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How Often Should You Send Email to an Affiliate List?

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Send Email to a ListEvery affiliate marketer has a STRONG opinion when it comes to how often to send email to a list.

In fact, the other day I asked this very question on the Warrior Forum.

The response I got back was varied:

  • Some recommend broadcasting a message every two weeks
  • Others do it on a weekly basis
  • Many deliver email twice a week
  • And a few say a daily email works best

So what’s the answer?

How often should you send email to a list?

I can only give you my opinion.  But it’s an opinion that comes from over six years of email marketing experience.  So I’d like to think it’s a good one…

Email Frequency: The Bare Minimum  

You should send email (at least) every five to six days.

This is the bare minimum!

I don’t like the idea of sending a message every seven days (or each week.)  That’s because you’re hitting people on the same exact day each week.  I’m sure this creates a sense of expectation.  But it can make your emails become boring and predictable.  Not a good thing.

A message every 5/6 days helps you stay in contact with subscribers.  It also doesn’t overwhelm them with too much information.  This is the perfect number for anyone who is getting started with email marketing.

I don’t recommend you wait any longer than six days between each message.  This is a quick way to get slapped with the “who the hell is this guy?” label that happens to many email marketers.  When this happens it’s goodbye subscriber, hello spam bin.  Again…not a good thing.

Email Frequency: My Proven Blueprint

We’ve talked about the bare minimum.  So what do I suggest?

Well, I’ve tinkered with email frequency for the last few years.  During this time, I’ve come up with a blueprint that lets you stay in touch with subscribers without being too aggressive:

Start by emailing subscribers four times in the first week.  1st email when they subscribe.  The 2nd email two days later.  The 3rd another two days later.  And three days later you’ll send the 4th.  This works out to be a 0,2,2,3 interval.

The trick here is to provide a TON of value upfront.  In fact, don’t send any affiliate promotions or offers during this week.  These email messages are designed to demonstrate your expertise in this niche.

From week 2-4 you’ll send an email two times (each week.)  Again this is a continuation of demonstrating value to subscribers.   You can weave in the occasional affiliate offer.  But you want people to enjoy your messages and get value from everything you send.

You want to vary the interval here.  Try this: 3,4,2,4,3,3,5.  It doesn’t work out to be exactly twice a week.    But it’s great for hitting subscribers on different days

After one month limit email messages to four or five days.  By now subscribers know and trust your messages (hopefully.)  Your goal here is to maintain correspondence without being that aggressive affiliate marketer that we all hate.

Are My Emails Working?

You can debate all day long about email frequency.  The important question to ask is: Are my emails working?  In other words are you getting positive results from your list?

There are a few ways to find out.  I suggest you ask these four questions:

  • Are you getting personal replies and questions to each email?
  • Are you maintaining a steady percentage on your open rates?
  • Are your unsubscribes (about) the same for each message?
  • Are you making money from the affiliate products you promote?

Answer ‘Yes’ to these questions and you have an effective email campaign.  But if all you’re hearing is the sound of crickets then it’s time to make some adjustments!

Bottom line.  Email frequency is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to list building.  There are also a number of important factors like: The value you provide, what you promote, and who you associate with online.  All are super important for creating a list that gets results.

Want to know more?

Here are few resources that will improve your email marketing:

Email frequency is an important part of list building as an affiliate marketer.  I recommend sending a message every couple of days.  But many disagree with this.  Some send more.  Some send less.

So what is your opinion?  How often should you send email?

Comment below and let me know your thoughts…

Take Action. Get Results.




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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Leo Dimilo

This question is always an interesting question and the opinions range wildly but I tend to agree with you on the weekly thing. Anything else and you haven’t really committed to email marketing (you have one foot in and one foot out).

What I have noticed and something that many marketers may argue with is that sales typically come quickly after the first contact and then the percentages start to slide the longer a person is on the list in most cases.

Reply

Steve Scott

Leo,

There is a point to somewhat of a dropoff, people may be interested in your topic and then either find out what they wanted or no longer be interested.

Some drop-off is almost unavoidable. I think that really taking time to build a relationship and do more than just throw links at some minimizes this effect (at least as much as it can be)

Reply

James Pruitt

Hey Steve, great post once again. How you treat your list is absolutely critical. I generally send out value emails for the first seven days, then back off to twice a week from there, but I can see how this works really well.

One thing that I also try to do is set up a segment for my hard sell broadcasts that only sends those broadcasts to people who are past message 9 ( 2 weeks on my list) before they get those broadcasts.

this way my new subscribers don’t feel like I am out just promoting products.

Reply

Steve Scott

James,

A very good method and pretty close to exactly what I advocate. I agree completely.

It is important to get some sort of a “grounding” with the people you email before you ever hit them with a hard sell. And even after I have been emailing the list members I don’t like to do hard sells to frequently. As I am sure you would agree, it is all about balancing good content (a reason to open your emails) with the occasional message designed to sell a product (which of course also needs to be good)

Reply

Brankica

Hey Steve, this is a great strategy. I do have a question related to how I do it most of the time. I usually have autoresponders in place, but at the same time like to send a broadcast from time to time. That lets me still have an email sent out when I am not around to do it. So autoresponders are set to go out on the same day every week so I would know when I can email the people without mailing them the same day. How would you arrange this?

Reply

Steve Scott

Hey Brankica!

I’ve had the same problem for a long time. I usually do this:

Create a list of autoresponders for a predetermined amount. Like the first month for a subscriber. After that, I’ll minimize the autoresponders to once a week, and then click the button for “Only deliver this message on certain days and times.” Set this for a day, like Thursday. Then on Thursday you send out a broadcast message. This is a great way to provide great content upfront and then keep “older” subscribers notified of what’s new on your site.

Reply

Jens P. Berget

Hi Steve,

I have also been playing around with emails to my list. My problem was combining the autoresponder with the broadcast.

I’m thinking about sending an automatic message on the same day once a week, and a broadcast on another day once a week. This way it will be two different type of messages, and I feel that I’m in more control, not messing up the broadcast vs autoresponder :)

Reply

Steve Scott

Jens,

For sure! Having control of you “message” is important. There are quite a few options, as you can see in my reply to brankica above, you can do something similar to this set to start after the people in your autoresponder list have had a certain amount of messages.

I actually have a much more in depth post on this whole topic coming up. Probably in about 10 days or so. (It is at the top of my list…but I haven’t written it yet)

Reply

Devesh

Hey Steve,

Great strategy. I generally send the quality articles (& resources) for first few weeks to the new subscribers.

The key lesson here is to build relationship & trust with your subscribers by sharing high quality content for free.

-Dev

Reply

Steve Scott

Dev,

Absolutely. Strategies may vary, frequency may vary…but the key point is giving lots of value rather than bombarding people with crap.

People get so used to email marketing being just people sending “buy this” offers. It is important to prove they are wrong

Reply

Jas Kaur

Hi Steve,

This is the first time I’m visiting your site and I’m loving the awesome content you have here. I’m relatively new to IM and although I’ve only a read a couple of posts here, I’ve already learnt so much.
I’ve always been confused about how often to email my list and this post has been extremely helpful in guiding me.
Thanks for sharing!

Jas

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Jas,

I am glad you found some good information and I hope you will keep finding things to help you on your journey in IM.

Good luck to you,

Steve

Reply

Jeevanjacobjohn

Hey Steve,

Thanks for the post, Steve! I was so confused on this. First, I forgot to send messages many times and then I began to send messages every week frequently, but my open rates were low and were even 0 for some messages. I guess, it is because of my inconsistency with messaging them (I get mixed up with this, autoresponder messages and my weekly emails). Your article is timely and of great value! I am off to tweak my list. Thanks for the tips and the inspiration, Steve!

PS: Love the design changes!

Jeevan Jacob John

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Jeevan, glad you like the cleaner design changes.

It is definitely important to be consistent in your emails. (although not too consistent, like I mentioned in the article about not sending messages on same day every week)

Many people hate email marketing, and often for a good reason. So many people JUST hard sell. It is important to differentiate yourself from these people by providing consistent quality. When you can do this, it isn’t like them reading an email marketing message, but more like them opening an email from an old friend.

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Jeevanjacobjohn

Thanks for the great suggestions, Steve!

I deleted my old list and started a new one. Right now, I have 3 autoresponders – 1st as welcome, 1 email after 3 days and another one for the next week (I will be emailing the entire list every week – so the new subscriber will get 3 emails first week, 2 emails for 2nd and 3rd weeks and 1 email thereafter). I am going to try this and see how it works.

Reply

Grady Pruitt

I know I need to get in and work on my email series. These are some great ideas to keep in mind. I currently have mine set to go between Monday and Friday, but otherwise time them in a similar manner to what you have here.

Thanks for Sharing!

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Grady, glad you liked it!

I appreciate the comment.

Steve

Reply

Jeremy Ruggles

Hey Steve,

E-mail marketing is an art that I am still learning and perfecting. I have a small list of about 200 and I send out a message about every 4-6 days, but not on a regular basis. I try to mix it up with good quality content with no ads and throw in some valuable affiliate offers every once in awhile as to not be too pushy…. I’m not sure if my campaigns are working…. I still have a lot of learning to do, but I am not giving up…..

Thanks for the tips Steve,

~Jeremy

Reply

Steve Scott

Jeremy,

Sounds like you are on the right path for sure. It is hard to really see the value with a small list. But as it grows it will become very valuable. Keeping some of the people who joined early around for the long haul takes that careful mixing in of good quality.

Keep at it bro!

Steve

Reply

Ramy Khuffash

Hi Steve,

A great question answered. Just one thing,

I’m a massive YouTube fan and I know youtubers actually like it when content creators release a video on a certain day. Phrases like “a new video every tuesday” are common.

I assumed it would be similar with emails and that when it’s consistant, people can look forward to your next email if they know what day it’s on. Does it not work like that in reality?

Cheers

Ramy

Reply

Steve Scott

Ramy,

You do make a good case for a “regular” message. My personal expereince says it is better to mix it up a bit.

BUT…. I can see your point that if you were to build a big list (that would always be first) then you might be able to to encourage opens if you had a regular day event. (like site review friday)

It might make an interesting experiment.

…but for now in a “general” sense, I would say mixing it up a little is better for most people…simply because they may find different people who are interested in the email. (it helps opens if the message is “new” rather than lost in a bulk of old messages)

But situationally, I could see where regularity might work in SOME niches SOMEtimes

Reply

Rashmi Sinha @ TechInitio

Finding the balance is the key. You need to advertise enough, but not too much. If you send mail all day long you will get annoying and the list will become shorter and shorter. That’s what i think.

Reply

Karen

Hi Steve,

This is a very helpful blueprint. Having very little experience with email marketing and almost no time to experiment on which method will work best for me, I am very grateful I found this blueprint of yours. Thank you! I’m definitely going to follow it. Wish me luck!

Reply

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