When you’re formulating an email marketing strategy, one of the biggest questions is when and how often should you send email messages. Everyone’s searching for the answer to this question but unfortunately it’s not that easy.
It’s not easy to answer because it depends on your list. All lists respond differently. Every list has a certain personality and its own tastes and preferences. Niche and demographic factors come into play in these tastes and preferences. Your job as a marketer is to find the sweet spot where your list is its most responsive.
The Almost Complete Answer You’re Searching For
Although all lists are different, marketers have found that there are a few key times that tend to do well. Remember that this is not set in stone and your list may be completely different. However, you can use this as a guideline to get started.
Data from various sources shows that email subscribers are the most responsive on weekends. This is when people are likely to be shopping online and when people receive the least amount of emails. Without work emails coming into their inboxes, there’s more of a chance that they’ll see yours.
In terms of time of day, data generally shows that people are most responsive in the mornings. This is considered peak shopping time. Evenings can also be good. Subscribers may be online after a long day of work (Although they’re less likely to be shopping then).
When considering the best time to send messages, also keep in mind location. Your target market may be in a different time zone than you are, so you need to adjust accordingly.
The Right Frequency
You also have to discover your list’s best frequency. In general, most lists don’t like too many messages. If you’re sending a daily message to your list, they’re probably tuning you out, unless the content or offers you’re giving them are particularly amazing. Too many messages is one of the main reasons people give for unsubscribing to email lists.
One huge exception to this is if you offer a course. If people sign up for daily emails, of course it’s good to deliver them daily. If their expectation is to receive regular messages from you, they’re probably not thinking ‘daily.’
Sending too few messages could also kill your email marketing campaign. If you rarely send a message, people will forget about you. A message with a promotion that comes out of the blue could make it look like you only email them when you want something. Whatever the right frequency, it should be consistent.
Testing Your List
There are no hard and fast rules, so the only way to discover the best day, time, and frequency is to test. Most email services offer split testing. You can segment your list and send identical messages to both segments, but at different times. You can then see which responds.
You can also try mixing up your time, day, and frequency to see how your list responds. For example, you can increase the frequency slightly and see if there are any changes.
It’s important to rely on solid, objective data from your autoresponder service stats and not just what your gut feeling tells you. Make your decisions based on real feedback from your list.