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When and How Often You Should Email Your List

Posted by Caitlin MacDonald

April 10, 2012

The following is a guest post is written by Lior Levin:

E-mail marketing is a key way to directly connect with customers who have given you permission to send them offers, promotions, and product information on a regular basis. This level of customer interest makes e-mail marketing campaigns critically important, and therefore the timing of these campaigns can make or break the level of customer engagement.

The ideal for an e-mail campaign is to not only target a time when customers are online, but when they will most likely open your e-mail and click through on your offer or to your website. While there is no one correct time for an e-mail campaign, there are some important trends and practices that you can learn from and integrate into your e-mail marketing.

When You Should Send Emails
E-mail marketing can be a moving target depending on your industry or customers. For example, a clothing store may send e-mails on the weekend when customers are home and available to go out shopping. An e-mail from a construction supply store may be more effective on Monday morning as contractors are planning to make their purchases.

Marketing writer Lynn Terry writes, “your best days/times to send emails will be unique to your list and to your market. The best thing you can do is test, analyze your results, and adjust according to how your subscribers best respond.”

The best way forward is to test what works best for your customers. Business Week suggests split tests: “Conduct some split tests and send the same message out at different times to see where you get the best results. Once you understand what days and times work the best, you can create a publication schedule.”

All that to say, there are some measurable trends in e-mail marketing that may also help you find the best time to send e-mails. According to HubSpot’s Daniel Zarella in his Science of Timing Webinar , the best time to send an e-mail is in the morning on the weekend, with 20-40% more opens and 5% more clicks on Saturday and Sunday. The earlier in the morning, the better. Similar trends on the weekends have been observed with blog posts and shares on Facebook by Zarella when he guest posted at Pro Blogger.

Timing is especially important for determining the quality of the connection with customers. Author Kelly Schuknecht suggests, “You want to offer your highest value deals to your subscribers within the first few days.” This is when your customer engagement is highest, so give them something that will keep them coming back.

How Often Should You Send Emails?
While there is no set rule for e-mail campaign frequency, the most important thing is to set a predictable schedule so that customers won’t forget who you are or the simple fact that they opted in to receive these updates. Without a set schedule, you’ll never create a steady and productive e-mail marketing campaign.

Derek Fredrickson, author of Build Your Authentic List, suggests, “I recommend at least once a week. I know for some people that sounds like a lot. And it is for someone just starting out. If that intimidates you – than perhaps try once every other week. But, think of this: Anything less than every other week is almost counterproductive. Waiting 14 days between sending a valuable piece of content to your list doesn’t do enough in terms of building a long lasting relationship with positive goodwill and nurturing the subscribers on your list.”

In his study of e-mail unsubscribes and opens, Zarella also found that unsubscribes and opens remained relatively stable throughout the month after sending 3-4 e-mails. That means once someone subscribes to your list, it’s OK to send more e-mail. Those who aren’t interested will unsubscribe after a few e-mails anyway, so you may as well target those who are most committed to your list with at least a weekly e-mail, if not more.

E-mail marketing still remains the most effective marketing channel and can produce excellent results for businesses hoping to directly connect with their customers. You can increase the effectiveness of your e-mail marketing campaigns if you send more e-mails at the right time and on the right day. While early mornings on weekends are often the best, don’t forget to test out the trends for your list in your particular industry.

This guest post is written by Lior Levin, a marketing consultant for Producteev, a to-do list app, and who also consults for an inspection company that offers a variety of Pre shipment inspections. If you are interested in writing a guest post for our blog, let us know: info@rapleaf.com.

Topics: Email Marketing