How Often Should You Email?

Most businesses now days have or are building a list of email addresses to market to. The question is, how often should you promote your products to those lists? How often should you send email newsletters?

Quarterly? Monthly? Weekly? Daily?

There’s no hard and fast answer, except for “It depends.”

“On what?” you might ask. Here’s my answer: It depends on whether your email (primarily) provides information or is (primarily) self-serving. If your email newsletter (or tweet or Facebook post) provides information your customer might be interested in, you can send them more frequently. How frequently depends on the information and the list. Here are some examples:

  • I subscribed years ago to the CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) alert newsletter. They issue it as needed, but sometimes several times during a week. I don’t always read it, but I’m glad to see it in my inbox.
  • I subscribed (so they say) to several email newsletters that have turned into vehicles for promoting white papers. When the white papers are requested, very aggressive salespeople start ringing my phone. Multiple times a week. Here’s my answer: right click, Junk, Block sender. Unsubscribe? Why? It would just tell them they hacked me off. I want them to lose more subscribers before they figure it out.
  • I subscribed to a couple of tax newsletters from friends. They seem to send them infrequently. I notice particularly that they DON’T arrive around tax deadlines. Imagine that! I’d like to have these more frequently. They have great information.
  • And now to the reason for this post. I am on the email list of a consultant who is promoting a seminar. I assume the registration must not be going as well as hoped. I received invitations on 1/9, 1/16, 1/20, and today 1/23. The seminar is Thursday 1/26, so I wonder if I’ll get an email every day this week. I really would unsubscribe, but one of these days I might want to attend one of his events. Keep emailing me every day, though, and I’m going to hit the unsubscribe link.

Oh, and by the way. I once unsubscribed without realizing it from a newsletter I really wanted to attend. The organization was using a service like Constant Contact, Emma, or Mail Chimp to send the newsletter. It was like pulling teeth to get back on the email list. Lesson: You don’t want to lose subscribers.