How to determine the ideal email frequency?
As a marketeer, you want to know how many email campaigns you should send out to get the best response from your audience. Too many campaigns can cause subscribers to get annoyed, lose interest and eventually to unsubscribe. Too few campaigns can cause your audience to feel estranged from your business or brand.
Like with most things, a good balance is key. And to determine that balance, you are going to need to test! Here are our 5 tips to set up such a test.
1. Make a hypothesis and test
Doesn’t this feel like you’re back in math or science class? Well, your teacher made a valid point when he wanted you to form a hypothesis before starting an assignment. It’s important to formulate what specific results you expect to see from your tests in advance, so you can measure success at the end of the test.
For example, you might expect that increasing your email sending frequency from once a week to twice a week will increase your click through rate by 25% and will increase your opt-out rate by 10%. You can and probably should form more than one hypothesis to make the most out of your following tests.
2. Choose a segment
Select one segment that you will test and make sure it is sizable enough to provide you with meaningful data and it aligns with the hypothesis you are testing. For example, if you are testing for an increased click-through rate, don’t take a segment that shows the highest click-rate already. This means there is not much room for growth. Instead choose a segment with an average click-through rate.
3. Determine baseline metrics
As mentioned above, it is also important to take a look at benchmark metrics of your chosen segment before starting testing. This step is crucial, because you need certain metrics to compare the results of your test with.
The email marketing metrics you’ll definitely need to determine the success of your test are: open rate, deliverability rate, unsubscribe rate, and click-through rate. You can of course add extra metrics to this list if they are meaningful for the test you are performing.
4. Set up test emails
Create a few emails that you can send to your test segment. Keep in mind that you are already testing your email frequency, so you shouldn’t test anything else at this stage. This means: no new from field, no A/B tests, no new email template, etc. Once you've created the emails, schedule them for the sending frequency you formulated in your hypotheses.
After your testing period, which shouldn’t be too short, it is time to compare your results with the hypothesis you stated beforehand. Be sure not to only analyze at the end of your testing period, but also monitor results throughout the experiment. This way, you can respond quickly if any dramatic results occur after your change in email frequency.
You now have the result of your test and can even use these metrics as a foundation to start a new test for email frequency, or even template design, subject line, message copy, etc. Happy testing!