Home » Quick Hack to Reliably Test How Often to Send Your Newsletter [Infographic]

Quick Hack to Reliably Test How Often to Send Your Newsletter [Infographic]

May 23, 2019

How Often Should You Send Emails to Your Newsletter List?

You’re not the only one who asks this question. In fact, it’s one of the questions we get asked most frequently. What can feel like too many emails? Where’s the fine line between staying top of mind with your email contacts and seeming “spammy”?

Some experts will tell you that there’s one predetermined send frequency that matches email marketing best practices. Never send more than weekly! Or they’ll say that consumers will be happy with emails from their favorite brands every other day.

But, if you hesitate to take some so-called expert’s word for it, then you’re smart. Like all forms of digital marketing, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to this question.

In fact, we’re not going to tell you how often to send email campaigns or newsletters to your contact list.

Instead, with this handy infographic and 7 easy steps, you’ll learn how to figure out what sending frequency works for your target group. It’s all about closely monitoring your unsubscribe rate.

test-newsletter-sending-frequency-flowchart

1️⃣ Start With a Few Hundred Subscribers

When figuring out how often to send your newsletter, your best shot at finding the perfect sending frequency is testing it through trial and error.

Testing your newsletter frequency makes the most sense when you have a lot of newsletter subscribers in your email list. Wait until you’ve grown your list to at least a few hundred before you start. If you don’t have that many subscribers yet, just focus on list growth for now.

Keep in mind that figuring out a sending frequency that works for you at this point doesn’t mean it’s always going to be a guaranteed success. You’ll have to keep an eye on it for the future. Monitoring your email marketing frequency and regularly adjusting it (when necessary) will provide subscribers with the ideal break between newsletters.

2️⃣ Do a Quick Audit of Your Marketing Emails

That said, let’s take a look at how to establish a process that will help you figure out the perfect email frequency.

But before you even start thinking about your future sending frequency, you should conduct a quick audit of your current email campaigns.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions:

👉 How many emails per month/per week are you sending at the moment?
👉 What’s the maximum number of emails you’re able to send out?
👉 How are your current newsletters and other email marketing campaigns performing?

It’s important to stay on top of these questions to know where to start testing.

3️⃣ Establish a Regular Sending Frequency

So let’s start testing!

Based on the results of your audit and how much capacity you have for more email campaigns, set a regular sending frequency and stick to it. For at least three months.

You don’t want to drain your resources right away. If your maximum capacity for sending email is daily, start by sending weekly newsletters to find out how your subscribers react. Alternately, if you can manage a maximum sending frequency of two emails per week, start with a newsletter or email every other week instead.

We recommend sticking to your initial sending frequency for at least three months to get enough data points before making an adjustment.

If the intervals between newsletters are very long (for example, once every two months), then give yourself more than three months before you start making adjustments. Wait at least six.

4️⃣ Prepare to Adjust: Your Unsubscribe Rate Holds the Key

Whether you’re sending a monthly newsletter or daily promotional emails, it’s essential to stay consistent for reliable results. You’ll only find the sweet spot by sending regularly and analyzing the data.

In this case, the most important newsletter KPI to pay attention to is the unsubscribe rate. The average unsubscribe rate, depending on your industry, is around 0.5%.

Don’t worry about losing subscribers! It’s perfectly normal for this to happen. In fact, in order to find your ideal sending rate, you’re going to need to sacrifice some subscribers. At least you’re doing it for the greater good of data.

5️⃣ Check Your Unsubscribe Rate After 3 Months

After three months of weekly newsletters, you can check your unsubscribe rate and adjust your sending frequency. The big question is if it’s above or below 0.5%.

👉 Your unsubscribe rate is below 0.5%? Congratulations, your subscribers seem to like hearing from you! They might even want to hear from you more often.
Next step: Increase your sending frequency by 2. For example, if you were sending weekly emails, now send emails twice a week for a total of four weeks.

👉 Your unsubscribe rate is above 0.5%? Slow down a little bit. You might be sending too much.
Next step: Decrease your sending frequency by 2. For example, if you were sending weekly emails, start sending every other week for a total of eight weeks instead.

6️⃣ Rinse and Repeat Until You Find the Sweet Spot

From here on it’s pretty self-explanatory.

Once you reach the next checkpoint, re-evaluate your unsubscribe rate. Your goal is to reach an unsubscribe rate of around 0.5%. That’s your optimal email frequency.

If it’s still below 0.5%, continue increasing your newsletter frequency. Send even less often if it’s still above 0.5%.

7️⃣ Once You’ve Made It, Don’t Get Too Comfortable

When you reach an unsubscribe rate of 0.5%, give yourself a huge pat on the back.

Congratulations, you’ve found your sweet spot! Just don’t get too comfortable. Continuous monitoring is your key to long-term success!

➡ Bonus Step: More Data Points to Consider

Your overall email performance can also be helpful for developing sending strategies. Look for changes over time as signals of subscriber engagement.

Start by analyzing open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates in your current newsletters and campaigns. This will be important information down the line when it comes to comparing your KPIs over time.

For example, if your unsubscribe rate isn’t changing, but your click-through rate is dropping, then something is causing reader disengagement. That might be a secondary sign that it’s time to send less email. Or maybe it’s a sign that you need to start sending better email! Is your content engaging? Are your newsletters well designed?

➡ Bonus Step: Test Sending Frequency with Segments

This is a bonus step for big senders. If you’re sending regularly to several thousand subscribers, you shouldn’t have one sending frequency for your entire email list. You’ll need to tailor it to specific target groups.

Chances are, you’ve probably already segmented your contacts based on interests, geography or other factors. As a matter of fact, different list segments will need different sending frequencies. Now, to take it up a notch, you can establish different sending frequencies for individual customer segments. Think of them as samples.

Select segments that are big enough to provide reliable data and start testing away following the steps above!

The goal here is to find out if there is a difference in preferred sending frequency in the individual segments.

As a final tip, marketing automation can be a helpful tool for testing on different email list segments. You certainly don’t have to do this testing manually. Once you’ve created the newsletters, you can schedule them to send automatically in different frequencies.

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