Email marketing is one of the most effective methods that your business can utilise in online marketing. However, should you email some of your contacts too often; you can end up losing vital leads. Research has shown that 54% of subscribers quote that they receive emails too frequently.
On the other hand, too infrequent email can lessen your web traffic and lower your profits. Research has shown that 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email.
Therefore finding the optimal email frequency is a very important task for your small business.
So how often should your small business email subscribers?
In reality there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Some subscribers would welcome emails coming into their inbox on a daily basis. Others will not appreciate it and would prefer that you email them perhaps twice a week or once a month.
One of the core principles to determine the frequency to send out emails is the value of your correspondence. Emails that have a high value to the subscribers are likely to retain the subscribers even at a higher frequency. However those that have a poor value to the audience are more likely to lose subscribers.
Another consideration is to note at what stage of the sales process the reader is at. Those who have not bought any products or services are less likely to tolerate a regular email; however those who have purchased and enjoyed your product or service are likely to respond positively to your communications.
Discovering the optimal level
Every business therefore has a different frequency that is optimal for sending out emails. Discovering that frequency isn’t an easy process, however it is possible to do so.
You could perhaps start off sending out your email marketing at an interval of perhaps once a month. This is a very non-intrusive level which is a good start, especially if you have a lot of new subscribers. However it is likely that the return on the email marketing campaign will be low. You should monitor the level in which people are opening and clicking through to your website from the email. You should also monitor the rate in which people are unsubscribing from the communication.
You might want to try this method for between three to six months to gain a decent average for the CTR (click through rate) and unsubscribe rate. Otherwise you might be faced with comparing data when one might have over or under performed.
After this period you could attempt to increase the frequency to a campaign that runs every two weeks. Again it is best to monitor the CTR and unsubscribe. If you notice that the CTR drops and the unsubscribe increases, over three or four campaigns, you should reduce the frequency back to once a month. However should you be noticing that the CTR and subscribe rate is increasing you might want to calculate the value over a longer period.
If more sales are made over a period of two or three months, then the higher level is obviously a good suit for your business. You might also want to increase the level to once a week – again watching the unsubscribe rate to ensure it doesn’t increase beyond an acceptable rate.
You could of course decrease the number of emails you send out a month, if the unsubscribe rate increases and you find it is less profitable.
One way to ensure that you do not suffer from too large an unsubscribe rate from your highly valuable emails, is to ensure that when individuals do sign up you make it clear how often you will be emailing them. This is perhaps more valuable further down the line and it can help you retain new subscribers.
So retain a healthy list of engaged readers on your email campaigns and discover the best frequency for your target market.
Image: Pascual López
It’s an important question and one that often comes up in email marketing discussion.
One frame thought leans toward using sparse text in emails. The idea is to not overwhelm email subscribers with too much information. In this instance, email is seen as the gateway to the website and the goal is to get email viewers to click through to the website as fast as possible. Too much text will not interest the casual reader and they’ll simple delete anything with text.
An email newsletter is a great way to provide value to your followers.
Many companies create email newsletters for a variety of reasons. Newsletters are a great way to curate content from your website or from around the web and provide it in an easy to digest format for your followers. People appreciate the effort companies put into creating newsletters. It’s a great way to provide additional value to followers, fostering loyalty and more spending.
Software company, SEOmoz, has created one of the best email newsletters in the SEO world. Each month they send out their version of the top 10 articles from around the web. The posts included in the newsletter are relevant to the SEOmoz customer, but beyond relevancy the posts are also presented in a way that makes it easy for the reader to scan quickly and then choose the articles they want to read.
Here are a few tips for designing your own email newsletter including a few more examples.