The eternal question: how often should you send emails? As with many things in life, it depends. Finding the perfect balance can be difficult – are you leaving money on the table by not sending enough emails? Or are you annoying your subscribers by sending too many newsletters?
The number of emails you send largely depends on what you’re offering to your customers. For example, if you’re selling air conditioners, you would be sending more emails in the summers than in winter. On the other hand, if you’re running a news agency, you would be sending daily emails to keep people informed.
Ultimately, the answer comes down to reader expectations. If your subscribers expect to receive one email per month, they’ll be irritated when you start sending them 3 new emails every week. On the other hand, if you make it clear that your newsletter will be more frequent (daily or weekly), your subscribers’ expectations will be aligned – they will expect to get a lot of email from you.
Let’s go through the advantages and disadvantages of different frequencies.
Once a day
Sending emails every day can be exhausting for both you and your readers. In a world already bogged down by emails, a new email every single day can really clog up one’s inbox. For the most part, we don’t recommend sending newsletters every day, especially if you are a smaller business.
According to a research study done by TechnologyAdvice.com, 43% of subscribers would like businesses to email them less often. That’s a pretty high percentage! When in doubt, send less.
However, the daily email newsletter does have its place. It is especially useful for newsletters that are extremely concise and cover news, links, and other “curated” content. Cool Hunting is a good example of an effective daily newsletter. Every day, they send a curated list of 5-6 links and stories about art, design, and music. View a sample of their newsletter.
Takeaway: If you’re going to send out an email every day, keep the format uniform and simple. If possible, make the title rather mundane – simply stating the date works well. For example, your subject line could say, The MailPoet Daily Newsletter – December 1, 2017. A different, uniquely-written title for every newsletter is more easily perceived as spam. Don’t forget to highlight the daily nature of your newsletter in your subscription form, too.
Also, keep in mind that your readers will likely scan your emails and not read the entire thing. Sometimes, they may not even open them at all. As a consequence, your stats will most likely suffer.
At the end of the day, you should only send a daily newsletter under very specific circumstances.
Once a week
In many ways, once a week is the ideal compromise – it’s not too often to be irritating, but it’s often enough to stay in your readers’ minds. The brief nature of the daily newsletter often works better in a weekly format, while still managing to stay more current and relevant than a monthly newsletter.
However, the weekly newsletter does have its downsides. For one, it can be too often, especially if your business is relatively static. If you find yourself struggling to fill a weekly newsletter with news, blog posts, and other top-notch content, it’s probably a sign that you’re sending too often. If you’re a small team or a long business-owner, you probably don’t have enough time to write 2 or 3 excellent blog posts per week. As a result, you’ll be tempted to fill your weekly newsletter with filler content – a bad idea, indeed!
Once a week can also, ironically, be too slow. Depending on the nature of your industry, week-old news can be terribly out of date. This is especially true in time-based fields like media, business or finance. If your information is of an urgent nature, your readers want to get it urgently – not a week later.
Once a month
Once a month is the default, safe choice. Like hiring IBM in the 80’s, no one is ever fired for sending a monthly newsletter. For the most part, it’s a good choice, too. The month timeframe is a good balance between depth and urgency – it’s long enough to be comprehensive and content-rich, but often enough to stay relevant.
A monthly newsletter allows you to be comprehensive. Rather than sending a short daily or weekly newsletter, you can send a monthly newsletter filled-to-the-brim with good content, interesting links, and other useful goodies. Instead of skimming through your newsletter, your readers will look forward to it – after all, it only comes once a month.
“It is quality rather than quantity that matters.”
― Seneca, Roman Proto-Blogger circa 50 A.D.
As the email marketing space continues to grow (and email inboxes continue to fill up), the monthly timeframe is becoming more and more of a good idea. In a busy marketplace, bloggers are starting to understand the importance of quality over quantity. Rather than creating a surplus of sub-par content, they are focusing on a small amount of high-quality content. Over time, this translates into a more engaged audience, better SEO results, and (most importantly) being proud of the work you’ve done.
Here at MailPoet, we follow the monthly strategy ourselves. It gives us enough time to recap what we’ve been working on, write a few long-form blog posts, and share some industry news. Sound interesting? Sign up here.
Once in a blue moon
Finally, let’s talk about skipping the schedule entirely. For most MailPoet users, we don’t recommend this strategy. Why? Because writing content is tough and having a schedule makes it easier. Habitually going to the gym every day is more effective than going when you feel like it. Likewise, sending a newsletter every once in a while is probably less effective than following a plan. If you struggle with planning, check out our guide on creating a content calendar.
That said, the sporadic strategy can work well if you already have a loyal following. If you think of your favorite musicians, they often disappear for months (or years!) on end. Their disappearance builds anticipation, until, at long last, they release an album to wide acclaim.
Apple is another great example – they typically don’t reveal many details of an upcoming product, which builds mystery and suspense. Then, on launch day, the announcement of their product generates a huge amount of hype and media coverage. If they released weekly updates on the progress of their products, this level of anticipation would be nonexistent.
Needless to say, unless you’re a super-famous musician or multi-billion-dollar company, you should probably stick to a schedule.
How often do you send emails? Is it working for you? Let us know in the comments!