Dear Direct Response Letter Subscriber:

Subscriber WG asks: "How often should we contact our customers with a newsletter?"

There are two schools of thought here.

The first is that you should not e-mail your subscribers too often, because if they hear from you too frequently, they will  unsubscribe from your newsletter.

The second says you should e-mail your list as often as you can, because the more frequently you can send them offers, the more orders you will get and the more money you will make.

Which one is correct?

Actually, both -- but for different markets.

For most B2B marketing, the first school of thought is true.

Research shows that when you e-mail your subscribers more than a few times a month, the open rate begins to decline.

So if your priority is having subscribers read your content, a monthly or at most weekly schedule is best.

But for B2C marketers who are selling products directly on the Internet -- e-commerce sites and especially info marketers -- the more often you e-mail, the greater your revenues.

Yes, the average open rates go down.

But because your subscribers are getting so many more e-mails from you, your weekly online orders and revenues skyrocket.

Caveat: Not all the e-mails you send your list can be sales messages.

If all you send are e-mail marketing messages, your open rates will plummet -- and your opt-out rate will soar. Your list will evaporate and your online revenues will vanish.

So what's the optimal ratio of sales messages vs. content messages in your e-mails?

You want to send as many sales messages as you can while not causing subscribers to delete your e-mails without opening them ... or opt out of your list.

The ideal ratio for achieving that goal -- maximum orders and sales, high open rates, few or no opt-outs -- is this:

Slightly more than half of your e-mail messages -- 50% or more -- should be pure content: news, information, data, and other educational articles of interest to your subscribers.

Logically that means slightly less than 50% of your e-mails, but as close to half as possible, can and should be sales messages -- offering a product for sale online.

The majority of online marketers worry about sending too many e-mails.

But years ago in a lecture she gave, online marketing expert Amy Africa wisely told the audience that the biggest mistake most online marketers make is not sending enough e-mails to their lists.

"If you do not e-mail frequently enough, you are leaving money on the table," she said.


Bob Bly

Bob Bly
Copywriter / Consultant
31 Cheyenne Dr.
Montville, NJ 07045
Phone 973-263-0562
Fax 973-263-0613