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By Jon Parrish - June 9, 2015
Want to start emailing customers but are worried about sending too many? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Questions regarding text message and email frequency are some of the most commonly asked questions I get. If you are like most marketing directors, the fear of over-sending probably prevents you from sending regular communication, or has prevented you from sending texts and emails all together. Here are seven key SMS and email frequency guidelines that will help you engage customers and start to grow your business through text and email marketing.
In effort not to dodge the question with a “that depends on the business” excuse… we’ve found that the average business with regularly returning customers should contact their customers 2-4 times per month. More than four times per month can be overbearing while less than monthly may not be consistent enough to get results. However, the better answer may be, “that depends on the message,” to which point you should keep on reading.
Before we dive into the frequency and the message, it should be understood that these viewpoints are given with the assumption that your SMS and email marketing campaign was created with legitimate email and SMS marketing lists that are based on clear permission and consumer consent. If you’ve done your job right, your customers will already be expecting communication. (For more information on email and SMS rules and regulations, click here: Blog: Everything You Need to Know About Text and Email Marketing Rules and Regulations.) The sooner you start communicating after collecting the phone number or email, the more likely the recipients will be to recognize your brand. Keep your lists clean by tracking customers who subscribe, unsubscribe, and by tracking bad information such as bounced emails and text messages; your text and email marketing client should do this automatically.
Next, let’s get something straight. Customers don’t hate communication, they hate spam. A relevant, timely message is often treated as a gift while an irrelevant, untimely message can do more harm than good. With that said, it’s not hard to schedule relevant, timely messages by asking a few important questions. Here are three questions to get your ideas rolling:
While your experience and intuition can help you schedule your email and text messages appropriately, there are other metrics that serve as useful indicators of how your customers are responding. Compare the following metrics between each of your campaigns and set your text and email frequency accordingly.
This little tip can really increase how much communication you can give your customers; and it is to communicate through multiple channels. For example, if you were to receive a text message from a favorite business two times per week, every week; you may feel like the business was abusing your relationship. However, if you received a text every other week, an email ever other week, and saw a Facebook post go through your feed once a week, you’d be seeing the same amount of messages but would be less likely to feel you are being overloaded. Consider the goal of the message and use the most appropriate channel. Social media, for example, is great for general awareness while text messaging can drive instant action. On the flip side, targeting customers on social media is less personal and may be considered less intrusive than text messaging. Be strategic with the channels you choose and understand the benefits of multi-channel marketing.
On average, driving customers to action takes multiple “touch points.” A touch point may be as simple as an email, text message, social media blast, or as large as a radio or media ad. Whatever the channel, it usually takes multiple messages within a given window of time to get a customer to act. With that being the case, your communication needs to be consistent. It’s like boiling water, the second you turn the heat off it starts to get cold. Sending a message or two without committing to a consistent campaign is doing all of the work to get the water hot but never causing it to boil. If you are going to apply heat, don’t stop until it’s boiling!
It may be sad but it’s true—getting content out there is generally better than delaying your message until you have the perfect thing to say. I’m not suggesting that you should send out garbage, but I am trying to encourage you to stop delaying the ever present goal to engage your customers and give it your best shot. It will get easier and you will always have another opportunity to engage with customers once the perfect message comes to mind. Feel free to re-use content with new customers by setting up drip campaigns. Keep your messages short and save both you and your readers some time. Promote value and you will find that sending text and email communication will be bring some of your greatest marketing success.