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.