Email marketing works because—be it with leads or existing customers—you’re reaching out to people who have already shown interest in your brand. You want to avoid emailing so much that you overwhelm your list and drive subscribers away, but send often enough to keep them engaged in your content and foster a relationship with your brand.
Obviously there is no one right answer for how often you should email. Each company will have a unique email marketing frequency that works for them. However, by the end of this post you’ll know exactly what it takes to find that perfect balance.
Successful Email Marketing Campaigns
You need to know what makes for a successful email marketing campaign before you start to create one. There are several factors that you’ll use to determine the success of your campaign that virtually every email marketing platform will provide.
So, What Indicates a Successful Email?
There are four important aspects of an email that you need to consider when determining its success. Pay attention to these figures when emailing and use them to make changes accordingly.
Note: Every type of business will have a different open rate, CTR, unsubscribe rate, and email response rate that is considered successful for their field.
Your open rate is (you guessed it) the number of emails that were opened versus the total number of emails sent. If people won’t even open your email, your campaign isn’t going to get very far. Shoot for an open rate of around 20% (+/- 5%) to start and work on improving from there with awesome subject lines and testing frequency.
If you’re marketing via email, you’ll likely have an offer to send from time to time in order to boost your conversions, increase exposure, and so on. Your click-through rate is the number of opened emails where a link, offer, call to action, or social sharing feature was clicked.
You should look for a click-through rate of around 2.5% (+/- .5%) and aim to increase it by testing awesome offers and CTAs and the frequency you send them out.
The tell-all that you’re not doing what your list wants is a high unsubscribe rate. When you’re emailing to a large group of people, it’s normal to get a few unsubscribes. When you’re losing a lot of subscribers you need to take action to stop your list from jumping ship and repair the damage that’s already been done and keep it from getting worst.
Like I stated above, your number one cause for unsubscriptions is an overwhelming email marketing frequency. You need to let your email list know how many times you’re going to email them or let them decide how many times they want to receive email updates from you.
On my fashion blog, Stylishlyme, I let my website visitor decide which emails they would like to receive.
This strategy might not work for everyone but if you’re planning to email daily, make sure to let your subscribers know.
This should go without stating, but your emails need to provide real value. This is also in relation to your ideal buyers. Something that is valuable to your audience might not be for mine. This is why you need to know your audience intimately.
Normal unsubscribe rate levels are somewhere between 1% and 3%.
So What Should Your Email Marketing Frequency Be?
I going to make a very powerful statement, so continue reading, don’t just scan.
Your business will increase if you take steps to interact more frequently with your leads and existing customers.
Now don’t stop reading here and start emailing your list every day. Frequent interaction doesn’t always mean increasing email marketing frequency. Email is just one way you reach your audience and you need to evaluate whether or not you should be sending more often. I say this because many businesses aren’t in touch with their email lists as often as they should be.
But it’s also very easy to overdo it. After all, a recent study found that 73% of unsubscriptions were due to an email marketing frequency that was just too high. You’ve likely been the recipient of an overwhelming amount of emails after signing up for someone’s list. Use that as an example of what not to do.
Now let’s look at how to determine your unique email marketing frequency. Your company is unique, so your email frequency needs to be too.
Determined by the Goal of the Email Campaigns
Like anything in business, set an email marketing goal. Make it actionable, measurable, and specific. Your email marketing frequency will, in part, be decided by the goal of the campaign.
After all, different results require different actions. What are you hoping to achieve with your email campaign?
Building loyalty and improving brand awareness? You may be able to send short bits of awesome content very frequently to reinforce your expertise. Only email as often as you can provide outstanding value and thrill your audience.
Increasing subscribers or conversions? Powerful offers and calls to action are key. If you want your list to do something you can ask them, but make it worth their while and do it far less frequently.
The main idea is to create a campaign that is in line with your goal. If you don’t have a goal, you shouldn’t be sending an email.
What Type of Content are You Sending Your Subscribers?
What exactly are you sending to your list?
The type of content you’re emailing will have a major effect on its response and that will play a role in deciding on the perfect frequency.
Your business dictates the type of content you’ll be able to provide your audience, so consider how often people really want to hear from you.
If you’re a financial consultant you may be able to get away with sending expert financial advice quite frequently, even daily if you have great tips that provide real value each and every time.
It may be more difficult for the local dry cleaner to provide that same daily value. A service business like a dry cleaner may want to send special offers to their list on a weekly or bi-monthly schedule based on its customers’ frequency. Base your frequency on your content’s ability to keep your audience engaged in your expertise or brand without overwhelming.
Do They Expect to Hear from You?
Have you signed up subscribers that expect to hear from you on a certain schedule? Have you signed up your list with the promise of sending them your top marketing tip of the day before their morning coffee gets cold? You may have a list built around an all-encompassing monthly newsletter that’s full of excellent content.
Whatever your prearranged schedule may be, stick to it. Sneaking in a few additional emails here and there will hardly put people off, especially if you’re sending great content or special offers. Overdo it and you may start to annoy subscribers who are only expecting to hear from you on the terms of your original agreement.
Note: Email marketing is evolving and requires a powerful strategy to ensure success. It’s time to start moving away from traditional timed campaigns and toward a behavioral or triggered approach that allows you to target your list when they are most apt to convert.
Use Past Performance to Increase Future Performance
Your gut feeling won’t get you very far when it comes to determining frequency or judging the success of a campaign. You need to look at the numbers and make adjustments (or massive corrections) based on that data.
You’ll be able to use the information gathered from your email marketing platform to make adjustments that could increase the success of your campaign dramatically.
Test different subject lines, offers, headlines, body copy, and any other defining parts of your email campaign. Look at how each change increases or decreases open rate, CTR, etc., and you’ll be able to begin to build a profile for your audiences likes and dislikes.
Like I mentioned, every list is going to require a different frequency
Now that you know what it takes to determine your email marketing frequency and how to judge a successful campaign, you’re ready for the next step. It’s time to create a powerful email marketing strategy, so be sure to read our post Email Marketing Best Practices & 10 Awesome Email Marketing Tips.