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Data Gets Tired Too: How Often Should You Email Lists?

Your mailing list is a valuable asset – but if you abuse it, don’t expect much of a return.

To mail or not to mail? That is the question marketers struggle with.

On one hand, the contact list is yours, so unless contacts opt out, why not hit them every other week with a new offer?


On the other hand, marketers are increasingly being advised to focus on ‘pull’ marketing, encouraging clients to access decision making information as and when they choose. In this paradigm, mass mailing is completely the wrong thing to do.


So how often should you email your lists? The answer is trickier to pinpoint than you might think.


Is mass mailing dead?

Email is still the most successful lead generation tool by a considerable margin. And, contrary to some commentary, mass mailing is still perfectly acceptable in certain circumstances. So when should you mass mail?

·       When your customers have specifically indicated they are happy to receive routine, generalised emails (think ‘Deal of the Day’ type messages).

·       When you have a new product or service.

·       When you have something extraordinary to announce.


The key to successful mass mailing is to ensure that:

·       Customers have opted in to receive mass emails.

·       That the email content matches your contact’s interests as far as possible.

·       That mass emails are sent no more often than necessary.


Constantly hammering your contact list, even with targeted offers and news, is likely to try the patience of your subscribers and result in increased unsubscribe rates – which means they won’t be buying from you after all.


"This has all to do with the relevancy of the communication. If it is generic marketing communication then it should deliver exactly what they told you they would send. I'd say one to two mails per month for general information."

Darren Fell, Marketing Consultant, pure360


Targeted is better

For the greatest success with email, your business needs to try and provide valuable, relevant information to specific customers at precisely the right time. Obviously this is unlikely to coincide with your email shot, so how is it achieved?


The answer is to use marketing automation in the majority of cases. Under this system, relevant information is presented to customers based on certain activities. This could be as simple as sending a follow-up email when someone registers to download a white paper from your website.


“Personalised email improves campaign effectiveness by 32%.”

Email Marketing in B2B, Circle Research.


For targeted mailings to work, you need to understand your customers better. Your existing customer database already contains plenty of insights that can be leveraged to segment clients based on purchase history, job role or geographic location. This information can then be used to create customer personas and to identify common business pains; you can then tailor content which explains how your products and services will assist. Marketing automation can then serve the correct content to the client based on their actions.


“Relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails.”

Jupiter Research


Is the answer a mail mash up?

With the personas and contact list segmentation in place, it becomes possible to send more relevant mass mails to smaller subsets of customers. This then allows you to work your mailing list carefully to recognise new opportunities without becoming irrelevant or irritating the recipient.


In effect, the move to a ‘pull’ marketing campaign could actually improve your existing ‘push’ methods too.


Moving forward


·       Don’t push your luck – respect your customers’ preferences.

·       Moving towards a ‘pull’ marketing method will ensure customers get the information they need when they want it.

·       The process of implementing ‘pull’ marketing will also improve your mass mailing success.

To see how effectively you are creating your current campaigns and what you might be doing to boost conversion further, test yourself now with our free download: Scorecard (Test Your Own Modern Marketing Score)