“How often should I be sending emails to my contact list” This common question encompasses a wide swath of concerns within the spectrum of email marketing, yet there’s no definitive answer on which to base your campaign moving forward. Unfortunately, this situation doesn’t look like it’s changing anytime soon.
However, this lack of a universal answer to the frequency dilemma doesn’t mean that your brand is up the digital creek without a paddle. By putting some industry-leading best practices and tactics to good use, there’s nothing that can stop you from finding the ideal email frequency that fits your organization.
Answer the Five Fundamental Frequency Questions
At the core of the discussion surrounding frequency, according to Business 2 Community’s Annie Zelm, are five fundamental questions. Without a solid answer to each of these concerns, Zelm points out that it’s virtually impossible to develop and refine an equation that helps elaborate on how often your brand should be showing up in the inbox.
The first question you need to ask yourself revolves around the marketing goals of your organization. Is your current contact list good enough, or are you aiming to grow and reach new segments of your audience that may or may not have different preferences when compared to your current membership?
From here, gauging the standard behavior of both your industry at-large and your current contact list specifically comes next. Taking cues from competitors, as well as the habits of your existing followers, goes a long way toward shaping and molding a responsive and effective schedule that covers both timing and the number of weekly or monthly messages.
On a similar line of thought, Zelm also suggests questioning the performance of your previous forays into the inbox. Looking into the habits of those around you does tell some of the story, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a better representation of email volume that resonates with your audience than your prior record of successes and failures.
Finally, don’t be afraid to talk about your targeting capabilities and prospects moving forward. Sitting down for an honest evaluation and asking the tough questions surrounding your current practices is far from easy, but this approach can help pave the way for future growth and positive gains. At the very least, doing this can offer up an insightful look into how further optimization and refinement can beneficially impact your current stance on email frequency and your email marketing methods in general.
Naturally, these five questions don’t cover every facet of the frequency debate. However, chances are you won’t find a better basis for the introspective look needed to begin working toward your ideal number of sent messages.
Adjust for External Factors
Outside of approaching the process from these numerous angles, Marketing Land’s Tom Sather also notes that it’s important to keep your stance on frequency flexible and adaptive – especially when it comes to outside factors. From holiday peaks and lulls to industry specific events, having a willingness to shift the number up or down keeps your campaigns in an optimal and effective position.
It might seem weird to think of your ideal frequency as a “shifting” or “fluid” number at first glance, but a quick run through a busy or slow season and its effects on your audience behavior can reinforce this notion in a hurry. The big key to hitting a home run on this front is to keep an eye out for anything that might fall into this category. The more cohesive and accurate your picture of email marketing frequency is, the more likely you are to avoid any pitfalls or hiccups that can damage the effectiveness of this campaign attribute.
Test, Test, and Test Again
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the advice offered up by David Moth of Econsultancy – test, test, and test some more as you work toward an ideal email frequency number. Tweaking the variables and testing different approaches is a time-consuming, effort intensive practice at times; no one can argue against this fact.
However, going above and beyond via testing opens your brand up to truly putting the pieces together when it comes to how often you should be sending messages. While other brands simply accept “good enough” in terms of frequency, this approach can vault your organization to the top of the inbox via proven practices and results. Considering how important getting things right with your email marketing campaign is to the viability of your digital presence, isn’t it worth going all in to figure out your ideal email frequency number?