The answers is - It depends...
Over the last few weeks I’ve had at least four clients ask me this question. It also pops up in other conversations about emailing information to subscribers so I’m going to open up the topic in this blog post. We’ll continue the conversation over a short series on emailing customers, hopefully removing some of the mystery surrounding the “email marketing” topic. One of the first questions often asked about email marketing is how often you should mail your list. Trying to come up with a simple, straight-forward answer, always make me end up with the best I can come up with. All I can do is tell you is…it depends.
It depends on what your readers are used to
How often you are emailing your readers now? If you’re just setting up your list, or 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 at it for a while and you’ve been emailing them once a month, it may be time to slowly step it up. Start slow by mailing twice a month and then move to weekly emails. Based on your business, you may eventually you want to try mailing two to three times per week and see how that goes.
It depends on your market and niche
Something else you probably want to do is to see what other players in your niche are doing, including the big players. It would be a good strategy to understand what they are doing. Are they mailing several times per week? Or are they keeping to a less frequent schedule? Chances are they have done some testing and figured out what works well in this particular niche.
Of course you don’t have to 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 and 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.
It depends on what you want to achieve
Why are you emailing your subscribers in the first place? Do you see your email practices as a key feature or your marketing strategy? Do you email to build a relationship, perhaps, maybe to be top of mind, or to learn more about your customer so you can serve them more effectively? What you decide here will help you decide how often you need to be in touch using email. If you make email marketing part of your standard marketing mix, you’ll be able to recognize the frequency that will work for you and your readers.
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 a point where you’re mailing a couple of times per week because it makes sense with what you’re trying to achieve.
How are your readers responding to your emailing frequency? How does this fit into your work schedule and marketing priorities? Is it worth the time and effort? Adjust from there until you find your own personal sweet spot. There are other considerations that come into play, but acting on these first points will get you started. What do you need to do? You can start by trying and adjusting. It’s more important to get your list engaged and responsive than it is to be constantly emailing a non-responsive list, just because you “should” email every X number of days. You can do that by understanding your subscribers. Start there and they'll help you figure it out.