Nobody likes a chatterbox, and that goes double for digital marketing. It’s a little too easy to put together a quick eBlast or integrate a new SMS message for your campaign, making it easier than ever to say too much in too little time. In May of 2012 a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins filed a lawsuit claiming that he had received more messages than were allowable by the campaign’s opt-in terms. Setting boundaries in communication frequency is key to maintain an effective campaign without pushing boundaries or aggravating subscribers.

One Size Will Never Fit All

Maintaining constant contact is a good thing, right? A daily email would make sure that your business is always on the customer’s mind, certainly, but the context of that thought is significantly more important than the presence. Business coach Des Walsh stated that around 35 percent of users that offer a reason for opting out of a mailing list cited too much contact as their reason for backing out. Other reports show that number as high as 73 percent.

This brings to question what “too many” means to your clientele. Some users might feel that every week is just right, while others are happier with once or twice a month. There’s no way to be completely sure without an intimate understanding of your business, your target audience, and digital marketing as a whole, along with analytics regarding a person’s reason for unsubscribing.

The basic rules of thumb for contact-based digital marking are as follows:

  • No more than one email per week – any more feels like spam.
  • No less than one email per month – any less and they probably won’t remember who you are.
  • No more than three text messages a week – and specially timed by time zone according to area code.
  • No less than one text message a week – SMS messages are transient; like a Twitter feed the impact will be gone in a matter of minutes.

If you really have no way to know how many emails or messages a subscriber wants, give them options. One size rarely fits all when it comes to marketing; giving customers the option to manage their subscription by opting out of weekly emails in favor of a monthly digest not only keeps you from getting caught in their spam filter, it gives you important data of customer interest trends and an option to engage your customers right away.

When You Should Drop a Line

While there are hundreds of studies detailing what day of the week is best for sending out your eBlast (SMS messaging isn’t really impacted by day to day timeframes, since most people keep their phone with them at all times), the data is often contradictory. One study suggests that Monday is the day that the most opens happens – but Wednesday is the day when most people claim to completely go through their inbox.

What really matters about when you send out your campaign is that contact is on a regular schedule, and it’s timely for current events in your business.

Let customers know when:

  • You’re moving or opening a new location
  • A time-sensitive offer is available
  • Special events are coming soon
  • Your campaign strategy or frequency changes

The last one is big, although not used often. Giving your subscribers the chance to opt in or out every time you make a major change to your frequency or content options brings up customer engagement and assures that your content remains relevant to the interests of your subscribers. Again, giving someone a chance to choose how often they receive contact or what kind of content they receive – special events versus offers versus a combination of the two in a compiled monthly digest – will help you know exactly when your customers want to hear from you and what they want to hear, helping you streamline your campaign more with every click.

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