How Often Should You Email Customers?

How Often Should You Email Customers?

You have some important news to share with your customers and you want to get it out as soon as possible. So you send an email, timing be damned– the most important thing is that they see your message. Rinse and repeat for any other important pieces of news, advice, announcements, etc. Simple, right?

Sadly, the preponderance of emails (and spam) today means that everyone is dealing with an chronically full inbox. It’s startlingly easy to interpret a well-meaning email as just one more in a long line of messages meant to cajole and badger. How are you supposed to make sure you aren’t flooding email accounts and losing subscribers, with them grumbling about your company all the while? 

As is the case with many of life’s quandaries, the answer to this question depends on your goals, the nature of your product, and your customers. What works for one company may not work for you, and figuring out your ideal send ratio often requires experimentation and constant tweaking. In short, you need a plan.

That’s where this article comes in. In this post, we’ll go over tips to help you refine your approach to email frequency. Read on to learn more! 

How email frequency affects your bottom line

B2B marketing emails are one of the best ways to generate revenue and awareness: they engage your customers, boost sales, and build your brand’s credibility. Plus, every $1 spent on email marketing means $38 back (source). Not a bad investment!

It seems like a no-brainer to think that more emails doesn’t always equal more revenue– we’ve all received our fair share of annoying messages and unsubscribed to them immediately. What you may not realize is that sometimes more does equal more. On the other hand, the more messages you send, the more likely you are to annoy your customer.

Just check out these statistics:

  • 69% of customers unsubscribe if they receive too many emails (source).
  • But one company increased its email revenue by 45% after upping its email marketing cadence (source).

These two stats seem to be at odds, but they’re indicative of the fact that email marketing is a balancing act. Sending the minimum number of emails can leave your customers wondering who you are when your name pops up in their inbox; send too many emails, on the other hand, and they’ll report you as a spammer quicker than you can say “lost revenue.” 

With all this in mind, how in the world are you meant to figure out how often to send an email? 

Deciding on an email frequency

Again, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Here are a few places to start when deciding on the perfect send frequency for you and your customers.

Decide on your email’s purpose

Figure out what your email is meant to do or inspire before you hit send. For instance, is it promotional, or an email to celebrate a subscriber’s birthday? Is it urging customers to make a purchase, or are you looking to build brand loyalty? Is this a one-off email or part of a campaign? Maybe you want to hit on more than one of those goals at once.

Here are a few suggested email frequencies based on the type of content they feature:

  • One-offs: Welcome emails
  • Daily: Tips and tricks, content updates, etc.
  • Weekly: Newsletters or advice features
  • Sporadic emails: Seasonal campaigns, event invitations, etc.

If you have an end goal in mind for your email before you send it, you avoid wasting time and resources that would have been better spent elsewhere.

Check out your competitors

Don’t copy their strategy exactly, of course– but examine how they send their emails. Do they send messages out weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly? How many subscribers do they have? What’s the goal of their email campaign? By using your competitors as a litmus, you’ll have a better idea of how to measure your metrics of success. 

Best of all, it’s easy to do this: simply sign up for a competitor’s newsletter or other email program. From there, you can track and analyze the features of the email you’re most interested in, such as send frequency, visuals, or cadence.

That’s much better than starting at square one. 

Keep your customer’s expectations in mind

Ask yourself why you want customers to subscribe to your mailing list, and keep in mind the type of content you’re offering. Do customers want to keep track of any new discounts, or are they tuning in to your weekly newsletter for tips and tricks?

This is where the industry you’re in comes into play: a fashion boutique will send out many more emails than a software as a service company. Keep the subscriber’s expectations at the forefront of your mind: it won’t help to inundate a SaaS customer with daily emails, but the fashionista or tech news guru will look forward to them. 

Track your engagement metrics

Click-throughs, open rates, and other metrics will be your guiding light. If open rates are high, keep doing what you’re doing. If you see a spike in unsubscribers or a decline in your open rates, that’s a clue to try another approach. You may be sending out far too many (or too few) emails. 

In general, these are the numbers you should be aiming for (source): 

  • An open rate between 15-25% 
  • A click-through rate of 2.5% 
  • A click-to-open rate between 20-30%.

These numbers will differ according to your industry, but those are good metrics to aim for as you start adjusting your technique.

Segment your audience

A/B tests are another tactic you can use to track and improve your mailing habits. These tests give you some room for experimentation. Since you’re not emailing your entire list at once, there’s a low risk of alienating your whole audience with content that doesn’t resonate.

To segment, divide your subscribers into groups based on their activity, then test an increased or decreased email frequency. Whatever gets the most engagement should be used on a larger scale. You can also segment your subscribers by demographics, geographics, past purchases, and more.

Pay attention to your domain reputation

If you can’t reach someone’s inbox, you might as well not be sending them an email at all. 

Send too many emails and you may be reported as a spammer. This red flag signals to service providers that your messages should be sorted straight into the spam folder. That worsens your domain reputation, which makes it more likely that your emails will be sent to the junk folder, and so on…

Paying attention to your engagement metrics helps to counteract this problem; you can take action sooner if you notice a dip in the number of subscribers who are opening your emails. 

Given the complexity of email marketing, it can take some time to reach a point where you feel 100% confident in your email frequency. Your approach will be (and should be) different from your competitor’s, so it’s important to keep testing and adjusting your tactics to find the perfect method. Eventually, you’ll tune in to the right frequency and grow your mailing list.

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