Finding the right emаil frequency can be tricky… On the one hand, you don’t want to overwhelm your contacts. On the other hand, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of email marketing. This is a common question for email marketing that many business owners and marketers ask themselves at one point or another.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are general guidelines and questions you can ask yourself to find out what might work best for your business.
To keep things simple, there are some high-level rules you can use when you’re making a decision on your email frequency.
How are you starting them off?
A welcome sequence is very important, but you must be mindful not to overwhelm your newly added prospect with a surge of emails. A smooth welcome sequence will allow you to set expectations right away. Keep an eye on the opt-out percentage for this sequence to understand your prospects’ preferences, and keep in mind that these preferences could be different for each segment you’re targeting.
How often can you provide fresh, high-quality content?
If you’re a blog writer that publishes daily, you might send out a weekly newsletter to give a rundown of this week’s posts. A local shop with monthly deals might be better off with a monthly newsletter.
If your emails are starting to feel repetitive or you’re struggling to think of content, it’s better to focus on quality over quantity.
Your subscribers would like to know how often they can expect your emails. You don’t want contacts growing impatient for your next newsletter. On top of that, when you send consistently, your subscribers know when to expect your email, which can even help boost your open rate.
Are you a full-time marketer?
Make sure you go with a schedule that you can stick to. If you’re a business owner, you’re most likely busy with many other aspects of your business – so be realistic with scheduling and try to carve out time in your schedule that you know you can be consistent with.
Follow industry leaders
No need to reinvent the wheel. This may seem like a lot to learn, however, a sound strategy that many beginners use to get started, is to observe the email strategy of your competitors and see how well it’s paying off for them. By signing up for newsletters from trusted experts in your space; how often do they email? Twice a month, three times a week? This will help you form a baseline for your own strategy. Just make sure to make it your own based on how your prospects react.
Keep in mind your competitors and even though leaders may not have optimized their email frequency to perfection. When going this route, don’t base any conclusions on a single company or person as they may be an outlier.
How to know you’re sending too many emails
The primary reason that people unsubscribe from a list is that they are blasted with an enormous amount of emails from a sender. When someone unsubscribes, for this reason, they’re also more likely to report your emails as spam, which hurts your “sender” reputation.
But it isn’t always clear when your email cadence is suboptimal. So how do you know you’re getting on your contacts’ nerves?
One good first step when it comes to optimizing your email strategy is by looking at industry standards. This doesn’t just mean how often competitors send emails but also what are the average open rates, spam complaints, and unsubscribe rates for your industry? If your numbers are noticeably worse, you may be sending too frequently.
High spam complaints and unsubscribe rates, in particular, are a good indication you’re not living up to expectations.
Another indication, as mentioned earlier, is that you fail to adhere to your schedule or make quality emails in time.
How to know you’re sending too few emails
Knowing when you’re sending too few emails is even trickier. A few rules of thumb for minimum sending numbers:
- You should be mailing your list at least once monthly so they don’t forget about you.
- You should be sending your welcome email as soon as they subscribe.
For ongoing emails, if you feel like you’re cramming lots of content into each email, you’re better off mailing more frequently. Another indication is if your results don’t live up to industry standards. In the end, many factors decide email performance and whether certain statistics are a result of frequency or factors like how you collected your list, email content, or subject lines is hard to tell.
If you think you have the time and content to send more high-quality emails, you probably should.
Segmentation can help you hit the sweet spot
Just like businesses vary and no email frequency is perfect for all businesses, your contacts are also unique with their own preferences. For example, some subscribers might love a daily update, while others will get annoyed at anything more frequent than weekly.
Segmentation helps in two ways.
Firstly, you can segment based on content. If you find yourself putting a wide variety of content in your emails targeting separate groups of your list, split them into multiple emails. Subscribers that only receive relevant content they’re interested in are less likely to complain about more frequent mailings.
Secondly, you can segment based on frequency. For example, are you a blog writer publishing daily with plenty of time on your hands? Give your fans the option to subscribe to daily, weekly, or monthly emails. This way, you’re always hitting the sweet spot and delivering exactly what your subscribers are looking for. It’s hard to go wrong with segmentation, as it leads to more personalized emails.
As you’ve seen, there is no easy answer to how often to contact your list. Most companies will find their most effective cadence through trial & error. You can use the guidelines from before to determine a good starting point for your testing.
When you feel like you’ve arrived at a suitable cadence for your subscribers, it’s time to focus on the effectiveness of your emails. Never stop optimizing.
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