Email Frequency: How Much is Too Much?

February 19, 2014

Ask 14 people this question, and you’ll get 14 different responses. In fact you’re more likely to see a fistfight break out than you are seeing any agreement.

Some people believe that less emails = more engaged customers

On the contrary!

If you email less than once per month, you’re no longer keeping your company in the forefront of customers’ minds.

More important your chances of having deliverability issues increase. Why? Firstly, people are less likely to remember who you are and that they subscribed (delete/spam). Also, the email address could no longer be valid resulting in hard bounces and possible spam traps.

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Any type of communication, whether it’s through email, phone calls, one-on-one, direct mail or any other media you use, is about building relationships. By establishing frequent contact you accomplish several crucial factors to growing a business. (Jeremy Reeves from Kaizen Marketing Inc.)

Remember: people are on your list because they took action and signed up for your newsletter to receive your content.

If you are able maintain a high level of quality content, frequency becomes less of an issue. If the content is lackluster from the start, however, customers will practice their right to unsubscribe. BlueHornet survey reports that 24.5% of consumers unsubscribed from emails in 2013 due to relevancy.

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How to be relevant? 

I like Perry Marshal’s method:

The method we teach is 80% content / 20% pitch. Rather than pitching in every message, we recommend making deposits first…for 3 or 4 messages of pure, helpful content. Zero pitch. 

But when you do pitch…in the NEXT STEP message, be direct. Be brain-dead obvious about what you want them to do next. You can only pitch in this way, if you’ve earned the right to do so by providing relevant, helpful, content up to this point.

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Finally, here are general guidelines for frequency that maybe useful starting point for you:

  • Email MONTHLY if… you have a newsletter. This is the minimum frequency.  The goal with a monthly email is often to inform about the latest happenings in your company.

Emailing at least once per month, but no more than once every two weeks, is best when you service is used on a very infrequent basis. Such as, pool maintenance, dentist, roofer, accountant, barber etc.

  • Email FREQUENTLY (1-3x per week) if… you are selling a product or service. An email a week is the minimum.

Remember also that you don’t have to pump out a ton of copy in each email. Feature a handful of products. Promote a blog post or make a digest from articles that maybe useful for your customer.

MailerLite has chose to send a weekly newsletter on the same day, but we still vary and test the times. Always test and see what works for your customers.

  • Email DAILY if… you sell an information product or have a large number of products or services to offer.

If you can write and continue ADDING VALUE to your prospects or customers lives every single day, do it. Just be sure to track your metrics carefully and often. If you see a drop in opens, clicks, or conversions – consider pulling back a bit. If you see complaints and unsubscribes increase – test whether every other day changes those numbers.

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TAKEAWAY: emails are not about the frequency, it’s about building relationship and giving added value to your customers.

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