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3 secrets about email marketing and sending out your own newsletters

3. Know when and how often to send

In real estate, it's all about location, but in business it's all about timing. The timing of your email can make a big difference in how successful it is.

Some of that is obvious. For example, if you send an email on February 14 containing deals for Valentine's Day, you're not going to get much traffic. Instead, send one out the first week of February when people are thinking about buying presents.

Then send another email on the last day people can order and still get their items shipped in time. Be sure to include "Last day to order" in the subject line. That adds urgency and grabs the attention of the procrastinators, which is most people.

However, holidays aren't the only thing you need to think about. When you send in the week and even the time of day can have an impact. Unfortunately, that impact is going to be depending on your subscribers and what you're sending.

You'll need to play around with days and times to find what works best for you. You might find that your subscribers react to a new product email best on Monday morning when they're not quite back into the swing of work yet. However, a deal email might be best on the Friday evening of pay day, and an information email might do better Saturday when they have time to read something longer.

That leads us to the question of how often you send email. Depending on your business and the content, you might decide it works well on a regular schedule, or just around special holidays and events.

If you're sending on a regular schedule, keep it to once a week or every two weeks to start. Later, you might start "daily deals" or other daily content, but you'll want time to get the hang of creating compelling emails first.

For email centered on holidays and special events, plan out your emails on a calendar months in advance with conservative deadlines. Since these emails are a bit more all-or-nothing, you want to have the design and messaging done early. In fact, create a few designs and send them out a week early to smaller group of subscribers and see which ones does  the best. That's the one you want to send to your entire list.

Finding the right schedule, and best day and times for emails, is going to take a while, but that's OK. Email marketing isn't a get-rich-quick scheme (that's called "spam"), it's about building a connection with your customer base and providing value. So take a long view and make minor tweaks until it comes together.

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