If you go to your personal email inbox right this instant, I can virtually guarantee there will be a sales email there waiting for you. Whether it’s from your credit card company, cable provider or a company whose survey you filled out at a public event, there always seem to be sales emails bombarding your inbox.
And almost every time we see a sales email, we ignore it, delete it, or maybe lightly skim it if the subject line is compelling enough. But we hardly ever take the time to read it carefully, if we open it at all, and we’re never happy to see it. This is an unfortunate reality that marketers have to live with every day. If a friend of yours rolled their eyes every time you called or emailed them, you’d probably stop reaching out eventually. But marketers don’t have a choice: if we don’t send sales emails, we leave potential leads (and therefore money) on the table.
Timing is everything
So how can we minimize the annoyance we cause for our email recipients, while still achieving our email marketing goals? By realizing that timing is everything. You not only need to send your email at a specific time of day and on a consistent day of the week, you also have to send them at regular intervals.
Deciding what these intervals are is a real tightrope walk. If you contact someone too often, they can get overwhelmed and irritated, which will ultimately cause them to unsubscribe. Contact them too infrequently, you run the risk of being forgotten and leading the recipient to wonder why they are receiving emails from you in the first place… and that ultimately leads to unsubscribing as well. See what I mean about a tightrope walk?
So how do you determine the right interval?
I’m sorry to say, there is no formula for deciding how often you should send sales emails. It really fluctuates based on the situation, your market and your relationship with the contact. But there are some guidelines to always keep in mind.
-Don’t email more than once a week: They saw your email, they know you reached out. The ball is now in their court. If you keep pestering them, they’re likely to get irritated.
-Three weeks between emails is too long: A lot can change in three weeks. Think about where you were 21 days ago. Your goals and work objectives were probably a lot different than they are now, and you might not even remember why you signed up for an email list way back then.
-Base your email frequency on your contact’s level of engagement: You can gauge a contact’s interest by how involved they are with your company, website or emails. Did someone sign up for a content offer once and then never returned to your site? Tread lightly; this person has marginal interest at best, and too much contact will destroy that. However, if a contact opens all of your emails and interacts with some of them, you need to apply a little pressure. Start emailing them more regularly and consider messaging that promotes a sense of urgency. If you don’t have some kind of lead nurturing software (like HubSpot’s contact database), keeping track of this sort of stuff is going to be difficult.
Whatever you do, don’t give up
Email marketing is challenging, and its best practices are constantly evolving. If you’ve run out of patience with your email marketing strategy and don’t know what else to try, consider hiring an inbound marketing agency. Agencies specialize in precisely this kind of marketing, and they can help you devise a winning strategy, or takeover your email marketing programs altogether.