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How often should you email subscribers?

Email frequency is a balancing act. If you send email too often, you’ll annoy subscribers to the point that they unsubscribe. But if you don’t send email often enough, you risk being underexposed to the point where subscribers forget about you.

So what’s the best frequency for sending emails?

The short answer is – weekly. No… I’m just kidding. Sorry. There is no short answer.

I wish it were that easy but the fact of the matter is that email frequency is something you need to work out for yourself based on what’s best for you and your subscribers.

Now that we’ve identified that there’s no silver bullet for email frequency, let’s discuss how to determine your optimal email frequency.

Email frequency must be aligned with value. This is a really important point and one that I can’t emphasise enough. It’s quite common for email marketers to ask, “How often should I send email to subscribers?” But I think a better question to ask is, “How often can I add value to subscribers through email?”

This is a concept that Mark Brownlow covers in a fantastic article he wrote over at Email Marketing Reports where he states:

“If you increase value, then…

  • you can earn more profits at the same frequency
  • recipients will respond positively to more email for longer than if you’re sending rubbish
  • you can earn more profits at lower frequencies”

What I particularly like about this way of thinking is that it takes the focus away from your business and moves it towards the needs of your subscribers which in my opinion is the golden rule of effective email marketing.

So if you have enough content of genuine interest to share with your subscribers every week, then send them a weekly email. But if you find yourself compromising on the quality of content just to keep up with your email schedule, then maybe you need to slow things down.

Look at what your data is telling you. Irrespective of how often you’re sending emails to subscribers, keep a close eye on your email reports to monitor their performance. If you start sending more emails to subscribers, pay close attention to any changes to your unsubscribe rate.

If it starts to go up then this is probably a sign that you’re over-emailing. So you either need to increase the value that your emails offer to subscribers, or you need to reduce the number of emails that you’re sending.

If you’re really not sure how often your subscribers want to receive email from you, then ask them. Whether it’s a part of your subscribe web form or a dedicated customer survey, this sort of feedback is invaluable and should guide you in determining your ideal email frequency.

What do you think?

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Matthew Johnson

Matthew Johnson

Matthew Johnson is the EDM Specialist at Australian email marketing software company Vision6. His work helps to educate marketers and business owners on how to create, connect and convert using the power of email, SMS and social media marketing.

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