When you’re ready to launch or build an email list, you have to decide how often to send emails to your subscribers. It seems simple enough but when you consider how important frequency is in your campaign it becomes a little more complicated. One question I get asked the most by my email clients is “How often do I email my list?”
You’ll need to send out enough emails to keep your audience engaged or you may lose their attention and their business. Your brand won’t be as visible, which hinders growth and results in missed opportunities.
On the hand, if you send out too many emails your audience may feel like you’re spamming their inbox and as a result, unsubscribe from your list. You may also find that you don’t have the time or resources to maintain good, quality content if you’re emailing too frequently and that will also cause people to unsubscribe. So, how often should you email your list? Answering that question will require some time, effort and research on your part.
Every business is different so what works for one company may not be adequate for another. For example, some companies send daily emails while others may only send out one a month. Your goal is to discover where your business ranks between these two extremes and that will help you determine email frequency.
Here are a few tips to help you determine how often to email your list:
- Take a close look at your business – The type of business you have will play a major role in how many emails is appropriate for you to send out. For example, do you have a large business that offers customers special deals and discounts on different products every week? If so, then weekly emails would be practical to ensure your audience is aware of your special deals. However, if your specials run for a month at a time, then once or twice a month may be more appropriate.
- Determine your marketing goal – All emails sent to subscribers must have a purpose. Otherwise, you’re just spamming your audience. For example, you can use email marketing to create brand awareness, generate revenue, provide information about your niche, promote your products or address common questions and concerns about the products or services you provide. Once you determine which type of emails to send, it will be easier to determine how often to send them.
- Check Out the competition – If you’re new to email marketing, a good way to get started is by taking a close look at what your competitors and other leaders in your industry are doing. How often do they send out emails on average and how well do their subscribers respond to this number? Use this information as a guide to help you customize your own email schedule.
- Ask your subscribers what they want – One excellent way to determine the right number of emails to send out is by asking your audience how many they would be comfortable receiving weekly or throughout the month. Adding this question to the opt-in form is a great idea that will get results. You can also start a poll, conduct a survey or send out questionnaires to see how your target audience responds to the question.
- Monitor your results – Once your marketing campaign is underway, it’s important to monitor your results. Keep up with how many people unsubscribe along with the reasons they give for no longer wanting to receive emails from you. Record your ROI and click rates along with any other information you can gather. All of this information will help you determine if you need to cut back on your emails or send out more. It really is a trial and error type thing. For example, if the main reason people unsubscribe is too many emails, then you know it’s time to cut back.
- Divide your subscribers into groups – If you’re still uncertain of how many emails to send out each month, divide your subscribers into groups. Send out a different number of emails to each group every month and monitor the results for a while. Pay close attention to why people unsubscribe to see if any of them complain about receiving too many or too few emails and adjust your schedule accordingly.
As you can see, there is no one specific answer to the question of how often should you email your list. The answer is different for everyone because every business is unique. What works for one may not work at all for another company. However, using the information above will help you come up with a strategy that works well for your business.
Once you’ve determined how many email correspondences is a good number for your business, stay consistent. Constantly changing your mailing frequency will have a negative effect on your business. If your audience expects one email a week, that’s what you need to give them. If you start skipping one every now and then or if you send out three or four emails in a week, your subscribers may view you as being unreliable and decide to unsubscribe.
As your business grows, so will your needs and there will be times when you’ll need to make changes. Therefore, it’s important to continue tracking and monitoring your email campaign to determine if your current plan is working or if it needs a little adjusting.
If you determine that you do need to increase or decrease email frequency, do so gradually. This way, it won’t be a shock to your subscribers and they will have time to get used to the changes. However, if you’re losing a lot of subscribers due to sending out an excessive amount of emails monthly, you can cut back now and test your list. Get a feel for what they like to hear from you and when.
What methods do you use for deciding when and how to email your list? How do you think your email marketing will change going into 2019? Will you email more frequently? Less often? Will you change the types of emails you send out? Will you kick up your marketing and promo more? Will you implement more storytelling or personal shares into your emails? Now’s the time to be making your email marketing plan for the new quarter and new year, if you haven’t already.