How to not annoy your subscribers with email frequency
The Goodness Squad Podcast Episode #54
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This is episode #54 of The Goodness Squad podcast. Let’s start with a quick story.
When my husband and I first started dating, obviously, I was interested in him. I wanted him to call me. I wanted to get to know him better.
My roommates had planned a fun weekend away, but I had just started dating my husband and I really wanted to hang out with him that weekend. We had gone on a date earlier in the week and he promised to call me that weekend.
So, I told my friends and roommates that I was not going to go on this trip with them because this guy was going to be calling me and I wanted to hang out with him. But he didn’t call.
All day Friday, all Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon, he didn’t call and I got annoyed. So I finally texted him and said, “are you going to call or what?”
How does this relate to email marketing?
Why was I annoyed with this boy, Corey? It’s because I liked him and I wanted him to call me and he wasn’t. That was annoying to me.
What about the opposite? What if I hadn’t been interested in him? What if I didn’t want to hear from him and I wasn’t excited about dating him? What if it was just some guy that liked me and I didn’t have the same feelings and he was calling me? I would have been equally annoyed. I would have not wanted him to keep calling me.
When email frequency becomes annoying
This is how email marketing works. So many times I hear people say, “I don’t want to email people very often because then I’ll annoy them.” You are only going to annoy them if they don’t like you, if they don’t want to hear from you. Just like if I didn’t want to hear from a boy who was interested in me, I would be annoyed. But when it was the man I was going to marry and I was very interested in him, I wanted him to call me all the time.
The same is true with email marketing. This perspective might take a mindset shift for you:
Your email frequency will only annoy people who don’t really want to be on your list anyway.
As long as you have the right people on your email list, you won’t be annoying.
This is why it’s so important for you to get that freemium right. It’s why it is so important that you have the right people on your email list. It’s why it is so important that you focus on the quality of your email list and not the size of your email list.
If you invite anyone and everyone onto your email list, just in case at some point they might be interested in what you’re offering, then you’re going to annoy the majority of those people every time you email them. Whether you’re emailing them daily, weekly, monthly, or every six months, you’re going to annoy them because they aren’t your target market.
But if the only people you allow onto your email list are those who are interested:
- in the type of freemium you create
- in the type of free content that you’re creating
- are the exact person that you can really help
if those are the people that are on your email list, then you’re going to annoy them if you don’t email them often. Just like I was annoyed with my future husband. I wanted him to call me.
The subscribers who want what you have to offer, the transformation in their life that you have to offer, the problems that you solve, the solutions that you provide – the people who truly want those, they want to hear from you because they want those solutions. If they don’t hear from you, they aren’t going to get those solutions from you.
The right number of emails to send each month
HubSpot did a study based on what the sweet spot is for how often we’re emailing people. When does our open rate start to drop and when does it start to go up?
In this study, HubSpot found that if you emailed people less than 16 times a month or more than 30, your email open rates decreased. But if you were inside that 16 to 30 times per month, that’s where you had the highest email open rates.
I know you’re thinking “16 times a month? That’s like every other day, that feels like a lot.?!” I have found that if you are not emailing your people enough, then you’re out of sight, out of mind. They forget who you are.
If they sign up one day and they get that initial welcome email from you saying, “Here’s your gift” and then they don’t hear from you until a month later, it’s very likely they’re going to have forgotten that they signed up on your email list.
We get so many emails and we are inundated with so much free content through blog posts and podcasts and emails and social media that we can very easily forget which email lists we signed up for. Where and who it was connected to and why we signed up for it in the first place.
We’re interested in the content, but maybe we signed up for three different email lists that are around the same subject. One emailed us on day one and day two and day three. And so we got to know them and knew who they were. The other emailed us on day one and then not again until day 7, day 10, or day 30. And so we don’t really know who they are.
Emailing more often helps you stay top of mind with people
It helps them get to know, like and trust you – as long as you are sending them the content that they want. Just like I wanted my husband to call me.
So how do we send frequent emails that don’t annoy? How do we stay top of mind and email more frequently without annoying people?
4 Tips for figuring out the right email frequency
Tip #1 – be helpful
You have heard me say it before: Solve a problem with every single email that you send and people will appreciate your emails and they will not annoy them.
Tip #2 – keep your emails short, when possible
I do not believe that every single email you send should be super short. Sometimes, in order to solve someone’s problem and in order to deliver valuable content, your email needs to be long.
But if every single email you send is long, you’re going to train people that your emails take time to read, that they’re going to have to set aside 10 minutes or 15 minutes in order to get through an email from you. So they will start leaving them in there in their inbox, unopened, thinking “I’ll get back to it later when I have 15 minutes.”
But guess what? That 15 minutes never shows up and they never read your email. On the other hand, if the majority of the emails that you send people are short, sweet, and helpful, then you are training them that they can get through your emails in one or two or three minutes. They don’t have to set aside time and they will be much more likely to open it and not let it get buried in their email box where they forget about it.
One way to accomplish shorter emails, if you tend to be long-winded, is to split a long email into two or three or even four or five emails. You can do this in a to be continued sort of way. So you can have the first paragraph of that long email you’ve already got written as email number one. And then at the end of that email in the PS, or just at the end of the email, you can tell them what’s coming in the next email.
It kind of creates a sense of curiosity and a little bit of suspense of what’s going to come next so they want to open that next email from you. If you really struggle to write short emails, go ahead and write that long email and then split it up into multiple shorter emails that go out to people over the course of a few days.
Tip #3 – use stories and analogies
You’ll hear me do this here on the podcast. I use analogies or stories to help you better understand something that I’m trying to teach you.
Stories and analogies help people to feel. They help people to relate to what you’re telling them and to think about how what it is you are teaching them applies to them in their life right now.
When you can do this, it creates excitement. It creates hope. Hope that they’re going to be able to apply what you’ve taught them and actually transform their life. When you do this for people, you are helping them to feel deep emotions and they will want to continue to open your emails.
If you struggle finding stories and analogies, I want you to consider something that is taught by Kate Doster. She is an email marketing expert. She’s fantastic. She’s funny. She really knows her stuff when it comes to email marketing. And one thing that I have learned from her is to use something called moments.
I’m going to read you a paragraph from one of her webpages where she gives an example of what a moment is:
Sometimes it’s overwhelming to come up with a big, long story. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to come up with an analogy, but a moment is like a mini-story and it can help keep your emails short, which was tip number two, but it can also help people relate what you’re teaching directly to them.
She is talking about a course that she offers called Trouble Magic. And she says the target customers for that course are someone who feels extremely disorganized, overwhelmed, and like, they’re not getting enough done now.
“While I could have used those generic terms, disorganized, overwhelmed,” on her sales page, she says, “I chose to showcase what it means to be getting this organized by saying, do you currently have 15 tabs open on your computer because you can’t focus? That’s the moment it is something real.”
Notice she didn’t just say you’re disorganized and overwhelmed. She dug deep into their life and figured out exactly what it looks like when someone is disorganized and overwhelmed when it comes to something that Trello could solve for them. Trello is an organization system, a project management tool that helps people to be more organized.
People who are disorganized tend to have 15 tabs open on their computer. And so she pulled that tiny little moment out of their lives and she used that. You can use those types of moments in your emails to create connection and feelings with your people so that they want to open more emails from you so that they feel like every email that they open from you is essential.
Tip #4 – make your emails sequential
I hinted at this earlier when I told you how you can take a long email and split it up into multiple shorter emails. But your welcome series is when you should be emailing people more often. In fact, I email people every one to two days for a couple of weeks when they first join my email list. Then I typically email them every five to seven days. So I’m under that 16 that we talked about earlier with HubSpot.
I email them nearly daily when they very first join my email list. But once they’ve been on there for awhile, I’m secure. I know that they know who I am. I know that they trust that my emails are helpful. I back off a little bit, and it’s a little bit less often. I have found that to work really well for me because I watched my statistics.
This study from HubSpot is a general study and it’s a great place to start, but you want to test these things on your own audience. I have found that, for me, starting off every three to five days has been really effective.
Let’s go back to what I do in that initial welcome series. When I am emailing people super often, every one to two days, I make sure that my emails are sequential.
The second email builds on what I taught them in the first. And the third email builds on what I taught them in the second. And the fourth email builds on what I taught them in the third, etc.
In the PS of my email, I tell them that I’m going to teach them the next step in the next email. Oftentimes I’ll tell them when that email is coming “tomorrow, I’m going to teach you XYZ” or “in two days, look for this email because it’s going to help you ABC.” I let them know that so when that email comes, they know what’s inside. They’ve been looking forward to it. They’re excited to open it.
To Summarize: Email Frequency matters
Often is much better as long as you have the right people on your email list. Once you have decided and accepted the truth that you should be emailing your list more often, I have four tips for how to do it without annoying them:
- Make sure you solve a problem in every email you send.
- Keep the majority of your emails short. Yes, you can send a long email on occasion, but the majority of your emails should be short.
- Use stories, analogies, and moments to create feelings and emotions in your subscribers so that they feel every time they open an email from you so that they will continue to open them.
- Keep your emails sequential so that each one builds on the previous and helps them to learn in a deeper manner.
All right. So now you have some good subject lines. You have an email welcome series. You know how often you should be emailing your people. How do you stay out of their spam filter? How do you make sure that they see that subject line and open your email and read that great content, those problems that you’re solving for them?
In episode #55 of The Goodness Squad podcast, we are going to dive into how to avoid the spam filter. If you have not yet downloaded the Subject Line Blueprint, make sure you go do that. If you’re already on my email list, you have access to it at Members.TheGoodnessSquad.com. It is part of your free Resource Library. If you’re not yet a member of The Goodness Squad and not yet on my email list, I would invite you to join us by going to TheGoodnessSquad.com/join. I hope to see you there.
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