How frequently should you send emails?Posted: June 6, 2010
This is often a hotly debated question. How many emails are too many? Should you send a newsletter on some handy tips daily? Would a fortnightly email better serve your purpose? Will readers get tired if you send a newsletter a week? The answer to that question is, you guessed it, it depends. If you are an online news aggregator / publisher then perhaps a daily news in the inbox makes sense to your readers, a kind of quick scan of the top stories. If it is a weekly magazine an email giving a snapshot of what’s in the magazine every week makes sense, a fashion house could send a monthly email on the trends in fashion and so on. So it really depends on what your readers want. What should be one of the goals of your email marketing team is that at some point in your email marketing maturity level, you should give the option to your readers to select the frequency of the emails.
Here is an example of an automated process going totally wrong on the frequency of the emails. www.moneycontrol.com has excellent financial portfolio monitoring services. I happen to be their subscriber but of late my visits to the site have dwindled. Usually I would get a daily email with a subject line that informed me if my portfolio was up or down and by how many Rupees e.g “Your portfolio is down by Rs. 322”. Now in a bid to lure me back they want to remind me that I have not been tracking my portfolio. This is the result:
A daily portfolio tracker email may have made sense but, without that this automated process has simply made me hit the trash button. A good solution would be to reduce the number of emails, save on the email delivery costs and give a much better content packed email once a week perhaps. However doing this involves a lot of back-end processes. It may not be rocket science, but putting a layer of intelligence above the scheduled task that sends out pre-formatted emails to the database of portfolio holders requires some efforts. I for one am convinced that the benefits far outweigh the costs. MoneyControl is one of the very few websites that give an option of subscribing to various types of emails.
One step further, with customized frequency of emails, and this service might go from good to great.
An example of deliberate low frequency emails, a once-in-two-months pace is followed by Tata Mutual Fund e-Intellect newsletter. It usually discusses and simplifies an economic issue. There are many more newsletters that fall in between such frequencies. Indianmoney.com and Equitymaster are some of the examples of weekly email newsletters.
There is no one right answer to how frequently you should send emails. If you do not have a system of asking the readers for their preference of frequency, you can at least be consistent in your timing but be sure not to dump your email everyday in their inbox.