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 If those numbers still held true, and were not outdated, having an optimal mailing schedule would be a very nice thing, wouldn't it?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!
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!