One of the questions I’m most often asked about email marketing is how often should you email your list. If you are asking that question, you aren’t alone. I wish there was a simple, straight-forward answer, but the best I can do is tell you that it depends. For everyone that just groaned, let me explain that a little more.
It depends on what your readers are used to
Look at how often you are emailing your readers now. If your list is new and your subscribers don’t know yet what to expect from you, it is up to you to set those expectations. If you’ve been emailing them once a month, it may be time to slowly step it up. Start mailing twice a month and then move to weekly emails. Eventually, you may want to try emailing two to three times per week and see how that goes. Recently, I’ve seen a trend toward daily emails, however, you really need to do your homework and testing before you go that route.
As you are gradually increasing your frequency, pay close attention to how your subscribers respond to it. TechnologyAdvice conducted a survey and found the No. 1 reason people unsubscribe from emails is because they receive them too often. When that happens, the results could be that they report you as a spammer or completely disengage. Obviously, this will result in a drop in your open and click-thru rates. But this doesn’t have to happen. If you use market segmentation to laser focus your messages and send to a targeted audience, you will see the opposite effect—more opens and click-thrus.
It depends on your niche and your market
Another good strategy is to see what other thought leaders in your niche are doing. Are they emailing several times per week? Or are they sticking to a less frequent schedule? Chances are they have done some testing and figured out what works well in this particular niche.
You don’t have to blindly follow in their footsteps, but use it as a starting point and see how things are going. Then try to increase your email frequency and see if you get better overall results with more emails. If not, scale it back down until you find what works best for you and your subscribers.
It depends on the type of content offers you're sharing
What you are emailing about influences the frequency as well. If you’re sharing a daily deal, you want to email your list daily if that’s what your readers are looking for. If you’re publishing a weekly newsletter, send that once a week and possibly add a solo offer email here and there every couple of weeks.
If your market is seasonal, you may only want to do occasional emails throughout the off-season and ramp it up in the weeks leading up to your main season.
Learn from what you’ve already done
Check your stats. Many of the entrepreneurs I work with are creatives who are “just not into numbers.” Unless you are outsourcing your content marketing, you need to know your numbers. What is your open rate? How are your readers responding? This will help you determine how often you should email and how effective your email marketing program is. Start with knowing your goals for the program. Is it to convert readers to customers or simply to establish yourself as a thought leader? With your goals in mind, remember to focus on your audience. Each reader should feel like you are speaking to them and have their needs in mind.
Quick tips to pull it all together
- Say “hello” as soon as they subscribe—Begin a relationship so recipients get used to seeing your email.
- Deliver on your promise—Did you tell people that they’d get a weekly newsletter? Email them weekly because they will expect it.
- Make it relevant—Your primary objective is to deliver a piece of valuable information that the audience needs.
- Be consistent—Stick to the schedule you promised them when they opted-in. If it’s weekly, and you miss a week (life does happen!) don’t let that stretch into a month.
- Pick a day—Your best bet is to “test” emailing one day versus another. Learn what day results in the most opens and click-thrus.
So where does that leave you? The best way to find out how often you should mail your list is to try a few different things. Work your way up to an optimum frequency for your audience.
This article originally appeared in HIT Virtual Assistants.
This article was written by Karen Repoli from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.