Dear Copy Bitch: We’ve been doing an every-other-month email newsletter campaign for over a year, but one of my competitors (I’m an executive coach) does a quick-hitting weekly email with a quote/source of inspiration. I’m thinking I should do something like that starting in January. Our list is around 150, and we have, on average, a 50 percent open rate. Your thoughts?
—BH, Rhode Island
Answer: Be very careful about going from an every-other-month email newsletter to a weekly email campaign. Remember, the people who are on your mailing list signed up for a bi-monthly newsletter. In fact, I’m hesitant about weekly email campaigns in general because they tend to cause list fatigue. The types of businesses that can “get away with it” are retailers, and even they have a high number of opt-outs and abuse complaints.
You have a small list, but it sounds like a loyal list (the fact that half the list regularly opens your email indicates that). I’ve seen weekly emails like the one you’re referencing. To me, most tend to be short on substance (inspirational quotes can be, well, inspiring, but is the point for me to remember the person who said the quote or the person/company–in this case, the exec coach–who sent me the quote? It’s a fine line).
If you’re concerned you’re not in front of your newsletter subscribers enough, consider going to a monthly schedule. Or better yet, ask your audience what it wants (i.e. survey the people on your mailing list). Your marketing should respond to your customers’ needs first, not in reaction to what your competitors are doing.