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Optimizing e-mail frequency

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Question: How can I determine my optimal e-mail frequency?

Answer: This is one of the most common questions asked by e-mail marketers, probably because what works for one organization may not work for another.

Your audience, content and e-mail marketing goals impact optimal e-mail frequency. Here are some tips to guide you:

  1. E-mail relevant messages. Relevancy is key to success in everything in the e-mail world. Effective frequency and relevant content go hand-in-hand. E-mail only when you have meaningful content that your subscribers want to read.
  2. E-mail frequently enough to stay top-of-mind. While marketers are concerned about mailing to their list too often, most organizations may not be e-mailing frequently enough. As a rule, you should "touch" your list at least once a month or you risk being forgotten.
  3. Honor your resources. By producing a frequent e-mail, are you giving up quality because you don’t have the time to devote to it? It's better to tackle a high-quality monthly newsletter and have audiences respond well to it than to have many poorly executed messages.
  4. Learn from your metrics. You usually can spot opportunities for increasing or decreasing frequency based on how your audience is responding. Declining open rates and/or click-through rates or increasing unsubscribe rates can be indicators of over-mailing or list fatigue.
  5. Segment audiences and treat them differently. One set of frequency guidelines usually doesn't fit for all of your audiences. Segment your list and consider how frequency may affect each segment differently. Ask your subscribers when they opt-in how frequently they prefer to be contacted.

Jordan Ayan is CEO and founder of SubscriberMail (www.subscribermail.com), a provider of e-mail marketing services and technology.

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