A Guide for Newsletter Distribution Frequency
What’s your newsletter distribution frequency? How often do you send a newsletter out?
It’s important to have a distribution frequency strategy in place to have an effective email newsletter. If you’re inconsistent about your newsletter, you’ll confuse your audience.
And that will leave you missing out on many opportunities.
But where would you start to figure out how much you should send out your newsletter?
That’s where this guide comes into play. I wanted to create a newsletter distribution frequency guide to show you the best practices for consistently sending out your newsletter.
Why Does Newsletter Distribution Frequency even matter?
Do you ever send a newsletter and notice unsubscribe increases in your next monthly stats report?
Sometimes, unsubscribes just happen. But often, they occur because of bad newsletter distribution frequency. That means you’re either sending too many emails or too few.
Too many emails are annoying and will cause a subscriber to unsubscribe.
Too few emails are often perceived as “Why am I getting this newsletter?” an unsubscribe occurs after that because the subscriber gets so few emails from you that they forgot they subscribed.
There is a happy median between too many and too few, and it isn’t that difficult to find.
Choosing the best frequency can increase your open rate and CTRs, and even help you make more sales.
Monthly? Weekly? Daily?
No “one type fits all” scenario exists for how often you should send your newsletter to your subscribers.
Your email newsletter distribution frequency will depend on the type of content you’re producing for your audience. Different kinds of content will apply to different frequency rates.
If you distribute time-sensitive content, you might want to send emails daily as that content must be sent out for its time sensitivity. Onboarding processes also typically get sent out daily until complete. But if you send out daily emails that don’t provide immediate value, expect your unsubscribe rate to increase significantly because it’s about as bad as spamming.
Weekly emails may be the best approach if your newsletter covers services that your audience would likely use frequently.
If services or content isn’t frequently used or in demand, maybe once a month is more the rhythm you should send in.
I get several daily, weekly, and monthly newsletters covering multiple niches and industries. One daily email gives me stock market information and daily news that I would use to invest in better markets. Getting that once daily makes sense as long as it’s easy to read every day. Another newsletter focuses on newsletters, and I get that weekly which is great since I send out my own newsletters. All the hiking newsletters that I’m subscribed to are sent once a month, and they recap monthly hiking trips and upcoming events, which makes sense.
Whether you send your newsletter once a day, once a week, or once a month – it all depends on the type of content you’re sending and how important it will be to the subscriber.
If it’s dire, then send it out. If it’s not that important, hold off a bit.
Best Day and Best Time to Send Your Newsletter
The best time and day to send your newsletter really depends on your niche.
Many experts claim that sending it early in the week is the best time to send a newsletter. Monday is often chosen since people usually start their workweek on Monday. People will be in the mood to see what’s going on after they’ve had a weekend off.
As for the time of day, most people are most active in their email accounts around 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, with 3:00 PM being the peak.
So it would be a safe bet to send your newsletter at around 3:00 PM on Monday.
But as I said from the start, it depends on your niche and audience.
You might try to test different days and times to see which gets the best results.
But to be consistent, send your newsletter on a scheduled date and time. But send test emails with “short versions” of your newsletter (every now and then, so you don’t send too many) on different days and at different times. This will help you determine when your audience typically opens your newsletters.
Choosing the best day and time when adjusting your newsletter distribution frequency is important. The best way to accomplish this is by testing and optimizing.
How Much Value Can You Produce?
A newsletter isn’t a blog or a social media profile. It’s a platform that, to gain an audience, people must sign up for it and remain a member for it to work.
To keep subscribers subscribed, you must ensure that each issue of your newsletter is valuable enough to remain subscribed.
So, you need to consider content value regarding newsletter distribution frequency strategies. If you can’t provide value every day, you shouldn’t be sending a newsletter out every day.
Without value, you won’t be able to keep subscribers.
If you choose to send a newsletter often, you must ensure that you have enough content ideas and topics to add to each issue. And all that content has to be very valuable.
If you can do this and it makes sense to send issues more often, then it can be very successful. But if it becomes overwhelming, which is likely to happen to most people, you might fail in the end.
Frequency should be closely considered next to your ability to create content for your newsletter that provides enough value to make people want to stay subscribed.
Without value, you’re just sending a boring email that’s taking up inbox space.
Let Subscribers Choose Your Newsletter Distribution Frequency
Sometimes it’s best to let your subscribers choose your newsletter distribution frequency.
How can you do this?
You can do this at the new subscription level by allowing new subscribers to choose how often they want to get your newsletter. You could also do this during onboarding by having them subscribe to a newsletter that is sent more frequently if you wish to send one more often.
Maybe you’re just trying to decide how often to send the newsletter.
Create a survey on each issue you send, or even send a separate email asking subscribers to take a quick survey. You could even offer a drawing at the end for an Amazon gift card or something related to your niche to encourage participation.
Make the survey easy to answer and quick to take. A simple “How often would you like to get this newsletter” and a “best day and time” section will be all you need. Make sure to ask for their email address if you plan to do a giveaway. If not, let them remain anonymous.
Go with what the majority is recommending you do. Depending on your decision, you might lose a few subscribers, but sometimes it might be worth losing a few to cater to those who truly care about your content.
You’re trying to please your subscribers at the end of the day, so give them what they want.
Copy Industry Winners and Strategies
Sometimes it’s best to be a copycat.
Don’t take this recommendation the wrong way. You should never copy off your competitor as in doing exactly what they’re doing and stealing their strategies.
But adopting their best practices is okay if that’s what works. You won’t be the first to do it. That’s probably how your competitors got started in the first place, by adopting the best practices of their own competitors.
Subscribe to the newsletters of your competition. Analyze them. Understand the value of each issue they send. Make a note of when and how often they send the newsletter (day and time).
And then try it out with your audience.
Be sure to watch your analytics to see if they improve.
Sometimes the best option has already been invented and is waiting for you to adopt it.
Metrics to Watch For
There are three important metrics to pay attention to for newsletter distribution frequency strategies.
- Open Rate
- Unsubscribe Rate
- Subscriber Feedback
Open rate shows what percentage of your subscribers are opening your newsletter emails. The higher your open rate percentage, the better it is for your newsletter. It means more subscribers are actually reading your content. Some experts claim that at least a 21.5% open rate is what you should go for. If you can get it higher, try to work on that.
Your unsubscribe rate will show you how many people have unsubscribed from your newsletter after each issue you send out. Typically, most newsletters will have one or two unsubscribes for each issue. But if you have significant unsubscribes, you know something isn’t right.
Subscriber feedback is your most important metric. Other metrics tell a story, but you have to interpret that story through analytical exploitations. Subscriber feedback is raw and tells you a story from the start. I include a survey in every one of my newsletter issues asking subscribers to rate the issue and tell me how I can improve it. It’s a great practice.
Plenty of other metrics worth exploring can help you determine the best frequency for sending out your newsletters. Try to explore them to get a better understanding of them.
Create Goals and Segment Your Audience
There are two things you should always do to help determine how often to send your newsletter.
- Create goals for your newsletter distribution frequency
- Segment your audience for sending newsletters
Goals are important in all functions of running a successful newsletter campaign. If you create a goal for your newsletter issue, you’ll understand when to send it. The frequency at which you send your newsletter issues can be determined by having goals for each issue. What do you want to get out of your newsletter the most? How can you achieve success in your goals by adjusting when and how often you send your newsletter? These questions need to be answered along with other questions you might have to determine the best approach.
Segmenting your audience is typically a feature provided by the premium version of your email marketing platform. It enables you to choose whom to send newsletter emails to based on their engagement with your newsletter on previous occasions. Segmenting can help you decide when to send and how often to send your newsletter. You don’t want to send it to a group of subscribers who never open your emails. Instead, create a segment to focus on those who are actually reading and engaging with your content. Those people and the metrics they provide will help you tell a story of how often they would like to see your content.
At the end of the day, without goals, what’s the purpose of actually even sending out a newsletter?
Consistency is Key
Consistency is more important than frequency.
Sending your newsletter daily, weekly, or monthly isn’t the most important aspect of having a newsletter. Consistency is.
Consistency is about ensuring that your audience knows when you’ll update them. If you send a newsletter once a month on a Tuesday at 5:00 PM, you should keep that schedule to be consistent.
Your subscribers will start to develop a memory and routine of knowing when to expect content from you. They’ll have something to look forward to when you remain consistent.
Sending at different days and routines and at different times will only shock the system. People won’t know when to expect word from you. It might even overwhelm your subscribers to the point where they decide to unsubscribe.
Consistency will always win.
And that’s how you decide on your newsletter distribution frequency. Follow the advice above to find the best time to send your newsletter to your subscribers. Ensure you analyze your actions and optimize your consistency to serve your audience best. Make sure to always listen to what your audience wants. If you’ve enjoyed this blog post and want more newsletter advice, follow me on Twitter for daily newsletter tips.
About the Author
Shawn Gossman has created content, blogged, ran online communities, and shared a passion for digital marketing for over twenty years. Shawn believes the best way to help content creators, businesses, brands, and marketers is to give away more than you sell. The same advice is recommended for the readers that follow this blog. Shawn also offers a variety of services for extra help in the area of content creation, blogging, forums, and digital marketing. Learn more about Shawn Gossman by clicking here.
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