Email blast: When timing is everything


The days of “spray and pray” marketing are over

As a marketer, sending emails campaigns is probably a common revenue generating tactic in your marketing toolkit. Having an newsletter just makes sense. It is an inexpensive way to market new products and stay in touch with your customers. But one of the biggest questions people have when starting one up is how often should it be sent out. Daily? Weekly? Monthly?

The answer: you should send it out as often as your customers want to receive your emails. How often you send emails can have a significant effect on your company’s revenue and email engagement. But it’s not as simple as just sending more emails to generate more revenue.

The problems with sending too often are:

  • Your clients will get burnt out and not read any of your emails
  • You’ll spend a lot of money with less ROI than you’d like
  • You run the risk of customers hitting the spam button, even if you have their consent.
  • You’ll waste time sending a message that doesn’t reach the masses

The problems with sending too infrequently are:

  • Customers will have to re-familiarize themselves with your company each and every time you send an email campaign or email newsletter
  • Customers will have trouble following a chain-like buying strategy, such as purchasing a scarf one week and gloves the next
  • Customers will forget who you are and may hit the spam button, ruining your reputation
  • Customers will be resentful that you’re not doing enough to get their attention
  • Email addresses will change and you’ll find your list piling up with hard bounces.

So, how often should you send?

As far as sending too much, if you like to send often, we recommend not sending any more than three times a week. Once a week is a good schedule, as is once every two weeks. You can go for once a month, but we feel that probably won’t make your ROI worth your time.

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but this saying simply doesn’t apply to email marketing. Sending too infrequently makes things all the more difficult for you because each time may be like starting from scratch. We recommend that you send no less than once a month, and that’s pushing it. Remember: customers are human. They forget things.The longer periods between campaigns increase the risks that your customers will write off your emails altogether, deleting them, unsubscribing or even hitting the deadly spam button.

As always, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, so we encourage you to see what works best for your subscribers.

Changing how often you email your subscribers can have varied effects, both positive and negative. Your subscribers may:

  • Unsubscribe
  • Engage less often
  • Engage more often
  • Engage with additional emails at the same rate as they had before

It’s unlikely all of your subscribers will decide to do just one of those things. You will get blended results. The best solution is to carefully test what works best for your list. If you decide to increase your send frequency, optimize your emails with helpful content so your subscribers get more value from receiving more emails from you.

Whatever frequency you decide to start with, the most important thing is to remain consistent. If you send a newsletter out in January but don’t send another until April, people will forget they signed up in the first place and will be more likely to unsubscribe. People like to have rituals, so letting them know what to expect and when to expect it can lead to an increase in open rates and click-throughs.

Another factor to consider is how often you will be able to send out a quality product. Putting together a good newsletter takes time. You need to gather interesting material, put together new offers, find compelling graphics and most importantly, craft a really great subject line. If you’re rushing around at the last minute and outputting a shoddy newsletter, you should cut back on how often you send it out.

The days of “spray and pray” marketing are over and today’s consumers expect highly targeted messages that give them what they want, when they want it. Before you send an email, ask yourself, “What value does my subscriber gain from receiving this message?” and “How can I provide the most value to the subscriber by making this relevant to them?”

Here are a few tips to answer these questions:

1-Plan ahead

Put time on your side by building your next 2 to 4 campaigns in advance. Take advantage of the fact that you can create campaigns in advance to take a few steps ahead of your competition.

2-Use calendar events

Create emails with .ical events included in them. This way, people don’t forget about your events.

3-Be disciplined

Finding a disciplined schedule and sticking to it helps build trust-based relationships with your customers, boost sales and preserve your reputation as an email marketer.

4-Take advantage of eFlyerMaker’s exclusive Publication concept

Thanks to eflyerMaker’s publication concept, you could split your newsletter into several smaller newsletters. For example, if you’re a big library, you probably have books, CDs, DVDs, merchandise (t-shirts, action figures, collectibles, etc.) and other stuff. Instead of creating one newsletter that would attempt to sell a little bit of all, why not have a newsletter for each? Because let’s face it, you never read the whole catalog that stores send you through the mail. You jump to the section you’re really interested in. So you could have a newsletter for books, one for CDs, one for DVDs and one for merchandise. You could then create a publication in eFlyerMaker for each subjects and subscribe your contacts to all publications. When they decide to unsubscribe, they’ll have a choice as to what they want to receive and what they are not interested in. 

So, instead of sending one big newsletter that takes all your time and efforts every week, try sending four shorter newsletters every week that create better engagement.

And, with our Plugin for WordPress, you can create a sign-up form on your website for every subject.

And doing so, you are collecting serious essential data that you will need when you subscribe to Matcher Analytics, our predictive marketing engine. Now that’s optimizing!

How about it? Get started!