December 13, 2016

Frequency trumps accuracy

Everybody wants to know how often they should email their list.

You can answer this by looking back in history.

In the middle ages, the English longbow was a critical siege weapon. The most famous longbow-powered victory came at Agincourt in 1415, when 5,000 English archers crippled a stronger French army of 20,000 men.

The real driver behind English success at Agincourt was range and frequency, not accuracy. A trained archer was expected to shoot a minimum of six arrows per minute. Speed of arrow release was more important than accuracy, and I believe the same is true in email marketing.

If you’re shooting a longbow it’s easy to miss with a single arrow, and the same goes for emails. It’s easy to miss with a one-off message. A single message can easily be missed or ignored.

By emailing you every day, I force you to make a decision. You can’t ignore every email, so at some point you have to decide whether the emails you receive from me are valuable to you or not.

If you’re not forcing people to make that decision, you’re probably not emailing often enough.

Having made that decision, I do let people drop the frequency if they want. I let people choose between daily and weekly emails, but what is interesting is that all of my serious leads come from the daily emails group.

All of them.

If you let people hear from you more often, some people will raise their hands and rise to the top of the pile. It’s like an ongoing, never-ending sifting and sorting system.

I get about as many unsubscribes as I get new subscribers. I’m okay with that, because the unsubscribes are simply a product of the sifting and sorting effect. The unsubscribes happen because I force people to decide whether or not they want to hear from me. Some people decide that they do, and that is all that matters.

Every time I add an additional 5000 contacts to my list, Infusionsoft send me a bigger bill. I’m only happy for that to happen if the additional 5000 contacts are engaged.

The real question isn’t ‘how often should we email’. The real question is ‘how often would my most engaged contacts like to hear from me’. Cater to those people, and let everyone else self-select.

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.