How Often Should I Email My List?

October 28, 2011 · 6 comments

I get asked all the time – how often should I email my list? I often answer “as many times as you can get away with.” Listen – the more they digest and consume your stuff and you educate them with your content – the better.

But, I usually 100% of the time answer with “it depends.” I know – it’s not the answer you want to hear. However, it really depends on a number of factors. Here’s what you need to consider before you decide how often you should email your list.

You have to know what your subscriber appetite is for your content. Are they hungry enough where if you gave them more high value / high content stuff (articles, videos, blog posts, etc.) each day – would they want it? Can you actually generate (and sustain generating) that much content? If the answer is yes – than I see keep sending until they say stop.

How will you know when they say stop? When the open rates start to go down and the opt-out starts to go up. That’s the easiest and quickest way to track your efforts.

Here are other factors to consider when deciding on email frequency to your list:

1. Determine what is your existing schedule for emailing your list? Is it random – meaning you email them whenever you feel like it? Or, do you have a pre-existing schedule like once a month or once a week? Once you set a schedule – it’s important to stick to it. They are conditioned to expect that schedule from you and you don’t want to decrease from it. Focus on trying to increase the frequency. Don’t go from more to less – always try to go from less to more. The end goal is to email your list more often but have it not significantly impact unsubscribes or open rates.

2. What is your market and subscriber conditioned to expect? What is their expected appetite when they subscribe? Are they the type who often spend their entire day in email (can email them more) or rarely check more than a few times a week (email them less.) Knowing that is a good indicator about how many times you can email them without doing too much and not giving them enough.

3. Content matters most. The more frequently you can send really good content (and it has to rock) – the better. There are some lists I subscribe to (like the Internet Marketing updates from HubSpot) that send maybe 1-2 emails every day. I don’t mind and pretty much open each email since the content is that good. If your stuff rocks – you should have no hesitation to send more of it.

4. Where are you in your email plans? Meaning – are you just sending out content or are you in a launch or campaign mode? During a launch or campaign often times subscribers are receiving more emails (and generally OK with it). As long as the increase in the volume of emails is complimented with good content and not banging them over the head every day for weeks on end.

5. Track it. In any change with regard to your emailing your list – always check your metrics to ensure it’s having the right impact and effect (and expected result) for your efforts.

I recommend at least once a week. I know for some people that sounds like a lot. And it is for someone just starting out. If that intimidates you – than perhaps try once every other week. But, think of this: Anything less than every other week is almost counterproductive. Waiting 14 days between sending a valuable piece of content to your list doesn’t do enough in terms of building a long lasting relationship with positive goodwill and nurturing the subscribers on your list.

The balance is finding the right schedule where your subscribers never think “I want more and I’m not getting enough” or “this is too much.”

Remember: “consistency breeds trust.” You have to commit and stick to the schedule that works best for you and your subscribers. Your peeps depend on it (more than you’ll ever know.)

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kasia RachfallNo Gravatar October 29, 2011 at 12:22 am

Great info Derek! Thanks as always :)

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Dawn AbrahamNo Gravatar November 2, 2011 at 4:05 am

Great advice, I try to track everything that way I can stay on top of what type of changes or small tweaks I should make. You feel that sending more is better until you discover otherwise right.

I go through periods where I have more to say and more time I have two newsletters and a company newsletter. It seems one is always being left out. The one I have to do yesterday. Thanks for the reminder. :)

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Mike HirstNo Gravatar February 1, 2012 at 11:05 am

Right now I’m sending every other week, but your post is making me think I should send every week. Thanks for getting my wheels turning! Great post.

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Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar February 2, 2012 at 9:20 am

Mike – if you can do once a week I *highly* recommend it… It will pay off with some great results…

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Yaritza Báez-SolutionsDirectVANo Gravatar August 20, 2012 at 11:25 am

Hi Dereck:

Interesting article. I am to start sending a newsletter and I always have read to send it once a month, but now I’m not sure. It will all depends if you have interesting content to send every other week. Would it be a waste of time to send a newsletter once a month?

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