails in advance of the public notice of your offers.
- Did you offer a daily motivational/inspirational tip? By all means, send them daily.
- Are you promoting an event such as a webinar? Use email to remind your customers to “save the date”. Follow up with reminders one week, 3 days and even one hour before.
- How relevant your content is.
- If your list is fawning cat-lovers, they probably won’t appreciate an offer for dog food and will view your email as a waste of time.
- If your list is recent car buyers, they probably won’t appreciate your next big sales offer but they will certainly pay attention to a special in the service department.
- What your email marketing goals are.
- Are you driving traffic to your website?
- Is it to generate sales?
- What your past analytics say.
- How often did you send in the past?
- Is there a correlation between frequency and unsubscribes?
- What is the relationship between frequency and the open rate?
There are inherent risks of over-mailing and under-emailing. If you stop sending email, the user is likely to forget you. If you over-email, you risk a certain unsubscribe. Your goal is to increase your open-rate and keep the opt-out rates low.
If you are a retailer, users generally expect to receive more emails during the holiday season. But, if you dropped out for the 6-9 months the season, you’ve probably lost their loyalty. Consistency matters.
Depending on your personal media habits, you are exposed to 3,000 to 20,000 messages every day. That is a lot of competition for attention! Here are a few suggestions to help you find the right balance for sending email to your list:
- Respond immediately to new opt-ins. Set up an auto-responder that goes out on the moment someone opts-into your list. If the opt-in was generated from a landing page offering a PDF, video or web series, deliver it in the auto-responder email. Reiterate what you promised as far as frequency and type of information you send.
- Do what you promised. When a user opts-in with an email address, they are trusting you to deliver what you promised. If you promised weekly, send your email weekly. If it was daily or monthly, send as promised.
- Stick to a schedule. Find a day and time that maximizes your email marketing goals. This means testing and checking your analytics to compare results.
- Learn to write compelling subject lines. Dry, dull, too-long subject lines are easy to ignore. Be specific on what they will get when they read the email. Also make sure the subject line matches the content. Bait and switch is a good way to lose more subscribers.
- Segment your user list. Group your list by interest. This might be selected at the moment of opt-in or it could be segmented based on content download. If it’s a customer, segment them by what they’ve already purchased. Use this information to offer similar products. Create content that is relevant to the segment you are emailing.
- Use automation to help you manage your time. Automation allows you to plan your work in advance. You can create, edit and schedule your emails at a time in the future. You can work days, weeks even months ahead with an automated platform.
Try, test and retest to find the correct balance. Review your analytics after every campaign and make adjustments as necessary. After all, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.
If you liked this article, you might also like:
- How to Use Email List Segmentation
- Does Email Marketing Really Work?
- 9 Essential Elements of a Successful Online Lead Generation Campaign
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