Magic Number for How Many Emails to Send
Email advertising is basically the process of sending a marketable message to a group of people with the use of email. It typically involves the use of email to send donations or ask sales, business, request, or advertisements. Moreover, it is designed to form brand awareness, loyalty, and trust.
It is used by thousands of industries of all sizes around the world. So, are you planning to utilize this kind of digital marketing platform? Then here are some considerations to think about before you do.
How often should you email subscribers?
It’s an age-old question for anyone who sends email. You want to keep subscribers engaged, but you don’t want to give off that needy, stage-five clinger vibe. Nor do you want to get lost in the inbox.
So what’s the magic number of times you should email subscribers?
The answer is… It depends.
How often your subscribers want to receive them from you depends on a variety of factors, including the people who make up your email list, the type of content you’re sending, and even the time of year.
How often are other brands sending them?
According to Direct Marketing Association’s email marketing report, 54 percent of companies were sending communications 1-3 times a month, while 30 percent are sent 4-8 times a month.
That means the majority of companies are sending at least one to two a week, which seems to match up to subscribers’ expectations fairly well. According to a survey from Marketing Sherpa, most subscribers said they would rather receive emails at least once a week or once a month.
However, while most companies tend to prefer a lean email sending strategy, automation may be changing the game.
As advancements in email automation continue to improve, more brands are exploring the idea of sending targeted communication to subscribers who want it most. In this case, we might see the overall number sent increase, although each subscriber may only be getting one or two a month.
Should you send fewer communications?
For the most part, most email dispatchers would rather send a few a month vs. many. And subscribers seem to be happy about that.
Avoid email fatigue. Brands that send daily run the risk of overwhelming their subscribers to the point where their messages go ignored. Unless your subscribers are the “Inbox Zero” type, they likely have hundreds or even thousands of unopened sitting in the inbox.
Have more time to craft your communications. Designing and writing engaging letters is a time-commitment. And the more you commit to, the harder it becomes to create valuable correspondence that you’re proud of.
It’s easy to fall into the rinse-and-repeat habit of creating content, but your subscribers deserve better. When you only send a few items a month, you allow yourself more time to create awesome content.
However, there are a few risks that come along with maintaining little email communication with subscribers:
You might miss important opportunities. If you maintain a rigid once-a-week email schedule, you might inadvertently prevent yourself from communicating something awesome to your subscribers, like a hot new industry trend or product announcement.
Subscribers may forget about you. There’s a reason why the old adage “Outta sight, outta mind” exists; unless something is right in front of a person’s eyes, chances are they’ll forget it completely (kind of like how you forget to move your laundry from the washing machine to dryer if it’s located in the basement).
Unfortunately, the same happens to subscribers when they don’t see any coming from you in their inbox.
You risk getting marked as spam. If your subscribers aren’t used to seeing your messages in their inbox, they might forget they signed up for your correspondence in the first place. And if that happens, they might mark you as spam, which can hurt your email sender reputation… which can then make it more difficult for you to get your email delivered to your other subscribers.
That’s a snowball-effect you definitely want to avoid.
What about sending more?
Most seem to agree that sending multiple email a week can be overwhelming, and for good reason:
The statistics aren’t pretty. Seventy-three percent of people said sending them too frequently was the main reason why they unsubscribed from an email list. The same also applies even if your list loves you; another study found that 71 percent of people didn’t want more correspondence from companies they trust.
Plus, sending too many can really hurt your open rates.
Good to know!
You run the risk of getting repetitive. The more you send, the more difficult it becomes to come up with unique and compelling content. Think of the emails you get from retailers for the latest incredible sale you must take advantage of now – the more often you get that same message, the less urgent and exclusive it seems.
But just as there are both pros and cons to sending a small number, there are some benefits to increasing your email frequency, too:
You’re engaging subscribers with targeted content. Although you’re technically sending many per week, you avoid overwhelming your list if you send targeted correspondence to different segments of subscribers. (If you send two emails a week, but each goes out to different segments of subscribers, that’s only one email for every subscriber on your list).
You’re keeping up with the competition. There are certain times of the year when subscribers expect an influx to show up in the inbox (like the entire period of time after Thanksgiving). In these situations, sending more frequent letters could help capture the attention of frantic shoppers looking for the next best deal.
You’re setting expectations. Whether you plan on sending three emails a week or once a month, include this detail in your sign up form. This way, subscribers know what they’re getting themselves into.
For theSkimm, a popular newsletter that curates all the latest news into a witty, neatly packaged email, sending daily is their shtick. When I signed up, I knew what I was getting myself into. And since they delivered each day on their promise, I was delighted when they showed up in my inbox.
How many emails should you send in an automated series?
We often get asked by our customers about how many autoresponders they should include in a series. While it depends on the information you plan on communicating, our rule of thumb is to only send if they’re relevant to your series and to your subscribers; in other words, avoid sending 10 just because you think having more equates to being more effective.
In fact, most usually find that the more emails you have, the more engagement decreases over time.
Are you still unsure? Consider your audience.
Every list of subscribers will be different. So what works for one email sender might not work for another. theSkimm, for example, is successful because they send emails daily, and communicate that clearly before you sign up. But that cadence might not work for someone else, like a vocal coach whose subscribers are only interested in hearing from them once a week.
Whether you’re just getting started with email marketing or you have a list in the quadruple digits, it’s important to establish a consistent cadence from the get-go – and communicate that clearly with new subscribers. Whether you mention it in your sign up form or your first welcome message (or both!), this helps set expectations so there aren’t any surprises.
If you find that a lot of people are unsubscribing from your list or marking your emails as spam, you might want to see if your email cadence impacted that in any way. On your unsubscribe page, give people a chance to provide feedback as to why they’re leaving.
(This is also a good time to reiterate the value of staying).
If you find a common theme about sending too many or not enough, it may be time to try a new send frequency.
Or, consider surveying your current subscriber list to gauge how they feel about how often you send emails. (And while you’re at it, why not do a quick temperature check on your email content and ask for their feedback on that, too? You never know when you might need a refresh!)
Here is one other thing to consider about your email list? There will be differences among individual subscribers.
We often think of frequency in terms of how the whole list behaves, but content that works for some might not resonate with others. This is where automation and segmentation can be a powerful tool to help you better communicates with your audience.
Focus on quality email content.
Once you’ve established an email cadence you’re comfortable with (and that you think your subscribers will enjoy), your main focus should be on providing quality, relevant content. If it’s something your subscribers will enjoy, they’ll look forward to every email you send.
Choose a frequency that works for you.
Think about how often you email your own subscribers. Weekly? Monthly? Maybe it’s time to change things up or survey your list to see if they’d like to hear more or less from you.
Find more information from the experts. Read Monica Montesa at http://www.business2community.com/brandviews/aweber