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5 Tips to Take the Freak Out of Frequency by Remy Bergsma @remybergsma

5 Tips to Take the Freak Out of Frequency by Remy Bergsma @remybergsma


5 Tips to Take the Freak Out of Frequency

Email marketing frequency is one of the most important factors in your campaigns. Some marketers send when they want or need to send the message out, and some others don’t know the preferences of their audience at all. In both cases they neglect the receiving end: how often does your audience want to receive your emails? No idea? Read on then. If you have an idea, there will probably still be some tips to squeeze the maximum out of your email campaigns.

1. Inquire

Make sure that you get to know when and how often your audience wants to receive your emails. Do it by offering this as a preference option at the subscribe form and/or at a preference center: make sure it’s not an obscure option but loud and clear. That way everyone can put their frequency preferences in and you can adjust your campaigns accordingly.

2. Segment

After the knowledge comes the application of that knowledge: putting all those numbers and preferences to work. If you could segment in three or four groups, you’re already on your way to delivering your messages better than before when you still sent out one single blast (sorry mr. Kordek). Depending on your audience, segments could include daily, weekly or monthly, but also a specific day or just workdays vs weekend.

3. Build and test

Build the campaigns and setup the mailing system according to the segments: see how many contacts fit in each ‘frequency zone’: be it daily, weekly or even monthly or one of the other options. Record it for future reference and comparison to frequency preference stats 3 months, 6 months and a year ahead. See it as a baseline from where you started, to look back to in the somewhat near or further future.

4. Adjust

No email marketing campaign is perfect, no segment setup is safe. After testing and sending out a couple of mailings, check up on the results. Adjust the program accordingly and make sure the right amount of content is sent the right amount of time: don’t fit 30 items in a newsletter nobody wants to read: make it 10 or 15 of the most important ones, for instance.

5. Follow up

Check back on how you did with the introduction or expansion of frequency prefs: how are the subscribers handling it? Any feedback, good or bad? Put it back into the email marketing campaign, your organization, your people. Everyone will benefit, especially the subscribers.

All in all, it will take some time and effort to implement this, but the results should be worth it as long as it is done well: both your company and your audience will be better off.

Takeaway: Email marketing is as much about listening as anything else. Find out how often your subscribers want to hear from you. Give them options and control.

I’d like to hear you thoughts! Please add your comment!

  • Profile:  Professionally trained multimedia producer turned email marketing specialist, having 4 years of experience in the Dutch email marketing business working at an ESP (Blinker). Areas of interest include email design, end user experience and campaign management. Very community and people minded. Personally sports, photography, music and movies keep me busy.
  • Website:  http://www.blinker.nl
  • Twitter:   http://www.twitter.com/remybergsma
  • LinkedIn:   http://nl.linkedin.com/in/remybergsma
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Your thoughts here
  1. Great blog! I really love how it’s easy on my eyes as well as the information are well written. I am wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which ought to do the trick! Have a nice day!

  2. The number of legitimate opt-in emails being caught in the spam filters is increasing by the day. You have to realize that although the message is being shown as ‘delivered’, the end recipient won’t be seeing the email at all. Bearing in mind these 3 factors, I hope you will get increased email opening rates for your business.

  3. @ Dror: I actually left out the sort of product or service you are selling out of the consideration of frequency, not on purpose but because I forgot! So thanks for mentioning :) I was mostly looking from the receiver’s end of the equation, so the product/service itself was secundary, so to speak.

    @activetrail: agreed, this (frequency) is surely just one factor of success, yet one that is often neglected or even forgotten, that’s why I wanted to share some tips on that. Content is definitely very important: even if you get the frequency right but it is not or just partially relevant for the receiver, then it has missed (part of) its goal.

  4. At the end of the day frequency depends on what you are selling, your target audience (what they prefer) and testing.

    If a company doesn’t test to see optimum results they will never see what is the best frequency rate.

    Those that batch and send without testing and looking at analytics data for those tests will never know what client engagement is based on the frequency.

    Some companies even ask prospects and clients how often they like to receive email newsletters to understand what their client base is all about which is a sign of caring and listening those who opt in.

  5. How much is too much? Unfortunately, there seems to be a great many responses to that question: “How often should I send out a campaign?”

    * Send at least two emails per month to each subscriber
    * Never send more than once every 72 hours
    * Distribute newsletters at least once every quarter.

    Is there a correct response? That depends solely on your campaign’s relevance. The email marketer walks a tightrope, ever knowing the stark reality of bordering on the line of too many emails, and at the same time, not wanting to be labeled as a spammer. So, what is too many? Are your messages going out just to remind them that you still exist? Remember, one size does not fit all, as one campaign is not relevant or meaningful to all. Demographics alone are not the key. The right content, targeted to the right group, work seamlessly together as they finely target their audience, and with noticeable up sell success.

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