How many and when should you send emails?

How many and when should you send emails?

How many and when should you send emails? Thanks to the magic of the smartphone, the email app has become just another messaging app through which people can read their messages at practically any time of the day that they choose to. This explains the increase in email open rates on mobile devices over the last couple of years. It also helps understand why users check their email on mobile, 3 times more than they do on a desktop.

This shift in the way people handle their email has proved useful to email marketing and has awakened new opportunities for the average email marketer to capitalize on the time people use up in their inboxes.

Thirty hours a week is not exactly a short time to spend on email. If done correctly, you can pass on some vital information to your target audience that could prove useful to your campaign. So, what is the best number of emails to send a week during your email campaigns? Also, when are you best likely to get a high open rate?

While the right frequency can profoundly impact the success of your email campaign, a wrongfully- deployed plan can get you wasting a lot of time sending emails that will not give a return on their investment. The trick lies in finding a balance in the whole practice so that you ensure you are actually cutting across the minds of your customers and not just sending meaningless content.

Before you can settle on the number of weekly emails you wish to be sending, it is important to consider a few points else you risk being too constant or too infrequent with your emails.

If you email too little:

  • Promotional emails are meant to increase your sales. The fact of the matter is sending too few of these cuts you out on the chance to sell more.
  • The online community responds to frequency and consistency, and not sending enough emails puts your online reputation at risk.
  • To echo the above point, repetition is what keeps you in the minds of your subscribers. How long after you cut down on your engagement will it take for them to forget you?
  • Emailing your subscribers too little undermines the visibility of your brand. The more emails you provide them with, the more awareness your brand gets, even if they don’t open the messages.

Contrarily, if you email too frequently:

  • The number of weekly emails you send doesn’t matter so much as the content in them. Including the same offers eventually makes your subscribers unsubscribe or report your email campaign as spam.
  • You risk hurting your engagement with your other campaigns as customers will start to open your emails less or skip them. You don’t want inbox providers marking your campaigns as spam because of their low engagement, do you?
  • Being in frequent communication with your subscribers calls for a lot of quality content, the type which generating can be very time-consuming.

Moving forward, it would be nonsensical to set the number of emails you should send in a week to a specific frequency. Note that different businesses have different clients with different goals. What might work for one venture might turn out nonproductive for another.

What time works best?

graphic on best time to send emails

However, there are universal truths that have proved useful for every email campaigner out there. Facts such as the best days of the week and the most appropriate times of the day that people are likely to read their emails.

Indeed, most studies have found the midweek days to be the most rewarding when it comes to sending campaign emails. With the Monday blues and the excitement that the weekend brings, you’ll best reach your subscribers between Tuesday and Thursday.

 As for the time of the day, 47% of people open their emails during  off-work hours, lunchtime included. This happens on mobile devices. The other 53% of all opens occur during work hours-between 9 am and 5 pm- and are viewed on a desktop. The factor of mobile optimization comes into play at this point.

What the stats reveal

As stated earlier, deciding on the appropriate number of emails is difficult, more so now that experts are exerting pressure on marketers to engage more with their customers. But how do they know when the weekly emails have exceeded their limit? How do they know when to take a break?

In its report, the Direct Marketing Association stated that 35% of marketers send two to three emails in 30days, 9% send six to eight and 19% send one email in a month.

Another survey interviewed customers and discovered that 61% of users prefer to receive a promotional email once a month while 15% don’t mind receiving an email every day.

Judging from these data, sending one email per week works just fine. Even so, you need to discover what works best for you and you can do this by taking into consideration the following points.

Factors to consider before you settle on the number of promotional emails to send in a week

  1. The nature of the product or service you’re offering your customers largely influences how many emails you send to them. If you’re selling Christmas trees, you’re more likely to send more emails between October and December than the other months. Alternatively, if you’re running a gossip column, an email a day is enough to keep people posted.
  2. Study your competitors and learn from their mode of operation.
  3. What is the nature of your email? Are you trying to get people to fill out a form or sell a product? In each case, try not to be too pushy.
  4. Another way to know how many emails to send is to ask your subscribers how often they prefer you provide them with emails. You can do this by including such an option in their newsletter sign up or better yet starting a poll.
  5. Analyze your numbers. Have a close look at your opening rates, subscriptions, and unsubscriptions, and decide from these figures what you need to change or include to your plan.

This article would be incomplete without a mention of the testing rule. Picture this- Tuesday remains the most rewarding day of the week to send campaign emails but what if there is a subscriber out there who rarely misses checking their inbox on a Saturday. How will you know for sure? Test, test, then test again until you’re confident of the practices that best support the success of your email campaigns.

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