Email Frequency: How Often Is Too Often?
How many email outreaches should you do, weekly or monthly? Too many could be annoying for your recipients. Yet, not enough might mean lost conversions. Which frequency pattern best produces the most customer engagement?
Common knowledge typically says less is more. However, this doesn’t always apply to the various aspects of email campaigns. In reality, a frequency of less than monthly can lead to difficulties in email deliverability. With infrequent mailings, subscribers are not as likely to remember who you are, resulting in their unsubscribing. In addition, infrequent campaigns can lead to a larger quantity of email addresses that are no longer valid. These invalid addresses, in turn, can bring potential hard bounces and the possibility of being a target for spam honeypots. On the other hand, a daily email frequency would appear too excessive.
The main point is, optimal frequency heavily depends on your type of customers and what your campaigns offer.
Email cadence refers to the timing and frequency of emails that are structured to gain the highest degree of interaction. In addition, it involves the kinds of correspondence that relate to the subscriber’s place in the buyer journey and shows how to send the appropriate emails at the proper time.
To illustrate, an online school might send its students emails several times each week along with a monthly promotional newsletter.
Each brand has a distinctive class of subscribers that might receive a range of newsletters. Your unique email cadence considers those elements and determines which frequency is best suited for your business.
To find the perfect balance, examine your data and ways to optimize your cadence.
Typically, sending emails several times per week results in a somewhat lower open rate than those sent just once per month. The ideal way to create your brand’s email cadence is by observing your performance and industry standards as you test out various email frequencies. When your open rate or click-through rate begins declining, you’ll know you’ve gone too far the other way.
Through A/B testing, you can email half of your recipients on one day and the remaining half on another day, then analyze the outcomes. Besides email frequency, it’s crucial to consider the amount of content or special promotions you will be giving. Your emails shouldn’t be without value to your subscribers.
You can reach a point in your campaigns where you face decreasing results while the time and expenditures in creating and sending emails have a shrinking rate of return.
Seven Practices to Find Optimal Cadence
There are seven practices you can use to find your most effective email cadence. Start by defining your email campaign objectives and the standards that are important to your goals. Then, through experiments and tests, you can pinpoint which frequencies are optimal for your various email types.
1. State your goals
When addressing email cadence, consider your outgoing email type and how it aligns with your marketing goals. If your objective is to provide subscribers with a daily informative email, then send them daily. But keep in mind that subscribers may be annoyed by daily emails when there is no value in each email. Should your list show a higher rate of unsubscribers or a decline in your open rate, it’s a strong indicator something isn’t right.
2. Adjust frequency to customer habits
By learning your customers’ shopping habits, you can design your brand’s email cadence to fit their shopper’s journey. This method is especially successful when you implement automation workflows that send emails according to a subscriber’s activity.
For instance, when subscribers read a particular blog post, they will receive an automated follow-up email. Rather than guess your frequency, email automation will allow the subscriber to determine the appropriate times for receiving emails from you. By combining email segmentation with your automation, you can create various groups within your subscriber list contingent on their habits. Upon engaging with specific content, subscribers can be placed in groups based on that interest.
3. Define future expectations in the welcome message
Staying on the automation theme, set up an automatic welcome email for new subscribers. By creating a welcome message, you have a perfect platform to define future expectations as to your newsletter frequency.
Should you decide to include preferences for subscribers to choose their email frequency, you can add the preferences link to your welcome email. The ability to personalize frequencies will allow your subscribers to feel they are in charge of their subscription.
4. Segment subscribers through frequency options
Segmentation in email marketing is typically for sending specific emails to narrower subscriber groups. This segmentation increases subscriber engagement due to the fact emails can be customized for every individual subscriber. Segments can also be created to reflect a subscriber’s email frequency preferences. By giving subscribers this option, you can avoid having to estimate email cadence.
5. Include preference surveys in newsletters
Besides offering various email preference options for subscribers, an alternate method for engagement is by using embedded surveys within your newsletter. By adding a short survey in your email, you can ask readers whether they enjoy the present frequency or if they would prefer more or less frequent emails. After they return these responses, you can implement the results to segment your subscriber list based on your readers’ frequency preferences for receiving your marketing emails.
Likewise, you can also add unsubscriber surveys for subscribers who wish to leave your list to learn why they are unsubscribing. If respondents are constantly selecting the reason as too frequent emails, this is an indicator you need to adjust the frequency of your emails.
6. Find what your readers prefer by A/B testing
To develop a deeper analysis of how your readers react to various frequencies and timeliness, using A/B testing will reveal even more discoveries by using actual behaviors.
For instance, you could make two groups from your subscriber list, sending weekly emails to the first group and bi-weekly emails to the second group. Then you will find which group brings better open rates and click-through rates.
To do an extensive examination, run tests on various times of the day, weekdays, and material, basing them on the time of the emailing or the subscriber’s place in the customer journey.
Armed with these new results, delve further. Continue testing until your audience results are scaled down to the optimal email cadence.
7. Ensure all departments synchronize email marketing schedules
Be cautious when sending emails that your business isn’t sending out too many at once from various departments. Most readers can’t distinguish between marketing newsletters, product updates, and sales emails. In most cases, they’ll only recognize that your company has sent numerous emails.
For this reason, it’s necessary to orchestrate email frequency and its timing with all your departments. Doing so will avert subscribers from being bombarded by excessive emails all at once.
Further, you can share the discoveries of your best results with other departments to help them learn how to perfect their email frequencies. Does a particular time of day work best? Is one department emailing too many invitations to webinars?
Construct an inter-departmental email plan and schedule so no one clashes, and adhere to this. By implementing this, you and your colleagues will be able to prevent people from unsubscribing and keep everyone happy.
There’s no uniform approach to email cadence. Still, you can analyze and discover the best method that works for your organization and focus on that. In reality, successful email campaign strategies can’t be limited to one formula, such as certain content in the subject line or your sending frequency. When all ideal components align to satisfy the needs of your subscribers, the optimal open rates and click-throughs will happen.
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