As business owners, we rely on our email list to establish a client base, people who have demonstrated an interest in our product or service and whom we can send updates, specials, new product announcements, and other beneficial information. There are times we may feel that we are walking a fine line between providing top flight customer service and becoming little more than a pest. The question of how much is too much is always somewhere in the back of our minds, namely because we don’t want to run the risk of intentionally doing anything that might drive our customers away. So how do we know when we are approaching that magical borderline known popularly as “enough”?
People unsubscribe to email lists for a variety of reasons, the most common of which is that they are simply not in the market for the product in question any more. It isn’t always necessarily a case of being inundated by messages. Ask folks how often they would like to see an email from a given company and “weekly” is easily the most common answer.
This is not to say that weekly is the time frame you should adopt. The truth is, those of us who are interested in a given product will open virtually any message we receive on that topics. If you are into muscle cars and have subscribed to several email lists from classic muscle car dealers or parts outlets, then it is pretty much a given that you’re going to open any email received from such sources.
In fact, companies that send multiple e-mails per week are typically the ones that stay at the forefront of folks’ minds most of the time. The key is to make sure you’re sending to people who have some level of a vested interest in your product.
One of the primary aspects of good communication is frequent communication, but this is largely dependent on the quality of the communication. You don’t mind communicating frequently with your best friend, but someone who is a last-nerve annoying toad is going to get on your nerves really quick. Increasing frequency intensifies sentiment, whether that sentiment is good or bad. You want to make sure that you craft and create a positive sentiment among your customers and client base. This is done by making sure that the email you send carries good, positive information that your clients will want to receive. Doing so only makes them look for more of the same from you. Don’t let them down.
Some companies have a policy limiting email blast to a certain number of times per month. This is fine if you actually have something to say, but how many of us have crafted an email message and blasted it around the globe just for the sake of having something to send out that week? This is unwise. You are admitting mediocrity in your company and email marketing efforts, and this will do nothing to increase your business or your fan base. Have something interesting to talk about.
Quality, value, and relevance are more highly regarded than frequency. The major players in this field find reasons to communicate with their clients and craft attractive, appealing campaigns in order to do so. You have a remarkable opportunity to reach out and touch your client base with very little effort and virtually no cost, which means that it would be ridiculous to squander such an opportunity.
A few suggestions for determining your e-mail ad campaign scheduling:
Form a base program. Your base newsletter or promotion should be geared to get in front of as many subscribers as possible, as often as possible.
Form a triggered program. Some email blasts can be triggered by a given activity, such as visits to your site, browsing patterns, downloads, comments, and purchase history. Any action initiated by the user should trigger an equal and opposite email marketing reaction designed to capitalize on that action and hopefully trigger more results. You never know how far a few suggestions might take you.
Make it an occasion. By securing as much information as possible, you open up new opportunities for interaction. Birthday greetings are common, but also anniversaries, weather conditions, financial considerations, etc. By marrying your message to an occasion you establish a very personal rapport with your client.
Use every opportunity. Even the registration on your site or the changing of a password can be an excuse to get in front of your client. Make the most of it and you may be surprised at the results that can be generated.
So how much is enough? There is no hard and fast answer. But there can be some basic indicators to let you know when you are overstepping your bounds. Just make sure that you have something relevant to say, some important information to impart, or a special new deal or innovative product and/or service to advertise. Always think about the quality of the content, because quality will get you so much farther than frequency will.