The Importance of Frequency in Email Marketing

How often should you send to your mailing list? There are two major schools of thought when it comes to determining the correct frequency of mailing.

The first philosophy, and the one which creates the most problems, is to mail very often. The marketers who adopt this strategy typically believe that it's best to stay at the forefront of their customer's minds. There are several problems with this type of mailing strategy. Foremost of those problems are over-saturating your list and sending out bad content. Your list members can only handle so many mailings before they begin to find them an annoyance, this, compounded by the unfortunate reality that good content takes time and thought to produce, will create high complaint and unsubscribe rates.

The contrasting theory of frequency is to send very infrequently. This is typically advocated by wary marketers because of the extreme negativity surrounding "spam" sending practices. By sending rarely, marketers have plenty of time to create great content and they don't run the risk of burning out their lists. On the other hand, research has shown that if you don't send often enough, your list can go cold. You may miss out on sales that you could have generated if your frequency was slightly higher.

So, as is true in most things, moderation is rewarded. Just how often you need to send is up to you, but for the sake of your marketing efforts, avoid either extreme. A no-brainer way to answer the question of how often to send is to let your list members decide for themselves. You can achieve this by asking them how often they'd like to receive mail when they sign up. Once you have that information, you'll know how often to send. I do suggest you provide a way for them to change their preference later.

So, here are the take-aways: don't send too often, but don't disappear from your customers lives either. Content is king. If you provide your customers with content that they truly want (offers, information, entertainment) you will have more leeway when it comes to frequency. Great content breeds good will and forgiveness from your list members. Last but not least, ask your customers what they want as far as mailing frequency is concerned! It's easy for you and great for them.

Good luck!

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