Hey, food bloggers (or any bloggers really!) Wondering when you should email your subscribers? You’re not alone. Most bloggers agonize over email frequency, unsure of what’s the right amount to stay top of mind without annoying their contacts. In this post, we’ll look at some best practices for email frequency so you can nail it with your audience.
When I first started blogging there wasn’t a lot of buzz about email marketing. But I started my first blog in 2007 and while email was around, it wasn’t huge (at least I didn’t hear much about it.) I sure as heck didn’t know much about it!
Now it is more important then ever, but people still wonder how to start their email marketing campaign and how often to email.
Guys and gals, when I first started to realize the importance of email marketing I was completely overwhelmed. Not going to sugar coat it here, I put it off because it was that overwhelming to me. Does this sound like you too? If so, please know that it’s not as complicated as we tell ourselves! I promise.
This is a part of a 5 post series about email marketing, check out our other posts in the series:
- 5 tips for crafting compelling email subject lines
- Are your emails going to the spam folder?
- Email marketing – foreshadowing creates anticipation
- Email marketing – find out what your readers want
This post may contain affiliate links which means that we may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links. This is at no extra cost to you, thank you for your support! Please see our disclaimer for more details.
Don’t Let Email Marketing Overwhelm You
In the beginning I was hoping somebody would say “email this many times and you are good.” But everybody had a different answer to email frequency. And some people will make you think you need to be emailing 700 emails a year or something (yikes and please don’t!)
So then I thought that it had to be a lot so I got overwhelmed on what to say and how often. I kind of put it off for a bit because I just mentally shut that concept down. That’s part of overwhelm, my brain just didn’t want to put any more thoughts into it at that time! I mean let’s think about it, what does a food blogger starting out email to their subscribers every single day?
You don’t have a lot of content to share yet and you are trying to build your content, not craft emails every single day! But relax, turns out that you don’t have to be in their inbox every single day. And not all readers want you in their inbox everyday (no offense.) You will find the sweet spot with trial and error.
Take a deep breath and read on!
So How Many Emails Should I Send?
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a number or a schedule you could follow? While it would be great if there was research that suggested that mailing exactly every 5 days gets you the best results every time, there is no such thing. And there’s a very good reason for it.
Every market, every niche, every audience and every person is different. While you’ll never make everyone on your list happy, there is a lot you can do to make just about any email frequency work.
And please don’t sweat it when you get a few unsubscribes. Your people are out there and people who unsubscribe are not them. I used to really get bothered by unsubscribes, but now I know they were not my right audience. Keep trucking along.
How to Know Your Frequency
Ok so now we know there is no set number (regardless of what kind of blog you run), sorry guys but trust me it’s good for you! You don’t have to follow a mold that everybody is following, you run the show with your email marketing. So how do we know how many emails to send our subscribers?
Let’s lay the ground work first. You don’t want to have too much time in between emails, or your readers will forget you. Anything less than once a month is not a good idea. In most markets and for most business models you don’t even want to mail less than twice a month. In the beginning I was a mess and emailed so sporadically that I am amazed that some of my fans stuck it out with me – they truly are amazing for it too!
On the other end of the spectrum, you don’t want to go any higher than one email per day on average. Yes, you may have days when you have a good reason to send multiple emails, but on a weekly or bi-weekly average, you don’t want to email more than once a day. Most food bloggers don’t even email daily just so you know.
The Factors to Help You Figure It Out
If you already are using email marketing, start by looking at what you’re doing now. If you have not started yet, sit down and think about all of this before starting.
Now figure out how often you WANT to mail. Sure you may be excited to share all the recipes on your blog or all the tips you want to email, but do you want to email daily looking forward? If no, don’t start emailing daily now.
Do you grow a closer connection with your market by emailing more often? Maybe you are sharing daily meals or weekly roundups that they look forward to. Maybe you are sharing a weekly or daily kitchen tip (daily can be a lot here because eventually you may run out of tips.)
Do you want to drive more traffic back to your site by emailing them links frequently? Many food bloggers like to bring the traffic to their site with their emails but it’s also important to connect with your readers as well.
Do you want to grow your income by making more frequent email offers? While this is more for other bloggers then food bloggers, it can still be an important factor for us as well. Maybe you plan on marketing a new cookbook at some point or affiliate marketing. There are many ways we can make money as food bloggers and email marketing can help.
Coming Up With The Plan
Once you know where you’re at and where you want to be, you can start to make a plan for getting from point A to point B. What you don’t want to do is to go straight from emailing once every few months to daily emails. It’ll get your readers clicking the spam button like crazy. They likely forgot they signed up to your list and suddenly you are in their face daily – yikes!
Instead, start with monthly emails for a couple of months, then let your readers know you have more to share with them and start mailing weekly. Then a few months later, ramp it up to daily emails if that is your plan.
If you are just starting out this is easier because you can start with a set frequency. You haven’t started emailing yet so they don’t know a frequency yet. If you plan on emailing often, be sure to let your readers know either before they sign up or in the welcome email. If they don’t like it they can unsubscribe but at least they know your intentions.
Listen to your audience when you get feedback on email frequency but also realize that there will always be someone complaining. Look at data like open rates to get a better feel for what frequency is working best for you and your audience.
What About Daily Challenges?
Daily challenges can be a lot of fun and a good reason to now be in the inbox daily. For example, while you usually publish a weekly newsletter with the occasional promotional email in between, running a 15 or 30 day challenge for your readers is a great excuse to hit their inbox daily without seeming pushy or spammy.
BUT you should let them know ahead of time so they don’t start getting overwhelmed with the sudden increase in emails. Not everybody likes daily challenges, but a lot of people do. And they are often a great way to get new subscribers!
That is where it is nice to have a great email marketing platform like Convertkit (I know there are other great ones, but this is the one I use and know.) In Convertkit (or others) you can segment your readers. Let them know in a couple of your emails that you will be having a 30 day challenge. Give them a link to opt out of the challenge (most won’t but they will feel good they had control of the option.) Put the opt outs into a segment so when you do your challenge, you can keep them out of it. They are still on your list for your regular emails.
While there is no set amount of emails to send out to your subscribers, you do need to figure out how often you want to email. Then try to be consistent because your fans will look forward to opening your amazing emails!
You will want to experiment a bit if you are getting too many unsubscribes or have a low open rate. But don’t go from one extreme to the other in your email marketing and you will be good!
Do you have any tips you would like to share that helped you? Let us know in the comments below!
Pin it for later.