The “Too many emails?” post in 37signals‘ excellent ‘Signal vs. Noise‘ blog got us thinking about email frequency. Why don’t we see more newsletters that give us the option of specifying how regularly we receive email, instead of simply providing an unsubscribe link? After all, our main reason for unsubscribing from an email often doesn’t come down to the relevance of content, but simply receiving too much relevant content.
The good news for senders is that it’s not too difficult to setup a preference center so your subscribers can state their desired email frequency and change their subscription details. For example, a subscriber may only want to receive email on a weekly basis. If they’re a Gmail user, they may also choose to append their email address to have email from you tagged in specific ways by the email client (eg. firstname.lastname@example.org). Here’s a snappy article on using a preference center to retain subscribers.
So, if you’re currently sending a weekly newsletter, consider aggregating your best content into a fortnightly, or monthly newsletter, as well. This might sound a little tedious, but in terms of list retention, it sure beats losing your subscribers when all they want is less-frequent messages from you. Mark Brownlow from Email Marketing Reports has an excellent blog post on email frequency – it’s a must-read if you’re seeking to optimize the return on your email campaigns.
In a 2009 report, 73% of survey respondents cited “sending too frequently” as the main reason for opting out of an email mailing list. Even if your subscribers want hear from you only once a month, it’s better than never, so perhaps it’s time to give them more control over the email that they receive.
What are your thoughts on email frequency? Do you find that your monthly newsletter is more successful than regular updates, or vice versa? Let us know in the comments below.