When To Mail Your List, and How Often

We're now in Chapter Three (pages 19-21) of List Building for Bloggers, as we walk through it here in our LBFB Series.

When should you mail your list (what are the best days & times), and how often should you send emails to your subscribers?

A common perception is that if you email your list too often, they'll unsubscribe.

But consider that if you don't email them often enough, they'll unsubscribe when you do because they may forget who you are and why they're on your list...

"Why? Because you're not top of mind with your subscribers, and irregularly sent emails that arrive months after a subscription was confirmed will feel "out of the blue." They are more likely to be less relevant to the list and, therefore, that much more likely to be marked as spam."
-Phil Hollows, LBFB

This takes me back to when I started my very first mailing list well over 10 years ago, and it's a list I still maintain to this day. I offered weekly tips, which I planned to send out to my list each Monday morning.

The first week I only had a couple of subscribers. The following week, when I sat down to look at it and consider writing the first issue, I only had 9 subscribers.

Hmm. I decided to wait another week, and send my first issue when there were enough people on the list to make it worth it. And then it occurred to me... none of those subscribers even knew there were only 8 other people reading. All they knew was that they signed up for weekly tips, and they weren't receiving them!

And that's when I started mailing my list on schedule, and treating each email as if I were writing to each individual person on my list...

 

The Best Time To Mail Your List

There have been many studies done on the best days and times to email your list, those with historically higher open rates. If those numbers still held true, and were not outdated, having an optimal mailing schedule would be a very nice thing, wouldn't it? Then you could just mail on queue!

The fact is, your best days/times to send emails will be unique to your list and to your market. The best thing you can do is test, analyze your results, and adjust according to how your subscribers best respond.

Autoresponders are particularly nice because they communicate with your subscriber immediately after they have opted into your list, and at regular intervals on the days/times they are most likely at their computer.

People are creatures of habit. Consider your own routine - aren't you often at your computer at the same times on the same days, for the most part?

Most people are. You can use this to your advantage and set up autoresponders that keep your list "warm", as autoresponders go out at regular intervals - at the same time of day they originally subscribed.

Consider setting up a weekly autoresponder, or every two weeks, to touch base with your readers, as it will reach them on the same day of the week and same time of the day that they first interacted with your website. ;-)

How Often Should Your Mail Your List?

This brings us to how often you should be communicating with your subscribers, and the "how much is too much" conundrum.

The biggest fear is that if you email your list too frequently, people will unsubscribe in droves. This is not always the case, as I mentioned above. Sometimes not emailing them frequently enough can cause an unusually high unsubscribe rate.

More often than not, regular frequent mailing will keep your subscribers "tuned in" and create a higher sense of community and loyalty. The real problem comes with lack of relevance, not meeting their expectations, and a higher percentage of "pitches" than the content you promised them when they first subscribed...

"Mass unsubscribes and complaints are caused by losing relevance or over-selling (i.e. spamming your list). Once the pitch to post ratio gets too high - and the unsubscribe rate will clearly tell you when that is - relevance is lost and subscribers will flee..." -Phil Hollows, LBFB

Tip: Go back to your squeeze page or your opt-in form and study it for a moment. What incentive did you use to encourage visitors to subscribe to your list? What do you feel they expect from you via email, given the context of your subscription offer? Are you delivering that - specifically?

How often do you email your list, and do you have set times/days to send out your broadcasts? Leave a comment below and we'll brainstorm options & ideas!

Best,

p.s. If you don't yet have a copy of List Building For Bloggers, and you want to follow along in the series this month, grab a copy here and use the coupon code "clicknewz" for $10 off. ;-) That makes it only $14.95!

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. I send out once a week on Sunday (a mailing I write myself) and then my broadcast goes out after every 3rd blog post so there is not a certain day for that. I will be adding more but probably no more than 3 a week.

  2. A long time ago, I had to come to terms with unsubscribes. No one likes to get them, but I do have them come to my email so I can see why people unsubscribe. I want to know if I"m not giving them something they wanted.

    More often than not, the reason is "too busy" or "too many emails" (in general.) I think it helps to know the reasons.

    I don't like receiving multiple emails in a day from the same people, but I don't mind one once a day or every other day, if it's someone I want to hear from (and if it's not, I guess I would unsubscribe!)

  3. I am loving this series. My business goal this year is to get a firm grasp of successful list building and then implement, implement, implement. It's a great way to Google-proof the business and make the most of traffic. Thanks Lynn!

  4. Tuesdays and Thursdays have been proven to be successful time and time again. Typically, you want to mail out around 4:20 a.m. That way the email is on top of their email list when they read it in the morning. As far as how often to mail...when Lynn is right. It really depends on your list. If you subscribe to Joe Vitale's list, he emails about once every 2 days. I don't mind that, because I enjoy his copywriting.

    Others, like Matthew Furey email twice a day. You can find him over at http://psycho-cybernetics.com/blog/ (as a side note, that's not an affiliate link. just a good blog to study)

    Here's what I do. Subscribe to a lot of people's lists. Then pick the method I like the most and model it. The only way you'll know if it works is by testing.

    So pick a model you like...then test. A good starting point is twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday)

    As for a post to pitch...here's what I use.

    Post-Post-Pitch. Post-Post-Pitch.

    With that method you throw a pitch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That way you can see which does better for you.

    Good post Lynn...as usual. :)

    Shane

  5. I've never built a list since I started internet marketing a year ago. But this is what I think... Email frequently or periodically, those who want to remain subscribed will and they are likely to have particular interest in the information present in your email - for those who don't, email-ing frequently only hastens the clicking of the "unsubscribe" button. Just what I think... :-)

  6. Stuart Barker says:

    I have recently just started getting into email marketing and have so far got a blog, got a aweber account and got a opt in form. I have yet to get subscribers but i have been learning ways of finding out what subscribers want. One way to do this is send out a questionnaire. That way you can find out exactly what they want from your list and then provide it.

    Hope this helps

    Stu

  7. Brendan Carl says:

    This is so true. I hate when I randomly get an email from a marketer that I forgot about. And, usually when they sent out these infrequent emails, they are just affiliate promotions. No content.

    These are great tips. Thank you so much for your helpful post.

  8. Listen to your readers. I had one list where I had several readers tell me they loved the content, but I sent it too often. I got the message loud and clear so I spaced out the e-mail sequence. Since then unsubscribes are fewer. Not every group of people want daily emails (but some do). It also depends on the nature of the email content. I send out tutorials and info, which people can digest only so quickly.

  9. I send out my broadcast early each Sunday morning "Just in time for your first cup of coffee"

    I'm sorry I can't remember if I mentioned it on your site Lynn, but it bears repeating.. the one Sunday aWeber had a glitch (the first in 4 yrs) my open rate drastically reduced.

    For me that was crystal clear evidence that people not only expected to receive the Small House Life Magazine in their email early Sunday mornings.. but they wanted to read it too!

    dee :)

    • That is one of the benefits of having a mailing schedule. Your loyal readers start looking forward to your email, and it becomes a regular part of *their* schedule. ;-)

  10. Hi Lynn,

    I'm glad you mentioned that when to email your list depends on your unique list. It also depends on what you're mailing. When I mail my newsletter for kids, it's best received on the weekends. But when I'm mailing info or a promo that's for the parents, I get more opens if it's during the week in the afternoon.

    I totally agree that not emailing enough can get you lots of unsubs!

    Thanks,
    Peggy

  11. Susanne Myers says:

    Great tips Lynn (as usual :)) One thing I noticed with regards to how often and when to mail is that it's all about setting and meeting expectations. I let my readers know how often they can expect to hear from me and when that changes, I make the change gradually. I have one list that I only occasionally mailed with updates and product offers. I gradually went from mailing every other week, to once a week to twice a week and eventually an almost daily schedule. I let them know ahead of time that I had more interesting tips to share and that they would receive more frequent emails.

    Yes, I had a few unsubscribes, but also quite a few emails from reader that appreciated the additional info.

  12. Hi Lynn,

    The time I have the most readers is Tuesday Morning - 6AM, the email is there when readers check their email.

    I agree with Dee that Sunday Morning is also a good time. I receive a mailing each Sunday Morning and I know it's always there. It's the first mail that I check.

  13. I'm not really depending on my mailing list,although I've been sending mails twice a month. My open rate is quite not good so I've tried other marketing tactics that works better.

  14. One of the most effective marketing strategy is by contacting people thru email. Thus, people must take advantage of this strategy, but never to abuse it too. There are times that marketers keep on sending emails to their list as much as they could. Without them considering if that would be helpful to them or not anymore.

  15. The best source of traffic is by sending emails. But the only thing is that you have to be trusted. Because emails are seen the most like spams. This is the only one problem with email. It is not very time consuming and you can send a simple email to thousand of people!

  16. @Oliver : I think that when people subscribe to your newsletter they do trust you.
    Great true article, thanks

  17. It's a good point to stay consistent with your mailings. Sending an email 3 months for the 1st time after you subscribe could make you seem "out of the blue".

  18. I think once or twice a month has to be enough. I want my mail to be seen as quality information, and so it can't be more often than every two weeks.

    • Yes, I agree. Perhaps once a week can be ok too, but to be sure you won't become spam in the eyes of your users, make it twice a week.

  19. SteveJohnson says:

    Readers tell me they loved the content, but I sent it too often. I got the message loud and clear so I spaced out the e-mail sequence. Since then unsubscribes are fewer

  20. The frequency of posts may well depend on whether your business is one aimed at consumers where there may well be a frequent / repeat demand or if your business is b2b, once a month may be more suitable.

  21. I have settled on sending newsletters on the first and third Thursdays of the month. My next goal is to be more consistent with the time I post on Thursdays. I like the idea of early morning.

  22. I am a bit lacking in sending out content on a regular basis to my list so far. This is my first list and I just passed 100 visitors. Still I am trying to figure out exactly how often and exactly hat to send them to keep them all happy.

    Thanks for the tips. I will use what I've learned here to manage my list.

    Thanks,

    ~jeremy

  23. As with all things it boils down to testing, testing, testing. Not everything will work as well in every niche, or on every topic. Weekly tips shouldn't be sent monthly, for example - lol. As for times of day, keep in mind that your readers are from a wide variety of time zones in most cases. Test and find out what works best with YOUR list, and then stick to *that* schedule. ;-)

  24. As long as you share interesting content or offer, you can send your newsletter every week. That's what I do.
    Thanks for the article Lynn, really interesting and well written !

  25. Yeah, I agree Lynn : "testing, testing, testing" is the best way to proceed. Cheer and thx for the article !

  26. I tend to mail my small list on average two or three times a week, usually two of the emails contain hints and tips to help build my relationship with my subscribers and one email contains an affiliate link. My unsubscribe rate is low and everybody seems happy

    Regards,
    Rich Jones Marketing

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