Ask Haley: How much email is too much?

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Q: How often should I send marketing emails to my clients and candidates?

A: As a Marketing Advisor at Haley Marketing specializing in email marketing and PR, this is one of the most common questions I am asked.  The answer is…well, there is no right answer to this question.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding how often to send email.

  • Be relevant – When it comes to email marketing, the most important consideration is the quality of the content. If you can share truly useful information, recipients will begin to appreciate and even look forward to your mailings. The best frequency will really depend on the subject matter of the content (more on this in a minute).  And remember, great content isn’t just about staffing.  It can pertain to any issues or interests that are relevant to the work or personal lives of the people you serve.
  • Be an expert, not a sales person – Keep your hard selling emails to a minimum.  Special promotions or new product/service offering emails are fine once in a while.  But don’t turn your email communication into a pitch machine, or you will turn people off to all your correspondence.  A better tactic is to show your clients and prospects that you are an expert in your industry by sharing educational information that focuses on specific topics where you want to be seen as an expert.  People are more likely to do business with someone who they view as an expert in their field.
  • Track your opt outs – A quick way to see if you are sending too frequently is to track the number of people who opt out of your mailings.  If an increase in the number of mailings per month also brings an increase in opt outs, you might want to scale back a bit.
  • Diversify – The frequency of mailings actually depends on what type of content you are sending.  A newsletter is generally best once a month.  A top candidates email may be best weekly, bi-weekly or ad-hoc as you find great talent to market.  If you’re promoting an upcoming event, you may want 3 or 4 email invitations–starting 30 days or more in advance, repeating the invite two weeks prior to the event and then again a couple of days before.  Typically, the more often you mail, the shorter each email should be. 

Here are a few email marketing do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:

  • Don’t send first thing on a Monday morning.  Your recipients will be clearing out their filled inboxes from the weekend and your message may get lost in the clutter. 
  • Don’t send before a long holiday weekend.  Your contacts are more likely to be out of the office.
  • Do test your mailings.  Send out on different days and times to see which ones get better results.
  • Do send reminders of any special events or promotions that your company is involved in. 

With a little creative planning, you can find lots of different and useful reasons to email your clients, prospects and candidates–without annoying them.

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