e-Mail Frequency & the Desire to be Liked

by Joe Pelissier on February 22, 2011

e-mail examples

e-Mail: Too much or too little?

e-mail frequency is an often discussed topic – fraught with anguish.

Do you send masses of e-mails and risk irritating a customer or prospect? Or do you send a polite trickle so as not to cause offense?

My own experience suggests that e-mail frequency is determined by who you are mailing, what your expectation is and by when you want to satisfy it.

(Funny how so much is always based on who, what, when, where, why and how…)

Many internet marketers claim that a sustained, intense frequency is the best way.  Others, who are just as successful, take a more moderate approach.

Either way, companies and people who send out marketing e-mails want to be liked.

This means that one way of handling the e-mail frequency conundrum is to consider the type of relationship you have or want.

After all, the success and longevity of any regular customer transaction is down to your success in managing the relationship.

3 Types of e-Mail Frequency

1. The Flurry

Think romance.

The Flurry is a sequence of e-mails sent out soon after someone has subscribed to your newsletter or free offer.

You’re in a new relationship – it’s young and exciting and so they want to hear all about you and the wonderful things you can do.

That means it’s not unusual for someone in a ‘flurry’ to willingly accept e-mails on consecutive days for the first few weeks – so long as they are relevant and engaging.

But remember, it’s just like dating so there’s a risk that if you come on a bit too strong you may get dumped.

Which is why you might want to go for…

2. Weekly

Quite often The Flurry turns into Weekly as the relationship starts to calm down.

You’re now ‘going steady’ and feel comfortable with each other.

Okay, there’s a risk that things may start to get boring and you take each other for granted, in which case you may have to spice things up from time to time.

The last thing you want is straying eyes…

The Weekly is essential for every business if you want to

  • make sure your name or service is always memorable
  • avoid overloading a subscriber or client with unnecessary information
  • regularly drive traffic to your site

If you subscribe to Pelixir, I guess we’re going steady 🙂

3. The Campaign

The Campaign is what most companies think of and follow. It’s all about having a specific objective for existing and prospective customers eg the sale of a new set of prints or the promotion of a conference.

Campaigns work best when they are linked to something with a date deadline attached (Book By.., Offer Expires On…)

To begin, there should be bit of a Flurry to show intent followed by regular e-mails leading up to the impending deadline.

This is the bit most corporate marketers FEAR: the continual reminding of the client or prospect eg frequency!

They forget that nobody buys or signs up when first asked to do so. It’s more likely they will take some action after the 4th or 5th e-mail .

That’s why e-mail frequency is so important – plan the Campaign with this in mind.

You’d be surprised by the number of people who only take the plunge on the date you remind them the deadline is due to expire.

e-mail frequency is about measurable persistence.

It is the very antithesis of the …

4. The One Night Stand

This is not really an option.  It’s also a little insulting.

It’s when you send out a solitary e-mail in the hope of getting lucky.

It seldom works because it

  • clearly has no intention of establishing a long-term relationship
  • is not part of a frequent sequence
  • is too easily forgotten

You receive these when someone has a new product or service they want to sell you but they haven’t bothered to keep in touch whilst developing it.

Please resist such vulgar behaviour!

How e-Mail Frequency Saves Relationships

Research has shown that if you only e-mail once or twice a month, your unsubscribes will INCREASE.

It’s to do with the ‘pain of disconnect’.

Those who become accustomed to receiving your e-mails on a regular basis fear that, if they unsubscribe, they’ll miss some valuable piece of information.

That’s even if they don’t always read what you send.

Remember e-mail frequency is part of a habit – and habits are hard to break.

Your challenge is to make sure it’s a healthy habit.

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