The answer to this question is “It depends.” B2C companies tend to email their customers and prospects more frequently than B2B companies – and rightfully should since they often have more events, sales, new products to introduce and other timely news to share. In our experience, monthly is the norm for B2B companies, unless there is a big announcement to make, or an event to promote (seminar, webinar, trade show, etc.). If your content is different, substantive and useful, and you think it makes sense to reach out several times a month, do it. Your open rates and overall response will reveal whether you are overdoing it.
It depends on your audience, and it depends on their connection to you. A few of our clients find the best results in reaching their busy, C-level contacts at 4am on weekdays or 6am on Sundays. Many like to release their emails on Tuesday or Thursday during traditional business hours (e.g., 9am or 3pm). We schedule a lot of Campaign Resends (a resend to the people who didn’t open the first release) on Friday mornings and Monday afternoons. Why such a mix? Because studies show that we open emails based on who they are from. If we know, like, and trust the sender, we’ll then consider if the content — revealed in the subject line – is of interest.
If your email includes a few blurbs that link to blog posts, naturally you need to take your readers to your blog to read the pieces in their entirety. The good news is you’ll know who clicks through to each post. This type of set up is company-centered, and that’s what we don’t like about it. If you’re the recipient of the email, you may not want to be forced to leave your email client (program) to finish reading a story. So if it’s not necessary to include a “read more” link, don’t. Just make sure that your email template includes navigation links to key pages on your site.
You should only purchase a list of “suspects” on one condition: you plan to reach out to them via phone, personal email or direct mail first and give them a reason to sign up for your email list.
Here’s why: First, pursuing random people who haven’t given you permission to email them is against the law. (You may wish to read about the CAN-SPAM Act in the U.S. or Canada’s Anti-Spam Law.) Second, you would probably spend a lot of money buying a list and might accomplish nothing. Think about it. How much attention do you pay to emails from companies you don’t know and/or have never heard from?
If you work with us, your emails would be sent using a third-party platform called an Email Service Provider. Chances are you’re familiar with some of them, such as Constant Contact or MailChimp. These service providers build in reporting features so that you’ll see a list of who opens your emails, who doesn’t, who clicks on a link (and which link) and which emails don’t get delivered. This behind-the-scenes data will be very useful in gauging who among your audience is interested in your offerings and to what extent.
We’ve specialized in developing email marketing programs for small and midsize companies since 2003. We understand the technology. We know how to properly size graphics and design templates so they don’t wind up in spam filters. We recognize the importance of sharing meaningful, memorable content. We follow best industry practices. Bottom line? We’re email marketing experts.
Before you launch an email program – or commit to fixing the one you have – it’s essential to outline realistic expectations. Factors like the quality of your products and services, your pricing, customer service, and contact list play a big role in the success of an email program.