How Often Should You Email Your List

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How often should you email?

This is a question that comes up a lot, and for good reason.  If you email too often, you alienate people.  Do it too infrequently, and people are likely to forget about you. Then, when your message lands in their inboxes, they think you’re spamming them.

The trouble with answering the question is that there’s no perfect answer.  It’s not an absolute rule: you must email exactly X times per day/week/month or else!

It’s not really an absolute number though – there’s no “perfect” rule to follow.

Choose a mailing schedule

There is no hard and fast rule, but you can pick your schedule.  Then, just stick to it.

The important thing isn’t how often you decide to send messages, but that you tell subscribers up front what your schedule will be, whether that’s once a month, once a week, or once a day.

Check your stats for complaints.  If the number gets too high, your email service provider should alert you that there’s a problem.

Why people complain

One, they may have forgotten they subscribed.  You can gently remind them at the end of the newsletter that they’re receiving it because they signed up.  I’ve even seen some that say something like, “Hi Jodi, you’re getting this newsletter because you signed up on (date).”

Two, some use the “spam” button as a way to unsubscribe.  They may have forgotten they signed up.  Or, they may just want to stop getting your newsletter.

Three, are you mailing more often than promised?  Did the content change substantially?  Or are you advertising more than you said you would?

What to do about complaints

If you get lots of them, or your unsubscribing rate goes up steeply, send a questionnaire or a survey.  I saw one marketer do this and offer an extra bonus report as an incentive for filling out the form.

It’s also a good idea to survey readers every once in a while (or even add a survey to your autoresponder if you have one) to ask what people think.

Another option is to offer your subscribers options for reducing the number of emails they receive.  This can mean breaking out different newsletters (let me keep the Tuesday Tips, but stop receiving Wednesday WordPress) or offering the option to receive newsletters weekly instead of daily.

Do you think most marketers email too much? Share your opinions.

Essential Email Marketing Tips: The Right Way to Use Email Marketing

email sign on a roll-down doorA responsive (that means they buy stuff) email list is, of course, critical to making money with your newsletter.

But nobody wants to be pushy and obnoxious.  And, if you are, the chances anyone will buy from you get smaller.

Here are some ways to build trust with your email marketing campaign, create a bond, and build a relationship that leads to purchases.

Grow your own qualified email marketing list

It will be your best source of income. You’ll need to nurture it and grow it. Here are some tips on how to build your own qualified email list. RSS subscribers are good, but it turns out that email is better (ha! the direct marketers were right all along – the money is in the list).

Set up outposts on social media

Put up free books or reports on your site, on Facebook, Google Plus, or scribd. Include links back to your site and an invitation to sign up for your newsletter (and get your big bribe report).

Measure it

Check how you’re doing. Track open rates and click throughs (how many people click on your link). If your list is big enough (over 2,500 names), “split test” it (break it in two and see which half gets better results), Try different subject lines or different calls to action. Only change one thing at a time.

Be relevant

Different groups may be buying different things from you. Segment the email list (break it up by type of purchase, or profession, or location or whatever is most appropriate) and send them offers that are the most relevant.

Be friendly

Talk to your subscribers (not at them). Invite them to contact you if they have questions or feedback. Send a welcome message when they sign up.

The same tip goes for social media.  Don’t just post and leave, and don’t focus solely on selling.

Use those social media outposts to be helpful. If your followers ask questions, answer them. Post answers to questions you see elsewhere, or from your own customers. Don’t be pushy! Nobody is on Facebook to see your marketing offers (there are enough ads there already). Then, invite people to sign up for your list to get more answers, and more information they need.

Share your thoughts

Got questions about email marketing? Wonder what the difference is between a email newsletter and an auto-responder? Ask here.