What is the appropriate bulletin frequency?

If you want to increase your email revenue, you should consider increasing the frequency of your newsletters. Two emails may be better than one, after all.

However, bombarding subscribers is not a recipe for long-term success either. It's a delicate balance between too little and too much.

In recent years, leading email marketers in the United States have increased their email frequency, as shown by AlchemyWorx's research.

They used the EDS Analyst data to compare the evolution of email volumes between 2013 and 2017 for the top 200 US shippers.

The number of campaigns (in blue), the number of emails sent (in orange) and the number of openings (in yellow) for 2013 and 2017 are compared on the graph.

It is obvious that all figures have increased significantly over these four years.

On average, major brands have multiplied by 2.2 their email volume. The total volume of e-mails sent increased from 470 billion to 1,040 billion.

The number of emails sent did not increase because the marks have larger lists – the median size of the list has not changed.

Have the top 200 brands been wrong to increase the frequency? Or did they increase the frequency because the income went up?

Interestingly, not only has the volume increased but the open rate has also increased, as indicated by the gray line on the graph. I will come back.

Optimum frequency

You would be right to think about depleting lists and disabling subscribers with too much email. The question is: how much does it cost?

The latest statistics from GetResponse Email Marketing Benchmarks provide the most useful data for calculating the optimal frequency for achieving the best business results.

Previously, I had calculated the optimal frequency of emails using ReturnPath data. They published fashion brand data representing a total volume of 199 million emails. The analysis showed that the ideal frequency for maximizing openings was 6.21 emails / week.

The latest GetResponse report shows the average opening rates of click rates and for frequencies between 1 and 15 per week.

See the entire painting here: Number of newsletters per week

The reason that this data is better for the frequency calculation than the ReturnPath data, because clicks are a much better indicator of conversion than the one displayed.

To understand the optimal frequency of e-mails, it is essential to change the way you design what you maximize.

What is the purpose of an email?

In most cases, this is the click. Usually, an email is intended to bring someone on a website where the trip can continue. Transform the conversation into conversion.

The maximum revenue generated by e-mails comes from maximizing the number of Web site visits per month .

See this switch? It is visits by months and not by the campaign . This change is subtle but profound.

Let me give you an example.

Suppose you have a list of 100,000 subscribers. You are sending four campaigns a month with a clickthrough rate of 4.88%. The number of web visits generated is 19,520 (4 x 100,000 x 4.88%).

Now multiply the campaigns by 8. The benchmarks show that the click rate drops to 3.53%. The number of web visits generated during the month is 28,240 (8 x 100,000 x 3.53%).

By increasing the frequency of e-mails, the number of visits increased from 19,520 to 28,240 per month – increase in performance by 44% .

Wait, what about unsubscriptions?

The churn rate of the campaign does not usually increase with frequency. But the number of people who unsubscribe each month increases.

Does this sound like a contradiction? It's not.

Imagine that you have 200 contacts who unsubscribe each campaign. This number does not change much when you increase the frequency; it's still 200 per campaign.

If you send four campaigns a month, by the end of the month, 800 people will not be subscribers.

If you send eight campaigns a month, at the end of the month, 1,600 people will not subscribe.

Think of it like this. The more email you send, the greater the number of click and conversion opportunities. But you also provide more. chances to unsubscribe.

Increasing the frequency increases the number of people who unsubscribe over time, which reduces long-term revenues.

In addition, the fatigue of electronic mail, sometimes called opaque unsubscription, is an additional reduction factor. As the frequency increases, some subscribers remain on the list but open less often, or not at all.

The baseline statistics clearly show that response rates to campaigns are decreasing as the frequency increases.

Assembling the whole thing

The optimal frequency of e-mails is determined by searching for the maximum number of Web visits over a long period when these metrics report a reduced performance:

Campaign clickthrough rate decreases with frequency, as indicated by the criteria.
The size of the list decreases due to unsubscriptions, which reduces the success of future campaigns.

The graph below shows the average number of Web visits per subscriber over three years compared to the weekly messaging frequency during these three years.

The impact of decreasing the click-through rate and churn more and more often results in lower performance as you move to the right of the chart.

The maximum number of visits is six emails per week although there is little difference in performance for frequencies of five to seven per week.

Do not forget that this analysis is after taking into account the fatigue of e-mails, unsubscription lists and any impact of the ability to deliverability of the Increase in frequency. Even with these impacts, the optimum is five to seven emails a week.

Only interested in the short term? It's the same analysis, but in the case where we optimize performance in just three months.

If you want to optimize your performance over the next three months, the answer is almost alarming. Send as much as you can. The impact of list fatigue and unsubscription does not bite in the short term.

But this will hurt your success for the following months, and I do not recommend it! It is better not to show this to the board if they only worry about the short term.

Healthy Lists Are Growing Lists

The list of cancellations and rebounds means that whatever the frequency of your emails, your list decreases over time.

Unlike the number of unsubscribers, the number of e-mail addresses becoming invalid and returning each year is not related to the frequency.

I do not recommend trying to reduce the number of unsubscriptions by hiding the link in small fonts in a dense footer. This practice often turns against it, as shown by the studies on usability.

Due to unsubscriptions and rebounds, the lists reduce by 20% to 40% per year. The optimal frequency analysis diagrams above take this into account.

Increasing your mailing list is a must. You need new subscribers every month to replace those who have left your list.

So, aim for the optimal sending frequency when you have a strategy for growing email lists.

Do six e-mails a week suit me?

The analysis shows that targeting five or six emails a week is an excellent choice – on average.

But it's not fair for all brands.

What is right depends on the type of product or service you offer, for example:

Buying stressed. Auto Repair, Emergency Products and Services
Purchase of necessity. Annual insurance policies, toilet paper, printer ink
The desire and the impulse of purchase. Holidays, fashion, gadgets, leisure items

If you sell desirable products or impulse purchases, a higher frequency is recommended more frequently than for a stressed purchase purchase.

Consumers may be happy to browse their travel and fashion offerings, even if they do not want to buy. They read by curiosity and keep abreast of the latest trends.

This is not the case for insurance. Few people are curious about assuming insurance, except when it comes to renewal.

Each brand, each offer, each audience being different, the optimal frequency is different for each brand.

As a guideline for desire and impulse purchases, think between 1 and 5 per week, as needed once or twice a month and under duress – two or three times a quarter.

Frequency and relevance

Now, you're probably wondering about relevance. Should not I send more relevant emails instead of just more emails?

The answer is simple: do both. Frequency and relevance can work together. Making your emails more relevant means you can increase the frequency without the negative negatives, unsubscribes and fatigue of the list. You will keep your subscribers engaged even by sending them a lot more content.

To return to the chart at the very beginning of this article, the openings went from 40 billion to 130 billion. The opening rate increased from 8.5% to 12.5%.

The 200 leading email marketers have not only increased the frequency, but also the opening rates. Here are some excellent strategies for doing this:

Automated content based on behaviors such as browsing, buying or giving up.
Send targeted emails at the moment of your interest.

Properly defining the frequency of sending has a significant impact on the results. When did you last check how often you send?

Sending more e-mails is harder than sending less, because keeping the engagement also becomes more difficult. But not impossible.

So, create so attractive emails that you will be able to increase your email frequency without any damage :)!

Author: Tim Watson, a consultant specializing in email marketing, is 100% focused on email marketing, Zettasphere.

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