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Published on August 16th, 2005 | by Janine Popick

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How Often Should You Email?

We get this question all the time, should it be twice per month, twice per week, once per quarter?  Truth is that we don’t have a perfect answer. What we do know is that it all depends on the relationship you have with your recipients.

Over-mailing
your recipients is a very effective way to…hello…lose subscribers! An annoyed recipient is one step away from becoming an unsubscribe and you really don’t want to alienate your subscribers.

Under-mailing
your recipients can be as equally dangerous, especially if you’ve spent a lot of time and money to convert new leads to subscribers.

In addition, the sooner you get your recipients to add your “from address” into their address book, the better your chances will be for ensuring that your emails are received in the format you sent it in. You may also find that you waited to communicate with them too long and by the time you’ve emailed them, they’ve moved or changed email addresses. The result? Your hard work to capture new subscribers has left you with a “Bounce”.

Here are some suggestions:       

  • Hit ‘em quick As soon as they subscribe, make sure you email them and begin your communications relationship with them to get them used to seeing your email.
  • Do what you promisedDid you tell people that they’d get a weekly newsletter? Email them weekly so they expect it.
  • Keep it relevant - If you promised “useful” tips, give them information they can’t get anywhere else. Go ahead and put offers in the email if you must, but the main objective should be to deliver a piece of valuable information that helps your recipients in some way.
  • Keep a schedule – If you get too busy and can’t get your email out on time, don’t lag more than a few months in emailing your subscribers. They may forget they signed up and unsubscribe or worse yet complain to their ISP about you.
  • Retailers beware! – Most retailers email more frequently during the holiday season, and that’s ok. As a matter of fact, this is what consumers expect and even in some cases need for the shopping season. But don’t neglect them in the summer months, you may lose them as a result.
  • Pick a day – Tuesdays and Wednesdays seem to be popular days to mail for many businesses, but your best bet is to “test” emailing one day versus another. Don’t totally discount emailing later in the week, weekends or on Friday, especially if your event is happening on the weekend and you’d like to send a reminder. We have many event customers and realtors that email closer to the weekend for the event or in the case someone may be looking at properties on Sunday.

Here’s a real world case study for you: A VerticalResponse customer who had a seasonal software program used our service and neglected to regularly email their customers from May through September. In October when they heavily promoted their software, they had quite a few angry customers who unsubscribed and complained about receiving the email.  They also lost many customers due to bounced email.

BOTTOM LINE: In order to keep your list clean and responsive, you’ll want to keep your bounce rates and unsubscribes low. An opt-in subscriber is a valuable asset, so do what you promised, keep the email regular (however you define that) and keep it relevant. You’ll have a happy recipient who can’t wait for your email.

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About the Author

is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse.



One Response to How Often Should You Email?

  1. Bob Bandy says:

    We have a very busy website that serves the Denver Colorado area real estate market, http://www.bandyhomes.com. We have found that if we send emails starting on a weekly basis, and then after a month or two, decrease the frequency to every two weeks, we get a high percentage of people staying on the campaigns. Of course it helps if the emails have worthwhile content and tips, which they do. This approach helps us to incubate the leads until they are ready to talk with us.
    Bob Bandy
    Denver Real Estate & Homes
    http://www.bandyhomes.com

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