The Right Way to Send More Email

Next time your executives ask you to increase email message frequency in order to boost short term revenue, take a moment to refresh yourself with the reasons why this is usually not a great idea – for your revenue, your brand, your email assets and, most importantly, your subscribers. Our friend Mark Brownlow does a great job of painstakingly explaining the impact of higher frequency in his post, “Email Frequency, Can you increase it safely?”

Here’s the best answer you can give to this executive demand: “Great idea, Chief. Email marketing certainly is powerful! Let’s focus on the highest opportunity subscribers this week (or day, or month) and send THEM more email. They will value it and appreciate it, and respond at a high rate. The rest of the file will be grateful we didn’t crowd their inbox full of junk, and they will be more likely to respond to our next offer, which is relevant to them.”

Then put on your segmentation hat and look at your data in order to match up promotions with the subscribers most likely to value them. Create some of these targeted messages once, and use them over and over as more subscribers move into these segments. That way, you optimize your resources, as well.

  • Pull out the people who have recently purchased, or those who have not purchased in a long time. While a value message and cross sell works well for the first group, a discount on the most popular items might work better for the latter group.
  • How about those who recently signed up? Offer them a buyer’s guide and encourage a visit to the website. Some will also buy while they are there.
  • Take a look at those who purchased the product you want to promote. Recent buyers may not want another, but those who bought it a year ago (or a month ago if you are in a high fashion or rapid consumption business), might be very interested.
  • Which subscribers have an anniversary date this month? A good time to ask for feedback on the service, and prep them for a renewal. Similarly, see who’s got a birthday this month.
  • How about those who have never purchased, or visited the website in the past few days? Would a comparison buying guide help them buy?

Mark’s advice is right on. Frequency combined with a broadcast mentality is the fastest way to fatigue your subscribers. Segmentation and targeted messaging is the best way to optimize your subscriber experience, increase revenue, have more predictable results and increase inbox deliverability.

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