One of the questions I’m often asked at my marketing workshops is, “How often should I be emailing my prospects and customers?” My one size fits all answer is at least once a month. The key is to hit the inbox on a regular basis, so you stay top of mind when it’s time to buy (or make a referral).
But the truth is, there is no one size fits all answer. So, a better and more detailed answer to this question is… email frequency depends on what you’re selling and who’s buying.
Most businesses can benefit from two monthly emails, and the frequency can also vary depending on the sales cycle of your particular industry. Here are some guidelines to help you.
Quick guide by industry:
Professional Services: (lawyers, accountants, consultants, etc.) As I mentioned previously, most businesses can benefit from sending twice a month. But if that sounds like a challenge, you’re fine with a monthly newsletter with a short tip and a soft-sell call to action.
Personal Services: (salons, dry cleaners, gyms, etc.) If your industry is price and promotions driven, you can send two promotional emails. Otherwise, you may consider sending two newsletter-type communications with a helpful tip and a product/service feature. You can even mix it up and send one newsletter and one promotional email each month.
Retail: Retail businesses should email at least twice a month. If your product/service is purchased frequently, you could even email weekly.
Restaurants: Once or twice a month is good, depending on the type of restaurant you have. If it’s a lunch spot with lots of traffic, you can email more frequently. Fancy, special occasion restaurants are okay with a monthly email.
Realtors: You can email once or twice a month. If you have a lot of inventory, you may want to consider weekly emails.
Non-profits: Once a month is good for most non-profits. If you have a lot of services and activities, you could email twice a month.
Email More Often During Peak Season
You need to make hay while the sun shines. In other words, you want to email your contacts more often before and during your peak selling periods, because that’s when people are most interested in what you’re selling. For example, a florist may email once a month throughout the year, but they would email more often right before Valentine’s and Mother’s Day.
Keep in mind that frequency affects your open rate. The more emails you send, the lower your open rate will be, but because you’re sending more, you will have more sales overall.
Holiday Peak Season – Seize the Moment!
This is an important time of year for retailers. The National Retail Federation estimates that the holiday season brings 20-40% of yearly sales for small and mid-sized retailers.
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday offer you a great opportunity to get your best offers and products in front of ready-to-buy consumers.
Even if the holidays are not your peak-selling season, you’ll want to at least send a holiday greeting. This is a great opportunity to get friendly and social with clients.
About the Author
Sandi Abbott is a professional marketer with more than twenty years experience in advertising and marketing. As principal of Xpresso Content Cafe, she helps small businesses increase sales and referrals through interactive digital marketing campaigns. Sign up to receive her monthly digital marketing tips in your inbox. Follow her on Twitter: @xpressocc