We’ve all been there: you sign up for a newsletter from a brand you love and wait for the special offers and deals to pour in. Before long, it feels like the emails are flooding your inbox and you rarely—if ever—open them.
As a studio owner, your email list is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal. It’s a coveted direct line of communication to existing and prospective clients. But how do you know when you’re sending too many—or too few—emails?
“When it comes to optimal frequency for an email campaign, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer,” says Amy Sturgill, Director of Marketing Operations at MailChimp, a leading email marketing platform. “The more you learn about your unique subscriber list, the better you’ll understand when and how often to hit send.” Questions to ask include: who are they? Where do they live? What are their interests? What stage of life are they in? What do they do for work?
Here are some things to think about when determining your ideal email frequency.
TEST TO FIGURE OUR YOUR EMAIL FREQUENCY SWEET SPOT
One of the first things you can do to measure engagement with your emails is look at your email performance metrics. How many people are opening your emails? How many are clicking through to your site and making a purchase? How many are unsubscribing? Open, click and unsubscribe rates are some of the most important metrics you need to monitor and test. If you find that a small percentage of your recipients (less than 10%, for example) are opening your newsletter, with even fewer clicking through, that’s a sign that it might be time to re-evaluate your strategy.
Once you have a baseline for your average email engagement, testing is the most effective way for you to then determine how often you should send emails, and to whom.
“Try A/B testing for variables like time of day, day of week, and subject lines, and track your results to find what works,” says Sturgill. “Testing, testing, and more testing is the best way to determine ideal send times. This can also change over time, so testing is crucial.”
LET YOUR SUBSCRIBERS KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT AND BE CONSISTENT
That said, once you’ve tested a series of emails and have found what works, it’s important to remain consistent. If you say you’re going to email your subscribers weekly, make sure you do. Be consistent about the day of the week and time of the day you send your emails. “I believe that, in everything, consistency is the key,” says Debbie Wolff, Owner and Director of Fusion Fitness and O2 Yoga in Coral Springs, FL, who emails her list of subscribers every Monday.
Consistency isn’t just about when you send your email. Subscribers also want to know what to expect in your emails. “Try not to stray too far from the content and design that your audience already associates with your brand, website, or social media channels,” advises Mailchimp on its blog.
THINK ABOUT YOUR MESSAGE
Make sure every email you send offers unique value. If you’re saying the same thing again and again, you either need to reduce your frequency or refine your message to make sure it has new content or a valuable offer.
Wolff’s strategy is to keep emails concise while still sharing useful information about workshops and class changes. “We remind people of our cancellation policies and ask them to download our mobile app for up-to-the minute changes and additions,” says Wolff. “We’ve also started using push notifications on our mobile app for some flash sales or reminders.”
Carly Grace Hinchman, founder and owner of Thunderbolt Power Yoga in Atlanta, GA, says her subscribers appreciate learning more about instructors in the newsletter. “We find that when our yogis and community get to know us better, they are interested in our lives. The element of personality our photos and little blurbs add make our team feel more connected and appreciated as well,” Hinchman says. Continually search for creative ways to engage with your target audience by getting to know your members and learning more about what they’re interested in, even outside your studio or gym. Have fun with clever messaging around holidays or special events so that readers look forward to opening your emails and seeing your unique take on current events.
SEGMENT YOUR LIST
No matter how small your list, segmenting makes sense and is a powerful tool. “Different audiences want to hear different things,” says Hinchman. “I wouldn’t send an email about cats to dog lovers.”
One way to segment your list is by open rate and click-through rate. Consider sending more emails to the subscribers on your list who open your emails at a higher rate. If you have subscribers who never open your emails or who haven’t been to class in a few months, send them a re-engagement email saying you’ve missed them and are excited to offer them your biggest discount to-date on a class.
Sturgill recommends letting your subscribers decide how often they receive emails. “Set up groups in your subscriber list (daily, weekly, monthly) and let them opt into the frequency,” she says. “A more obvious, immediate impact for subscriber engagement comes from automating messages closely to the triggering action. Reducing the delay in when someone receives their first email after signup can have a massive impact on engagement.”
KNOW WHEN TO BREAK YOUR CONSISTENCY RULE
If you have an amazing sale that happens once a year or a celebrity coming to your studio (basically anything that qualifies as big news for your clients), send a dedicated email blast. Chances are if it’s big news, more subscribers will open it. And you can always test to find out if that’s the case.
The bottom line: Whether you send emails a few times a week or a few times a month, make sure you’re sending newsletters your clients will want to read. Says Sturgill: “You always want the information included in the email to resonate with its recipients, regardless of frequency and send time.”