Welcome back to another BIZ BITE episode of the eCommerce Badassery Podcast, I’m your host Jessica Totillo Coster.
Today I’m answering the age-old question… how many emails should I send a week?
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Now unless you’re new here, you probably know what I’m about to say and that is… it depends. But don’t worry, we’re gonna get into some nitty-gritty details so you can figure out what the best cadence is for you.
Let’s start with a really big generalization – the bigger you list and the wider your product assortment, the more emails you can send.
I also want you to remember that not all emails have to be about the hard sell. Sometimes emails are just meant to connect, nurture, and keep you top of mind to your audience.
At a minimum, you’ll want to send at least one email per week. The only time I would say you can send less than this is if you sell more of a one-time product that the customer won’t have to buy again for a long time and you don’t sell anything else.
For instance, I worked with a client who invented a waterproof bag for your car after she lost hers and most of what she owned in a flood. Once someone purchases one of those they’re not going to need much else for a while. So to email them every week might be overkill. In an instance like that, once a month is a great cadence. You don’t want them to just buy your product and stick it in their garage until they need it. You want them to tell all their friends about it too, so popping into their inbox each month with some other disaster preparedness info, updates on your business journey, etc. is a great way to stay top of mind.
For the rest of you, it’s one week at a minimum and then I would say as many emails as you can be consistent with and your audience can tolerate.
I’d rather see you send 1 email a week every week vs. 3 emails for 3 weeks and then completely disappear. Consistency is really important so that people don’t forget about you.
If you haven’t already, definitely listen to episode 44 of the podcast where I walk you through my step-by-step process of creating an email marketing calendar that will get you started.
Then, when you’re ready to start increasing your email send you’ll want to increase your send by one email per week at a time, for about 4 weeks, and then look at your metrics.
So if you’re sending 2 emails right now, start sending 3 per week and send 3 per week for the next 4 weeks. At the end of that 4 weeks you’re going to want to look at your metrics.
Are you maintaining your open, click, and conversion rates? If not, then ask yourself are you still above your industry standards and benchmarks, and are you making more revenue?
While you need to look at your metrics individually to diagnose how to improve them, when you’re deciding how your email marketing is performing as a whole, you have to look at all the numbers. Sure, your open rate per email might be going down, but if you’re making more revenue then it doesn’t really matter.
Just like with your site conversion rate, as your traffic increases it’s natural that your conversion rate is going to go down. That’s not to say there aren’t things you can’t do to improve it, but it’s to be expected.
The same is going to be true for your email. As you increase your sending, your engagement is likely to go down, but you’re also giving people more opportunity to buy, so as long as your revenue is up, you’ll be fine.
The thing to watch out for though is if you start getting really low engagement numbers that could potentially put you in the spam box. Check out episode 19 of the podcast where I share eCommerce + email marketing benchmarks.
Okay, so now you’re sending 3 emails per week, your metrics are good and your revenue is up. Now what? Increase it again to 4 emails per week and start the process over again.
So how many emails are too many? Too many is when all of your metrics are tanking and your spam rates are above the ideal benchmark. But that is going to differ between audiences, so the best is to test slowly and see what happens. There are a lot of retailers that send emails every day. That’s typically bigger businesses with huge lists that are growing faster than they’re churning. That’s not to say you can’t do that, just be watchful of those metrics.
Some other things to keep in mind.
- Just because you’re sending 4 emails per week, doesn’t mean everyone has to get 4 emails per week. Here are some ways that you can segment your lists and groups of people you can exclude.
- Depending on the feature of your email you can exclude anyone who has made a purchase in the last 14 days.
- You can create a manage preferences center where people can choose how often they want to hear from you. I usually ask monthly, weekly, or all the emails. Then I pick the most important 1 or 2 monthly emails and 1 or 2 per week to send to those groups.
- If you have a wide assortment of product, you can send a specific email to those who have purchased from a particular collection or exclude those you know aren’t interested in a particular collection.
- Also, one of your weekly email sends doesn’t even have to be a new email! Maybe you’re just resending your first email of the week to anyone who didn’t click it the first time.
- If you have a really big list you can even split them completely randomly and send your email to one half one day and one half the next. This way you have an email going out every day, but no one is getting an email every day.
There are a lot of ways that you can slice and dice your email marketing. The biggest thing to remember is that email is about building relationships, not just selling your products… so as long as you are providing some type of value when you’re asking them to buy you can keep showing up in their inbox. They raised their hand and said Yes! I want to hear from you so make sure you keep in touch!
If you still feel like you need help in strategizing your email marketing let’s hop on an email marketing strategy call. These are one-hour calls you can purchase right from my website. You fill out your intake form, I do pre-work and we spend the hour together with me presenting my ideas and you asking your questions for clarification. The intake form and pre-work means we get to spend the hour actually strategizing, not just asking discovery questions so you’ll leave that call with all of your best next steps.