I get asked this question a lot. Before I get to the answer, I’d love to hear about other burning questions you’ve got on your mind. Feel free to respond to this post with questions about small business marketing.
A: “Mail once a month,” or some other arbitrary rule of thumb, can work — depending on your business. But it can backfire as well.
Here’s a true story. I was getting an email from a well-known lamp retailer just about every week. Not only did I opt out, it’s left a bad impression of the company. How often do I need to buy a lamp?
Let me introduce you to the concept of lifecycle communication — the idea is to make the timing of your email relevant to the recipient, and therefore more effective. Begin with a trigger event and follow through. For example, tie your mailing to a purchase cycle. If you’re selling ink cartridges, start with the date of the person’s last order, and time your email to when you anticipate they’ll run out of ink — say 6 weeks later (depending on the size of their last order perhaps). You’ll be top-of-mind just when they’re ready to place a new order.
There are all sorts of ways to apply this concept. You just need to really understand your customer. If you’re interested in learning more about that topic, let me know.