I get a lot of questions about how to setup and execute an autoresponder list. Among the questions I get most frequently is how often to send those messages. Once every three days? Every five days? Every week? How often will people honestly consider looking at your emails? That is the question.
First, Some Thoughts on Unsubscribes
Most people, if you put them through the double opt-in process won’t mark your email as spam unless you harass them quite a bit. I’m talking about hard sell after hard sell every day or two. Even if you send your emails out fairly frequently, the odds are that the worst case scenario is an unsubscribe from your list.
Now, a lot of marketers worry about this. They worry that someone will leave their list and then go buy a product from someone else’s list. But, you shouldn’t be. As long as your list provides extremely high quality content in each email you send out, you are giving everything you possibly could to those prospects. If they decided to leave your list still, it is because they are not interested. You don’t want those prospects anyways. So, ignore how many people unsubscribe. On average, I see between 15-25% of total subscribers unsubscribe at some point – this is okay. It’s the rest we want to worry about.
The goal of any list is to stay fresh enough in someone’s mind so that when they decide to read one of your emails (and most people won’t read many of them), they remember who you are and that you have given them a lot of value in recent weeks.
So, we don’t worry too much about oversending messages, because most people will only open one in every three or four of those messages. At the same time, if you send them too often, you risk getting the hated “spam” status.
So, How Often Do They Go Out?
I recommend you keep your autoresponders pegged at between 5-7 days. You can send them a bit more frequently, but remember that you will also probably want to send out broadcast emails with special promotions and new products. If you already send them a message every 3-4 days, you risk oversaturating their inboxes.
Once a week keeps you fresh in their minds, offers regular, predictable value, and ensures that when you do send a broadcast, they will at least look at it. That’s all you can ask for.