Email marketing continues to be one of the most powerful tools available to small business owners, but it’s definitely a numbers game. If you don’t email your customers often enough, they’re going to forget who you are – but emailing too frequently is the number one cause of unsubscribes and complaints. How can you find the sweet spot, where you’re sending exactly as many messages as your customers would like to receive from you?
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We’d love to tell you there’s a simple, one-size-fits all solution to this conundrum, but there’s really not. Finding out exactly how often you should be emailing your customers is both an art and a science. Your analytics reports are a hugely valuable tool, and if you’re not already familiar with what they look like and what data they contain, now is the time to get acquainted with them. After every mailing, these numbers need to be reviewed. Any sudden spike in unsubscribes should be investigated promptly, to identify exactly what is going on.
With that being said, here are some other key concepts to keep in mind when determining the frequency of your emails:
Your Business Cycle: For some businesses, it makes sense to reach out to your customers every single week – or even more often! However, other businesses are more seasonal in nature. If you’re in the Halloween décor business, there’s not a lot to be said for sending multiple email messages in February. In October, however, you’d better be getting in touch often!
Special News & Events: The world is a funny place, and sometimes news events create unexpected demand for a product or service you offer. This happens often in the sports and rock and roll memorabilia and apparel industries, where the headlines can drive customers to seek out materials related to a celebrity who maybe wasn’t a best seller before. Email marketing gives retailers the ability to be responsive to this type of event – so if some big news hits your market, make sure you’re sending an email message that lets your customers know.
Whether The Majority of Your Emails Go To Primary or Secondary Inboxes: Many people now organize their lives by using multiple email accounts – one for their important, everyday correspondence and at least one for marketing messages. It’s often possible to tell which is which by the actual email address; a good best practice is to review your lists on a semi regular basis to determine the mix among your customers. If the majority are using a secondary inbox, the risk of overwhelming with too frequent emails is slightly lower than messages going to a primary inbox.