You click send, take a deep breath, cross your fingers, and mutter ‘the email frequency prayer’:
Please let me be sending this at the best possible time.
Please let people actually open it.
Please let people click on the links.
Please don’t let my email frequency be too often.
For many entrepreneurs, determining email frequency can be an ongoing nightmare from which they never wake up.
Are you sending your email at the best possible time? Will anyone open it? Will they fulfill the call to action you’ve painstakingly crafted?
While there are no hard and fast rules, marketers who’ve tracked their results have found the following best practices helpful in determining not just email frequency, but the time of day and week your emails should go out.
How often should you email?
The answer depends on many different factors, including where your prospect or customer falls in your sales funnel.
For example, someone who has just opted in to your list or just bought a product might receive daily emails over a period of several days as you solidify their interest and/or satisfaction with the purchase.
That’s not to say that you should email everyone on your list every day of the week, though – doing so might come across as “spammy” and drive your customer to delete, opt out, or even hit the spam button.
On the other end of the spectrum are entrepreneurs who email once in a blue moon. This is harmful as well because it makes your list “cold” – they’re not used to hearing from you, so when you finally do email with a product or service to offer, you have to start the sales process all over again.
Emailing at least once per week for B2B businesses is a good rule of thumb, and at least twice per month works well for B2C companies.
The most important thing to keep in mind about email frequency is that you’re not simply emailing just to email, but are communicating with your community to add value to their lives in some way.
What day of the week should you email?
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are said to be the most effective times. Open rates tend to be higher than on Mondays, Fridays or weekends.
On the other hand, since many businesses don’t email on weekends, it might behoove you to reach out to your list on a Saturday morning and see what kind of open rates you get. After all, people certainly check email on the weekend.
To find out what makes sense for your business, split test your next email broadcast. Temporarily divide your list in half. Send the same exact broadcast to each half of the list on two different days. Review your results reports to determine which day got the better open-rate.
What time of day should you email?
In general, the earlier in the day the better. Many marketers send of their emails in the middle of the night, or in the very early hours of the morning (3am – 5am).
The thinking behind this is that your email will be the first thing your customer sees when they check their inbox in the morning.
Unfortunately a lot of people are now emailing early, so test, get creative, and see what works best for your list.
Follow the same split test we mentioned earlier. Send the same exact broadcast to each half of your list at two different times on the same day. Review your results reports to determine which day got the better open-rate.
Whatever you do, don’t email during the notorious “after lunch” time, i.e. 1pm to 2pm on a weekday.
Because people already have a to-do list in mind for after they return from lunch.
At the beginning of the day, they have more time to peruse and explore, but once lunch is over the clock is ticking and they’re focused on finishing work before the whistle blows.
The bottom line is this – the best frequency for your business, depends on your business! Don’t be afraid to test and see what gets the best results. The numbers won’t lie to you! Once you conduct your tests, focus your attention on consistently delivering your emails on the day and time that best suits your audience.
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