How Often Should Your Company Be Sending Emails?
Anyone who has done email marketing has agonized over the question of how often they should be sending emails. Email marketing remains one of the strongest ways for companies to stay in touch with their customers, keep their customers informed, and ensure that they stay in the forefront of their customers’ mind when it comes time to make a purchase. We know from various email marketing research that sending our emails too often is one of the leading factors that leads our readers to unsubscribe. Send too few and you could lose revenue and your customers’ attention. So what’s the right number?
How often is too often?
According to this 2015 National Client Email report by the Direct Marketing Association, the following chart covers the email frequency for 2014 among marketers from various company types and sizes as well as geographic locations.
One of the things that frequency is often based on is the kind of content you are looking to communicate to your subscribers. For example, if your business communicates time-sensitive information, or if your industry is in a constant state of flux where rules and regulations change and the information needs to be shared with customers immediately, then in that case, email should be sent out on a daily or weekly basis.
Anything less than once per month is no longer a regular eblast update. The emails start to get so far apart that you’re losing most of the big advantages of email marketing — you’re no longer keeping your company in the forefront of customers’ minds. Certainly if you have some kind of truly important news you could send out a mass email about it, but it’s not really a newsletter at that point. It’s just a random email sent out to customers. The once per month point, however, can be very effective. It’s just inside the timeline so that your customers will remember you, and when it comes time to make a purchase decision, you’ll be in their head.
Here are 6 general guidelines from WhatCounts to follow about email frequency:
- You should send quarterly if…you really don’t have much to say or don’t have the time/resources available to say it. One thing to keep in mind is if you send quarterly, your chances of having deliverabilty issues increase.
- You should send monthly if… you have a newsletter. The goal with a monthly email is often to inform. Newsletters are meant to keep subscribers up-to-date on the latest happenings at your business. However, if your goal is to sell a product or service (think: conversions), monthly is too infrequent.
- You should send bi-monthly (2x per month) if…you want to hit the sweet spot for most subscribers. It’s a nice balance between monthly and weekly. Most organizations and/or individuals can crank out solid content every few weeks. If you are worried about not having enough content every other week, think about ways to pull existing content (blog posts, press releases, website copy) and repurpose.
- You should send weekly if…you are selling a product or service. If you have a sale or an updated service offering or new product, let your subscribers know about it every week. Some choose to send on the same day and time every week. Remember also that you don’t have to pump out a ton of copy in each email.
- You should send daily if…you are Daily Candy! The key on these are that you must be able to produce quality actionable, valuable, relevant, and timely content every single day. Most email marketers are unable to keep up with this cadence. The only caution on a daily email is 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.
- You should send more than once per day if…you are HARO! If you’ve ever subscribed to Help a Reporter Out, you’ll see why more than once per day works. This is where automation comes into play, unless you have a large team dedicated full-time to content production and sending emails.
Finding the perfect frequency can be a little tricky: you should be sending emails frequently enough to stay top of mind with prospects, but not so often that you become an annoyance. Luckily, the nature of your product or service and the campaign tracking data you gather can help you find the sweet spot between too often and not enough.
Another way is to segment your email subscriber list so you’re not sending all emails to all customers. If you have targeted information to impart, be selective about who you deliver it to.
Testing Your Choices
As you fine-tune your frequency, keep a careful watch on open rates and unsubscribes. If either open rates fall or unsubscribes rise as your frequency increases, you’re probably emailing too much. If your email includes a purchase call to action, also keep watch on the revenue per email. Some studies indicate that transactions and purchase amounts increase the more emails a customer receives—if you experience the same trend, consider increasing the frequency of your sends to maximize revenue.
Tailor your email plan to your company’s needs (do you need to communicate weekly specials? Provide daily updates?) and your customers’ preferences. Armed with that information, you can hit on the right frequency for both your company and your customers.
About the Author
DIRECTOR OF INTERNET MARKETING
Tyler is the Internet Marketing Director at Farmore Marketing brings with him multiple years of internet marketing experience across a variety of industries. He loves to play golf, the UConn Huskies and travel to new places!