Without any doubt the biggest part of internet marketing is building a mailing list. It’s incredibly powerful and the quickest way for you to generate a revenue.
Once you have your mailing list there is the on-going question of how often you should email them.
In almost every forum and blog about internet marketing you will find an article or post that tells you to:
- Create an optin page
- Write an auto-responder (usually 5-8 emails)
- The first week is the most important
- Then reduce emails to just once or maybe twice a week
As a general guide that’s pretty good. You do want an optin page and you do, most of the time, want an auto-responder for the optin page.
There is one scenario where you don’t actually want to have an auto-responder and I’ll write about that later.
But… reducing your emails to just once a week I don’t agree with.
That’s exactly what I did when I first got started, and don’t get me wrong it worked fine.
Since then I’ve tested and trialled various different time frames and I’ve found that…
…the more you email the more responsive your mailing list is!
That does come with some conditions. Don’t mail them multiple times a day every single day, although I know some people who this also works very well for because the people on the list expect and want that.
Personally, emailing multiple times every day isn’t for me. But emailing every day, or almost every day definitely is.
This goes against the conventional wisdom that’s written about by most people, but having tested this over more than 2.5 million emails the result goes against this strongly.
If we go back to look at where this original understanding comes from then we can see why emailing more often is more effective than just emailing once a week.
From what I understand the original concept of mailing every week comes from the standpoint of not wanting to annoy people on your mailing list.
The rough thought process is…
- Email them the information that they opted in for
- Spend the first week building your brand and trust
- Reduce the amount of time your emailing them to just a few times a week now the trust is built
- Reduce to just once a week so you don’t annoy your readers but they still expect your emails
If you look at it quickly then that all seems to make sense.
But let’s look at it in a bit more detail and ask ourselves some questions with the knowledge that emailing more often produces more loyal readers and more interaction.
2. Spend the first week building your brand and trust
Why are we only spending the first week building trust?
You can’t built full trust that quickly. Do you totally trust somebody whose newsletter you joined in the last seven days?
I certainly don’t. In fact I have to read a lot of useful information before I begin to trust their opinions.
And surely trust building should be unending?
Just because we have someones trust doesn’t mean we want to stop emailing them great content and just start selling to them. We want to continue emailing them great content. In fact we want to do that even more than the people who’ve just joined our newsletter because we don’t want to lose their trust!
So the concept of only focusing one weeks worth on content on this is ridiculous. We need to be doing this ongoing.
3. Reduce the amount of time your emailing them to just a few times a week now the trust is built
Based on what we’ve now looked at above this no longer makes any sense. Quite simply the trust isn’t built in the first week. You’ve begun building it but it’s far from complete and will probably take a couple of months before you have a readers complete trust so that they’ll be interested in purchasing something because you recommended it.
The last thing we want to do is start to reduce our emails at this time. We’ve started to build the trust with our reader and if we stop emailing them frequently we’re going to lose it faster than you can imagine.
We’ve also started to setup the emailing pattern we’re going to be using. If you change this drastically just a week in it will feel uncomfortable for your readers. If you change your emailing pattern you want to introduce this slowly by maybe reducing by just one or two days a week to begin with and letting them know that you’re going to do that.
4. Reduce to just once a week so you don’t annoy your readers but they still expect your emails
I can conclusively say that you shouldn’t do this. Emailing every day produces a much higher open and click through rate than just once a week. And the reason is because if you’re emailing every day and somebody doesn’t unsubscribe then… they obviously like what you’re writing!
They want to read your emails.
If they don’t like what you’re reading then yes, they’ll unsubscribe. This isn’t something you should be afraid of, readers do unsubscribe. If they’re not interested in what you’re writing about then you can be 100% certain they won’t be interested in what you’re selling either. There’s no point in wanting to keep them on your mailing list just so it looks larger.
In our testing we also found an even bigger benefit of emailing every day. Because you only have the people who want to read what you’re writing each day you need much smaller mailing lists to get the same quantity of clicks that people with much larger lists achieve.
Take a look at these two examples:
Most people wouldn’t consider a list of 1704 or 3539 a big list, and it’s not. But the list size isn’t important.
What’s important is the amount of clicks that your emails generate.
The smaller of our lists generated 514 clicks and the bigger list generated 883 clicks. A lot of people with list sizes of 15,000 will only achieve around 500 clicks.
But not only are we achieving the same amount of traffic with list sizes 90% smaller. Our readers are expecting the daily email so we’re achieving those clicks ever day without any concern that we’re going to annoy them.
That means a list owner mailing once or twice a week may get between 1000 and 1700 clicks. With our smaller list of just 1704 people we are getting 3598… double the amount of the bigger list owners!
Of course, the downside is that you need to write a lot more content. But that’s a small price to pay for an increase in reader loyalty.