Email: Relevance versus Frequency


One of the most common questions/myths I run into is about email frequency. “How often should we send emails? We don’t want to bug people and have them unsubscribe…”

My answer is always the same: you’re asking the wrong question.

The question you should instead be focussing on is: How can we make our emails more relevant.

Although frequency is a factor, a much bigger factor is whether you are providing value to your readers. How can we know this? We can start by considering our own behaviours as a starting point.

I personally subscribe to a few email newsletters that are sent daily including:

If frequency were the biggest issue, then there’s no way I or anyone else would stay subscribed. And yet these daily newsletters have hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

No, the reason I stay subscribed, is because the content is relevant. I look forward to reading them most days (admittedly some days I just don’t get to them, and they go unread – but I never unsubscribe).

That’s all well and good you say, but what about our own results?

Here’s an example from one of my wife’s sites – where we send a daily email update – take a look at that open rate:

Daily email open rate

We’ve been running this email campaign every day (even weekends) since March (ie just over 4 months) and the open rate is still very reasonable (at 42%).

What’s even more surprising, we started it as a test thinking hardly anyone would sign up (ie because it is a daily email). But it turns out that there’s a lot of interest and after some targeting testing we’re getting decent conversion rates using Facebook Lead Ads as well as a super simple landing page (take a look at how basic the sign up page is). Even the simple sign up page converts quite well (at 73%):

HubSpot form sign up rate

Key takeaways

So, what are the takeaways from all this? A few things:

  • Relevancy is crucial (far more so than frequency)
  • Targeting your signup is important (good signup conversion rates are a good indicator of staying subscribed)
  • You need to test constantly
  • You don’t necessarily need a fancy signup page or slick design – but you must offer something relevant and useful to the specific audience
Interested bunny. So cute!

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