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Benchmark Email Bulletin - Volume 21
Frequency matters: 5 tips on how often to send email campaigns
It doesn't matter if you're totally new or an old hand at email marketing, I'll bet at some point you've struggled over frequency. Much of this hand-wringing happens because there's a mighty fine line between bugging a customer and practically abandoning them. In other words, email campaign frequency is no different than dating: too much or too little contact can have equally disappointing results.

Though email frequency is not an exact science, here are five tips that will not only help you make up your mind about how often you should send your email campaigns, but give you confidence about that decision:
Sending too infrequently will most likely cause customers to lose interest. But beyond that, there's an even bigger problem you may have to solve: accusations that you're a spammer. Remember that even well-meaning customers forget all the newsletters and emails they've signed up for, and if you email them infrequently enough, they won't remember who you are and they may, at worst, hit the spam button. Keep up the relationship - and familiarity - by emailing once a month. If you can't manage that, send once a quarter. Anything beyond that is far too infrequent.
Don't bog down your customers with too many emails - it's annoying to them and it dilutes your message. For this reason, we recommend not emailing any more frequently than once every four days. If you have a big sale coming up and you need to bang the drum about it, plan ahead and set up an autoresponder, and set it up to send emails once a week. Benchmark's autoresponder service costs just $7.95 a month, and you can use it to set up your campaigns and forget about them.
No one wants to see the same emails pushing products week after week. For this reason, we recommend mixing up your content. Send how-to demonstrations. Customer surveys. Lists on how customers can save money and time. This builds a bond with your customers by letting them know that although you're interested in making sales, you're far more interested in sending them valued content.
A good way to find the "sweet spot" of best frequency is to experiment by sending emails once a month and emails once a week, and see how customers react. Take things a step further by checking out which customers opened your most frequent emails and put them on a separate email list to be mailed more often. This might mean more work because you'll have to send to different lists at different times, but it makes your email campaigns more targeted, most likely bringing in more sales.
When your customers sign up in your ListBuilder (or sign-up box) on your Website, you'll want to give them an idea of what types of emails they'll be receiving from you. However, you don't have to be as clear on how often you'll email them. If you have to, tell them you'll email them "occasionally". By being vague about this, you'll have enough leeway to experiment on what frequency works best.
Don't forget that although frequency is important, your content is an equal partner in whether your campaign will soar or flop. If you craft quality content that keeps the attention of your customers, you have a far better chance of grabbing their attention and keeping it.
For more info, please contact Jennifer Perez, Benchmark's PR and marketing director, at jennifer@bmesrv.com.
Shoot for at least once a month, or at very least, once a quarter
Never email customers more than once every four days
If you're going to send campaigns once a week, mix up the content
Go by your statistics and segment your list by customer interest level
Don't paint yourself in a corner - be vague about frequency if you have to