One of the trickiest parts of running an email marketing campaign is determining the frequency of your mailings. If you mail your subscribers too much, you run the risk of becoming an annoyance, leading to low open rates and high unsubscribe rates. On the flipside, if you don’t email them often enough, there’s a chance of your relationship with your subscribers slowly fading away.
How often is too often?
In a 2005 survey conducted by DoubleClick, 49% of respondents said that spam is “email from a company I have done business with but that comes too frequently.” In other words, if you email your list too often, you won’t just be annoying them, they’ll see you as someone spamming them. And once someone sees you as a spammer, that’s a hard bell to unring.
While there are no set rules for what is considered too often, most experts agree you shouldn’t contact your list more than once every 4 or 5 days. This is about one email each business week. You can avoid the need to send emails too often by planning ahead. For example, if you have your huge annual sale coming up at the end of September, start mentioning it now in your emails once a week leading up to the event. This way, by the time the event arrives, your customers are well aware of it, meaning you don’t have to barrage them with emails to let them know.
How little is too little?
Now that we’ve established anything more than 2 times a week is probably pushing it, let’s take a look at it from the other side. How little is too little?
Again, there are no hard and fast rules for this, but my recommendation is no less than once a month, and even that is probably pushing it. Remember, you’re building relationships with your subscribers through email marketing. So, if you don’t ever contact them, it’s going to be pretty hard to establish the relationship you need for them to trust you and to take the action you desire. A lack of contact can lead to inactivity—an email marketers worst enemy.
Finding the sweet spot
So, what can you do to make certain you’re emailing your subscribers at the right frequency? Here are a couple of tips to consider:
• Pay attention to your stats—If you’re running an email marketing campaign, you should always be monitoring its performance through analytics. A couple of things you should pay attention to are unsubscribe rates and open rates. As you tweak the frequency of your email messages, pay attention to any fluctuation in the stats. The key is to find the perfect balance of low unsubscribe rates, high open rates, and high conversion rates from your readers.
• Ask for preference upon signup—Another easy way to determine the right frequency for your readers is to simply ask them upon signup how often they’d prefer to hear from you. You can have check boxes with “1-2 times a week,” “Once every 2 weeks,” and “Once a month.” This will eliminate confusion and avoid ticking off your subscribers.
How often do you send out emails to your subscribers?