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When Do You Send More Email?

This content was originally posted in Direct Marketing News.

The debate about email is still raging in the marketing realm but a recent article found in Direct Marketing Magazine is going to provide some clarity of when to send an email and when not to send an email.

Every marketing company or marketing department always struggles to balance between keeping in contact with their contacts and contacting them too much with emails. But sending multiple emails a day does not necessarily mean that you will scare customers away. There are just very specific times when more email will help and very specific times where more email will hurt:

When it helps:

  • email marketingWhen you have a clean and segmented list:
    • Being able to segment your lists and even schedule workflows dependent on a specific action is the perfect example of when more email can turn into more revenue dollars. These workflows and segments are also the perfect way to indicate where your customer is in the buying cycle. For example, you could break your contacts into three main groups according to the sales/marketing funnel.
      • Lead: This category would indicate that the customer is maybe interested in your product and would mean that they might have opened one of your emails in the past month
      • Prospect: This category means that your customer knows who you are, knows your product, and would have opened 1 email in past 2-3 months.
      • Customers: This category would show that your customer has identified a need and that your solution might be right for them or that they are a preexisting customer who might be ready to buy again. These customers open nearly all mail you send them and even click on the content inside an email.
  • When you are leveraging scarcity or urgency
    • If you have a certain deal or promotion running that is nearing its expiration then this is the perfect time to put some more mail in a customer’s inbox. You can tap into a customer’s sense of urgency with wording such as “last chance” or “sale extended.” A lot of times these words will push customers to speed up their buying process just so they can get your current promo or discount.
  • When you have the right content:
    • Many companies sell tons of different products. However, this does not mean that one customer is interesting in ALL of your products. Sending your customer what they want to see if a great way to personally reach them and influence them to buy. For example, if you work for a health and beauty company and a customer has clicked on nail polish in a previous email. This is when you would want to hit them with some nail polish specific emails and not hair care products or self-tanning lotion emails.

When it hurts:

  • When customers are making big ticket purchases:
    • Fact of the matter is that most people are not buying multiple cars or houses in one year. These are also items that require significant consideration before making a purchase. So reaching out to previous customers who just purchased would be a waste of time. Even if they haven’t purchased yet, it can be good to give your customers some space to mull over the purchase decision they have to make.
  • If they aren’t receiving your emails
    • If all of the emails that you send to one contact are bouncing then you know it is time to delete them out of your database. Sending emails that never even reach its intended destination is not a good use of your resources. This is why it is so vital to keep your lists clean and updated. Also, a follow up phone call never hurts and it can also identify people who might have switched jobs or got a new email address that you were unaware of.

All in all, more mail does not always hurt. However, it is just essential to first identify those customers who will benefit from more mail. This technique can prevent customers from going to competitors and enable you to send the right content to the right customer. Just be careful before you press that send button. Make sure you have updated contact information and aren’t bombarding a customer who needs time to consider their purchase.

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