Take Control of Your Sending Frequency

Luke Lloyd, Marketing Strategist

Luke Lloyd, Marketing Strategist

With so many messages going out each day, consumers are becoming even more selective about the emails they open. How can you ensure that yours make the cut? To improve your chances, it’s best to send your emails at the right time and direct them to subscribers that truly want to hear from you.

But finding the right cadence can be a bit of a balancing act. How do you get the word out without inundating your audience’s inboxes?

When I’m asked for recommendations on how to take control of mailing frequency, particularly for weekly newsletters, I often suggest the tried-and-true strategy of segmentation. Segmentation can help you create your ideal schedule based on subscriber engagement.

Create Your Segments

Since sending to unengaged subscribers can negatively affect your campaign performance and ultimately your deliverability, it’s best to take a hard look at your engagement data and use that to create a sending schedule. Those who are more engaged would likely welcome more messages from you, while too many emails to an unengaged contact could result in an unsubscribe.

How does your team define engaged? Generally, I would define active engagement as someone who has opened within the last 30 days. This demonstrates an intent to read your emails and would be in line with most ISPs in terms of approving inbox placement.

Take a look at the last open date for your contacts to get a good idea of their engagement level. From there, you can determine how to bucket your subscribers. Perhaps you begin with Active for those who opened in the past 30 days, Semi-active for those who opened in the last 1-3 months and Inactive for all others.

Apply Your Business Rules

How many emails would you like a contact to receive based on their engagement level? Each business will be different, but as I said, it’s best to decrease the frequency for those who are less engaged.

Here’s an example of how you might alter frequency based on the goal of sending two emails per week:

mailing frequency example

Based on your historical data and business needs, you can break this down even further with more segments. For example, you might segment your subscribers to find those who have opened in the last seven days. For this Super-active group, you send them three emails per week. But for your Semi-inactive segment – subscribers with a last open date between three and six months ago – you choose to go with one send per month.

Remember: Each time a user in the Semi-active or Inactive segment opens, they’ll move to the Active segment. So be selective with your campaigns to these inactive segments. Use historically high-performing creative and subject lines to incite users to open, and optimize your subject lines by A/B testing with Persado Predict.

Optimize Your Lists

Ideally, you would send the inactive contacts through a re-engagement programme, or even a “make up or break up” campaign, which allows you to add contacts to another list based on their response or unsubscribe them altogether if they fail to engage with you.

As the segments above are still rather broad, you can begin to bring in other elements, such as subscription date or other behavioural data to help you target subscribers even more effectively. Creating lists within your workflows gives you more control over the management of your sending frequency. You don’t want to send a weekly newsletter the same day as a welcome series email.

You can even use frequency capping features to restrict the number of marketing emails a contact can receive per day, week or month and help exclude those contacts that are currently involved in other workflows (welcome series, browse recovery, cart recovery, re-engagement). However, this option does give you less control in terms of defining the hierarchy and importance of each email. For example, if you restrict a user to one marketing email per day and send a browse recovery email in the morning, the email you send that evening regarding a key sales event will be suppressed. You’ll have to weigh your decision and determine which experience would lead to the most revenue.

Use Your Preference Center

You can also put the mailing frequency in the hands of your contacts. Incorporating this information in your preference page is a great way to give more options to your subscribers and potentially prevent some of them from leaving your database completely.

Preference Center Example

Be sure to add the option on your unsubscribe page to help catch those that are ready to leave opt down instead of out. Example: Receiving too many emails? Change your frequency here.

If you decide to go this route, you’ll need to make sure you manage the process to ensure that the contacts do only receive the emails they have defined.

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