As a digital marketer, you’ve heard time and time again about the importance of email marketing. It is certainly true that one of the best ways to retain customers is to ensure they don’t forget about you.
Keeping Connected to Your Audience
Emails are a valuable resource for businesses of all sizes to promote new products, create a sense of partnership through newsletters, incentivize buying with sales, and even engage dialogue with customers through feedback or survey requests. There isn’t much a good email can’t accomplish when it comes to connecting with customers.
But the pendulum swings both ways, as the saying goes. There is such a thing as “too much of a good thing”. Customers who receive too many emails from you might be stressed out by your fervor and report your emails as spam, which in turn can be a major strike against you. On the other hand, marketing emails sent too irregularly may cause customers to forget your brand, or wonder what’s going on that you can’t get your act together and send out regular communications.
So what is the ideal email frequency? How often should you send marketing emails? Let’s take a look at some of the important factors that can help you decide how much is too much… or too little.
Email Frequency: Sending the Right Stuff at the Right Time
So, how often should you send marketing emails? If you’re the kind of person who likes direct answers, you’ll likely be disappointed by this answer: it depends. But, before you click that “x” in the corner to leave this article, let us quantify that and give you a hand in figuring out your own perfect formula.
Email marketing is all about sending customers emails that they want to receive on a timetable that makes them feel neither suspicious nor overwhelmed.
The problem therein is that no two customers are identical. Some folks may want to hear about new products and services, while others will stick to their “tested and true” option time and time again. Some customers will want to know the very second you’ve made a new blog post, while others just want to know about your next big sale.
Therefore, the number one rule of marketing emails is that they should contain valuable information. Don’t just email for the sake of emailing: use this opportunity to share important details with your customers. Sure, sales and promotions are some of the most popular emails, but if you want to engage with your customers in a truly meaningful way, send them a subject line that they have a pretty big chance of clicking on.
And if you are lacking of imagination and do not know what to write, you can either check this link, or browse the recommended services at the end of this article. But now, let’s continue to the next paragraph with some precious advice.
Do Not Waste Your Chance…
Each email you send is an opportunity for your business. Not only is it an opportunity to create a sale, but you also have the customer’s attention for a few seconds. Use this time to demonstrate your brand values, share insider information, or take a deeper dive into product details.
Let your audience know that you are a trusted expert who not only understands the customer, but the niche, as well.
Regardless of whether the customer opens and engages with each email remains to be seen, but those who notice subject lines that bring worthwhile content each time will be less likely to unsubscribe. Think of it like a magazine or newspaper: even though you may not read every word of every article, you keep the subscription because it is generally useful to you. Marketing emails have the same purpose; you just need to send the right stuff at the right time.
How Much Is Too Much?
Again: it depends. As painful as it is to not have a distinct answer to these questions, you’ll need to take a step back and consider your niche and your purpose.
For example, let’s say you provide a certain product that your average person may not need, but is wildly popular with other businesses. B2B emails have a certain level of professional respect attached to them. Just as you, as a business owner, don’t have the time to read every launch or sale email you receive from your partners and suppliers, neither do your customers.
A weekly or biweekly check-in that contains all of the latest news, specials, and product updates might be just enough to remind them that you’re still on each other’s radar. Sure, you can reach out with mega-sales and important updates from time to time, but you don’t want to bother other businesses who are trying to do the same things you are to stay afloat.
But what if you’re a small online business, trying desperately to not get lost in a sea of other online businesses? Shouldn’t you amp up your marketing email game to increase your chances of gaining customers?
The answer is yes, but also no. You do want to keep your name at the forefront of your customers’ mind, but it has to make sense. You’ll want to have a keen strategy.
Email Frequency Strategy to Schedule Emails
First ask yourself, “What do I hope to accomplish through email?” Are you looking to expand your customer base? Establish your brand identity? Gain traction for your blog? Run some massive sales to increase customer awareness and make room for new inventory to really get things hopping?
Your answer is probably “a little bit of each, actually”.
From there, organize your thoughts. If you send customers a mishmash of all of the things on your mind, they aren’t going to care. Remember the bit about sending them “worthwhile” emails? If you send a customer a reminder about your referral program on Monday, a “Behind the Scenes at Brand” email on Tuesday, an announcement about your latest blog post on Wednesday, and a sales code on Thursday, they’re far less likely to unsubscribe than if you send them whatever happened to cross your mind each day at noon.
Yes, this loops back around to making sure you send your audience purposeful emails, but it goes a little deeper, too. Segmenting (learn more here) is a key component of strategy, and your email service can be very helpful in creating just the right segments.
Most email services alert you to metrics like open rates, unsubscribe rates, and bounce rates, meaning, who loved the email, who hated it so much they left, and which email addresses aren’t functioning. Looking at who opens your emails and when will tell you a lot about who loves what. Everyone loves a custom-made experience, so sending customers only the emails that they’ve demonstrated they enjoy takes the “worthwhile” status to a whole new level.
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At the end of the day, the only way to find that delicate tipping point between “too often” and “not often enough” is through trying different things out. That means a lot of analytics and A/B testing. What gets the most response? Better yet, what type of response do you get? Do you get comments on your blog or social media shares, or a flux of purchases each time you send an email?
You’ll want to track these trends over a period of time to really get a feel for things. If one tactic doesn’t receive a positive response, back to the drawing board. This may seem frustrating and time consuming, but the good news is that you have plenty of material to draw from as a business owner. If “behind the scenes” type things get no response, try a mini product expose. You’ll learn about your customers’ likes and dislikes more quickly than you think.
Marketing emails are often considered the lifeblood of small businesses, which means that while you need them to keep your business afloat, you need to do it right. Your email frequency will keep customers on their toes, but be wary of becoming a nuisance.