Email List Frequency: How Often Should You Email Your Subscribers?
Everybody’s always telling you the money is in the list and if you’re not generating one you’re just spinning your wheels. But nobody ever tells you specifically what you should do with that list once you get one started. Sure, you’re supposed to send them ‘informative, quality content‘ and ‘marketing materials.‘ But what about simple questions, like ‘How often should you email your list?‘ Nobody ever talks about that!
What should you do with your list once you start gathering a few names? If you’re like me you’ve subscribed to several lists and you receive emails every day. Some of them welcome, some… not so much. But does frequency have anything to do with things like open rate and click throughs? Or is it more about the quality of the content you send?
How often you should email your list depends on a few things:
How old is your list?
When someone first joins your list you have a couple of different options: You can send them a welcome email and then just include them along with everyone else when you send out your email broadcasts. Or, you can load up an autoresponder to send them not only your welcome email, but also some scheduled emails to keep your name under their nose for a while.
I like to combine the two. All my new subscribers receive a welcome email as soon as they opt in. Then they’ll receive an autoresponder email, usually some informative content, for the next 4 days. Then, 4 more autoresponder messages spaced 4 days apart, then they’re just melded in with the rest of my subscribers. This way, I get them used to seeing my name pop up in their email inbox, they learn to recognize my ‘from’ address and they see that I’m sending them quality information. This helps keep your open rate up there.
What are you trying to accomplish?
The main purpose of your list is to establish a connection with your subscribers. Selling is secondary. If you engage your subscribers they’ll stay on your list forever and you list members will be a reliable source of income for years to come. But people are very protective of their email inbox and if your subscribers feel you’re just a pushy sales person they’ll hit that unsubscribe link in a heartbeat.
To decide how often you should email your list, you need to decide what you’re trying to accomplish and you need to know your subscribers. Some niches can tolerate daily updates. If you generally post 3 or 4 times a day to your blog then your list can probably stand a daily email, too. But only one.
If you’re not concerned about connecting with your list and all you want to do is send out affiliate links then send them as frequently as you like. No one’s going to open them anyway, after the first two or three, so it really doesn’t matter.
I generally match my email frequency to my posting frequency after the initial introduction period with new subscribers. I post 3 or 4 times a week to my blog and I send out an email broadcast with extra tips or information to compliment those blog posts.
Again, keep in mind, your first priority is to establish a relationship, and then do whatever it takes to maintain it. If you notice you’re getting complaints, then maybe you need to back off on your frequency for a few weeks. But don’t ever stop sending completely. It’s important to maintain some consistency.
What are you sending them?
I try to stay ahead of my emails by keeping notes so I always have something new to say. If you don’t have enough fresh, new content to email your list 3 or 4 times a week, then back off on your frequency. It’s better to send fewer emails of exceptional quality than to spam your list with garbage just for the sake of having something to send. Remember, you want them to keep opening. It only takes one really crappy email to convince someone it’s time to unsubscribe.
If the only thing you can think to send your subscribers is a link to some affiliate ebook you found in the markdown bin at Clickbank, then you’re in the wrong business. I’ve unsubscribed from more lists than most people will ever belong to for just this reason. I’d rather you only send me one information-packed email a month then send me those spammy links every other day.
It’s most important to email your list with quality, engaging content on a regular, consistent basis. Knowing your subscribers and your content then, you’ll be able to decide how often you should email your list.