How frequently should you reach out to your ecommerce customers via email?
It’s a conundrum that has left marketers and business owners alike in a constant state of contemplation. Should you flood your customers’ inboxes with daily updates and enticing offers, or should you adopt a more conservative approach, fearing the dreaded “unsubscribe” click? The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.
So, join us on a journey through the intricacies of customer communication in the digital age as we uncover the secrets to striking the perfect balance between engagement and email fatigue.
Things to Take into Consideration When Deciding How Many Emails You Should Send
When deciding how many emails you should send to your ecommerce customers, there are several critical factors to consider, including:
- What metric goal are you driving through your email campaign?
- What marketing goal are you driving through your email campaign?
- Who is your audience, and what interests them?
- What is your industry average?
- What kind of content do you create?
- Are there signs of disengagement?
Let’s talk about this more in-depth. First and foremost, you need to define the metric goal you aim to achieve through your email campaign and the key metrics to track. Are you primarily focused on increasing sales, driving website traffic, or boosting customer engagement? Different objectives may necessitate varying email frequencies to be effective.
Equally important is understanding the marketing goal you want to achieve through your emails. Are you aiming to nurture leads, encourage repeat purchases, or educate your audience about your products? Each goal may demand a different email frequency and content strategy to align with your overall marketing strategy.
The nature of your audience is another key consideration. Segmenting your customer base based on factors like purchase history, demographics, and engagement patterns can help tailor your email frequency to meet the preferences and behaviors of different customer segments. Moreover, it’s crucial to research your industry’s average email frequency to ensure you’re competitive and not overwhelming your customers compared to industry standards.
A lot of entrepreneurs don’t understand how key content is in your marketing process. The kind of content you create plays a pivotal role in determining your email frequency. If your content is highly valuable, relevant, and engaging, your audience may tolerate more frequent emails. On the other hand, generic or low-quality content can lead to disengagement and unsubscribes, so it’s important to strike the right balance.
Finally, closely monitor signs of disengagement, such as declining open rates and click-through rates. Adobe Experience Cloud defines a disengaged email subscriber as “…those that have stopped opening your emails. They may be actively or passively ignoring them for an extended and continuous period.” To remedy this issue you can do things like adjusting your email frequency, adjusting your content, etc.
Understanding Your Audience
Understanding your customer base and audience is fundamental to crafting an effective email marketing strategy for your ecommerce business. To start, audience segmentation is a powerful tool that allows you to send tailored messages to specific groups within your audience. Consider segmenting based on factors such as whether customers are new or repeat buyers. New customers might benefit from a different email frequency and content type than repeat customers who are already familiar with your brand and products.
Demographics and buyer personas are another key aspect of segmentation. By understanding the age, gender, location, and interests of your customers, you can personalize your emails to resonate with their unique characteristics and preferences. Creating buyer personas can help you go a step further, allowing you to envision your ideal customers and craft emails that speak directly to their needs and pain points.
Analyzing customer behavior is equally crucial. Dive into your customers’ purchase history to identify their favorite products, purchase frequency, and average order value. Tailor your email content and frequency based on these insights to encourage repeat purchases and upselling. Moreover, tracking email engagement patterns, such as open rates and click-through rates, can help you determine when and how often your audience prefers to receive emails.
Lastly, gather customer feedback through surveys and feedback forms to gain direct insights into their email preferences. Ask them about their preferred email frequency, the type of content they find valuable, and their reasons for unsubscribing. Additionally, monitor social media interactions to gauge sentiment and reactions to your email campaigns. This real-time feedback can provide valuable guidance in fine-tuning your email marketing strategy to better align with your audience’s expectations and desires.
Types of Ecommerce Emails
Ecommerce businesses utilize a variety of email types to engage and nurture their customer base throughout the customer journey.
- Welcome Emails: Welcome emails are the initial touchpoint with new customers. They serve as a warm introduction to your brand, thanking customers for joining your community and offering a glimpse into what they can expect. Often, they include a discount or incentive to make a first purchase, helping to convert new subscribers into active customers.
- Loyalty Emails: Loyalty emails are designed to reward and retain your most valuable customers. These emails typically contain exclusive offers, discounts, or early access to new products. By acknowledging and appreciating customer loyalty, you can encourage repeat purchases and build long-term relationships.
- Re-engagement Emails: Over time, some customers may become less active or stop engaging with your emails. Re-engagement emails aim to win back these dormant customers. They often feature enticing offers or personalized content to reignite their interest and bring them back into the fold.
- Anniversary Emails: Celebrating milestones, such as the anniversary of a customer’s first purchase or their membership signup, can strengthen customer relationships. These emails express gratitude and often include special discounts or promotions to mark the occasion and encourage additional purchases.
- Promotional Emails: Promotional emails are the workhorses of ecommerce marketing. They advertise sales, promotions, and special events, driving traffic to your online store and boosting sales. These emails can vary in frequency depending on your business strategy and customer preferences.
- Post-purchase Emails: After a customer makes a purchase, post-purchase emails play a crucial role in enhancing the customer experience. They can include order confirmations, shipping updates, and delivery notifications. Additionally, they may request reviews and feedback to improve your products and services. This can help the customer feel more confident in your company and ordering process.
- Review Request Emails: Customer reviews are invaluable for building trust and credibility. Review request emails encourage satisfied customers to leave feedback on their recent purchases, which can influence potential buyers and enhance your brand’s reputation.
- Price Drop Emails: Price drop emails alert customers to reductions in the prices of products they have previously shown interest in. These emails help re-engage customers who may have abandoned their shopping carts or wishlists, ultimately driving conversions and sales.
Each of these email types plays a distinct role in nurturing and maintaining a healthy relationship with your ecommerce customers. The key to success is understanding when and how to use these emails effectively to provide value and meet your business goals.
What Kind of Ecommerce Emails Should You Send More Often?
On another note, there are some emails that should be sent more often than others. They typically include transactional emails, such as order confirmations and shipping notifications, as these are essential for providing customers with a seamless shopping experience and keeping them informed about their purchases.
Additionally, post-purchase emails that focus on order follow-ups, product recommendations, and requests for reviews should also be sent frequently to engage customers after a purchase and encourage repeat business. However, it’s crucial to strike a balance and not overwhelm your audience.
The ideal email frequency for these types of emails will vary depending on your specific industry, audience preferences, and the nature of your products or services. Regularly monitoring email engagement metrics and gathering customer feedback can help you fine-tune the optimal frequency for these essential email types.
Best Practices for Marketers: Email Frequency
On average, many ecommerce businesses send promotional emails anywhere from one to three times per week. However, it’s important to note that this frequency can vary significantly based on industry, audience demographics, and the specific goals of the email campaigns. What’s considered an acceptable email frequency in one industry may not be the same for another. Therefore, it’s crucial to conduct benchmark research within your specific niche to gain a better understanding of what works best for your target audience.
Analyzing your competitors’ email marketing strategies can be an enlightening exercise. By closely examining their email frequency, content types, and engagement tactics, you can gain insights into industry standards and competitive trends. This analysis allows you to identify gaps in the market, differentiate your own email marketing approach, and potentially discover opportunities for innovation. However, it’s essential to not simply mimic your competitors but rather use their strategies as a reference point to refine your own unique email marketing strategy based on your brand identity and customer preferences.
Balancing Frequency and Value
Balancing email frequency and value is at the heart of a successful email marketing strategy. So, keep these three things in mind:
- Make sure you are providing value to your customers with your emails.
- Make sure emails are timed well and relevant.
- Make sure you’re not sending too many emails.
Let’s start by talking about providing value with every email you send. Each message should offer something meaningful to your subscribers, whether it’s exclusive promotions, educational content, product recommendations, or updates relevant to their interests. When your audience consistently finds value in your emails, they are more likely to welcome frequent communication.
Timing and relevance also play crucial roles in maintaining the delicate balance between email frequency and customer satisfaction. Sending emails at the right times, such as during peak shopping hours or in alignment with your subscribers’ time zones, can increase open rates and engagement. Additionally, ensuring that your emails are highly relevant to the recipient’s preferences and behaviors helps in retaining their interest and trust.
Determining how many emails are considered “too much marketing” depends on several factors, including your industry, audience, and the type of content you provide. Generally, it’s essential to avoid bombarding subscribers with excessive emails that feel intrusive or overwhelming. An effective way to gauge this is by monitoring unsubscribe rates and soliciting feedback from your audience. Regularly assessing engagement metrics and being responsive to customer preferences will help you strike the right balance between email frequency and avoiding being perceived as overly aggressive in your marketing efforts.
Testing and Optimizing Your Emails
Once you’ve decided to increase your email sends, it’s crucial to maintain a vigilant watch over your email campaign performance. The scientific approach to discovering your ideal email frequency involves a gradual ramp-up of your email sends, with continuous monitoring of the outcomes, and being ready to dial back if unsubscribes and complaints surge beyond acceptable levels.
As you increase your email frequency, it’s imperative to keep a close eye on key performance metrics, including your open rate, click-through rate, sales conversions, and unsubscribe rate. The ultimate goal is to find that sweet spot where you’re sending enough emails to maximize your sales potential without crossing the threshold where your sales figures begin to decline due to the loss of subscribers who found your emails excessive or irrelevant.
In essence, the art of finding the perfect email frequency lies in maintaining a delicate equilibrium between engagement and audience retention. Regularly analyzing these metrics will help you strike that balance, ensuring that your email campaigns continue to drive results while keeping your audience happily engaged.
By carefully calibrating your email frequency to deliver consistent value without overwhelming your subscribers, you can create a harmonious email marketing strategy that not only drives sales but also nurtures lasting customer relationships.
Laurel is a member of the executive team at Stryde. She’s been doing digital marketing for businesses for 10 years. Two years ago, she started set up her own ecommerce business selling baby gowns and knows the struggles of a small business owner. She loves talking about digital marketing, content, SEO, and conversion rate optimization.