Email marketing is one of the most targeted, measurable and cost-effective ways of reaching your audience. By sending your subscribers valuable content, you can grow your customer base, increase brand awareness and boost sales. However, it’s crucial that you treat your email list with care. Poor email marketing etiquette could see you driving subscribers away and losing customers in the process.
Your subscribers probably gave you their email address because they love your content and trust your brand, but this love and trust can easily be lost if you don’t email at an appropriate frequency. Email too little and there’s a chance your subscribers will forget who you are. Email too often and you run the risk of overwhelming and irritating them.
So, how frequently should you email your subscribers? Well, how long is a piece of string? It depends on a variety of factors from the type of content you create to your target audience. Here are just a few things to think about when deciding how often to pop into your subscribers’ inbox.
Determine whether your emails are actually successful
First, determine how successful your emails are. If the messages you’re sending are ineffective, focus on quality rather than quantity. Look at the open rate, click-through rate and number of unsubscribes for each email you send and use this information to determine what’s working and what isn’t.
It’s perfectly normal to see people unsubscribing from your list from time to time. Unsubscribes don’t necessarily mean you’re doing something wrong. In fact, unsubscribes can be a sign that you’re attracting the right people while repelling those who are wrong for your business. However, if you experience a surge in unsubscribes after sending a particular email, it could be a sign that a. subscribers really didn’t like that particular message or b. you’re contacting them too frequently.
Let subscribers choose how frequently you contact them
Letting subscribers choose how often they hear from you can be a great way of giving them the content they need without bombarding them.
I recently unsubscribed from the mailing list of one of my favourite marketers because she was emailing me three times a day! Sometimes it doesn’t matter how great your content is, if you’re sending it too often, people can get tired of it. If she’d have given me the option to receive just one email a week, I would have stuck around.
Most email marketing platforms allow you to customise your sign up forms to give subscribers more choice. You can also let people choose the type of content you send them. Let’s imagine you’re a fashion retailer. Some subscribers may wish to receive an email every time you have a sale, others may want regular fashion trend updates or content including their favourite style bloggers.
This brings me onto the next point, segmentation…
Segment your lists
Segmenting your lists involves breaking your subscribers into different categories based on behaviour, interests or chosen preferences. By splitting subscribers into different groups you can ensure you send the right content to the right people. In turn this can reduce the likelihood of unsubscribes and boost your chances of selling to your audience.
If your email provider lets you do so, take a look at where people opt-in to your newsletter. Which page or post were they reading when they signed up? Which sign up forms did they use? Did they opt in for a particular incentive? Use this information to add people to the right segmented list.
For example, a bank could use this data to segment their list in a way that lets them send the right content to the following people:
- First time buyers
- Home movers
- Homeowners nearing the end of their fixed rate deal
- Buy-to-let landlords
After all, there’s absolutely no point sending your latest buy-to-let mortgage deals to those who haven’t even bought a home yet.
Wondering how often to email your subscribers? There are no concrete guidelines to email frequency and while some businesses may get away with contacting their subscribers every day, others may be best off sticking to fortnightly or monthly updates.
To determine what works for you:
- Create valuable, high quality content
- Send it to the right people
- Give subscribers flexibility and choice
- Monitor your progress
- Act upon your findings