How much is too much?

When you think you’re sending too many emails, let me know how you know too many emails is too many.

It’s a question I get a lot. What is the ideal amount of emails to send?

Let me give it to you straight.

If you’re asking that question, you’re probably not sending too many emails.

Because guess what? It takes a lot of resources to send emails. Mostly time.

And when you’re pulled in five million different directions because you’re also managing social media accounts and multiple digital marketing channels, WHO’S GOT THE TIME TO SEND AN EMAIL EVERY DAY. 

The facts about sending frequency:

Every time you send an email you are giving your list subscribers an opportunity to unsubscribe.

Every time you send an email you are giving your list subscribers an opportunity to place an order, book an appointment or learn more about your brand.

Your time is valuable, and it takes time to come up with a strategy and to execute email campaigns.

There are multiple ways to look at this equation. You could look at your customer lifetime value and determine how much money each list subscriber is worth.

You could then tally up how many people opt out of your emails per email versus how much revenue you generate for each email and find the sweet spot balance for your brand of losing contacts versus revenue generation. 

You could also split your list and see how much revenue you make off of half your list over the course of month that you send emails to at least times per week versus the other half that only gets one email per week.

OR you could do what I tell time-strapped marketers and business owners that the key is to be consistent. If that’s one email per month, then that’s better than nothing.

Ideally, one email per week would be awesome for your business.

BUT, automated emails are going to always always always be the best bang for your buck when it comes to email marketing.

If you don’t have a strategy set up with automation, then you are going to be sinking a ton of time into regularly scheduled promotional emails, pulling your hair out and hating life and email.

 

Also, I think there’s something at the root of this question.

It’s also the at the heart of being afraid of putting yourself out there on social to market yourself or your brand.

Am  too much?

Will people get sick of me and stop following me/unsubscribe from my list?

Spoiler alert: The answer is yes.

And is that okay? Absolutely.

Like all things in life, you’re not going to hit the right tone with everyone all of the time. That’s part of the reason why we brand businesses in order to attract people to our personality.

And if nobody told you this already, I’m gonna be the bearer of bad news. 

People are not going to like you or your content. It’s inevitable.

But some people are going to love  you and your content, and they are going to be your best customers/clients.

Taking the risk and putting yourself out there will pay off. You have to give it time and keep tweaking your process as you go along.

Don’t beat yourself up. We all do it.

Seriously. We’ve all been there.

In my case, it’s hitting send on an email and realizing I sent it to the wrong list.

It’s seeing the final email launch after four people reviewed it, and there’s a type-o in the subject line.

It’s checking the date of an event five times, and you saved and sent the wrong version.

And then begins the endless cycle of beating yourself up.

Running through every possible worst-case-scenario in your head.

I just lost a client.

No one is ever going to think I can do anything ever again.

I’m going to get fired.

I just lost a ton of money.

My customers are going to hate my brand and complain about me on social media.

I’m here to tell you, that it is going to be okay.

Seriously. It is going to be okay.

Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone.

Anyone who tries to tell you there isn’t room for mistakes is seriously delusional.

We are all human. And messing up is inevitable.

 

The best part about messing up?

 

You learn from it. 

 

Some of the best lessons I’ve learned are from falling flat on my faced. Take your mistake, learn what you did wrong and find a way to correct it in the future.

 

Most of the time, when I make a mistake, it’s because I need to do one of a few things:

 

1. Slow. Down.

 

I am doing too many things at once and trying to get through them all, so I speed through my task and miss something.

 

That’s inevitably because I’m working myself too hard and/or have taken on too much.

 

2. Ask for help.

 

This is part of that taking on too much thing. It’s okay to say you can’t do it all.

 

Because guess what? You can’t. Sorry to break it to you.

 

We are only one person. If things *keep falling through the cracks* it usually means that what we are doing and how we are doing it is unsustainable.

 

3. Say you’re sorry.

 

Admitting when you’ve made a mistake is much more respected than you think. 

 

People appreciate it when someone can be a grown up and admit when they’ve messed up.

 

There’s nothing worse than someone who comes up with a million excuses on why something wasn’t their fault.

 

Saying you’re sorry and how you’re going to do better next time lets people know you care enough to correct your mistakes.

Cut yourself some slack.

I’m here to tell you that today, this day. Right now. You need to cut yourself some slack.

You’re probably either the only person on your team doing this job, or you’re a soloprenuer trying to figure everything out. No one can expect you to be 100% on your game at all times.

If you’re not feeling overwhelmed right this moment, that’s okay. Bookmark this and come back to it when you need it.

Or just bookmark it and keep coming back for those days when you want to crawl in a hole and never come out.

You are human. You are enough. 

Bring it in if you need a virtual hug.

How to Avoid the SPAM Folder

The BIG Question: How do I make sure my emails don’t land in the SPAM folder.

The BIG Answer: It’s complicated.

Did you hate that answer? I know. I know.

If you’re new here, that’s the answer to most of my questions.

 

Avoiding the SPAM folder is its own specialty field in email marketing. It’s called Deliverability.

In other words, making sure your emails get delivered to the inbox in general and stay out of the SPAM folder.

HERE’S THE DEAL WITH SPAM FOLDERS

 

1. You have a reputation.

Yes, a SENDER reputation. Shocker, I know. 

Like all things in this digital life, the IP address you send your emails from is tracked. 

Email clients like gmail, Outlook, Yahoo and their ilk are watching how their users are interacting with your emails. They look at Open rates. They look at SPAM complaints.

They have algorithms they are constantly adjusting to make sure the emails that end up in the Inbox are what their users want.

What that means for you: Make sure your reputation stays squeaky clean. How? By default, most Email Service Providers require you to include an unsubscribe link in the footer of your emails.

That’s because:

A) It’s the law.

B) You would rather have someone unsubscribe from your emails rather than mark them as SPAM. Giving them the option to opt out helps your sender reputation.

 

2. You’re sharing a sender IP address.

Most email service providers (i.e. Mailchimp, Constant Contact, etc.) use a common IP address to send emails from multiple accounts.

If anyone on that shared IP is not partaking in legal or ethical email practices, that can affect your emails be delivered as well.

Some email service providers have rules about who can have an account with them for that very reason.

3. Your list size is not important.

If half of your list hasn’t opened any of your emails in the last 90 days, guess what? 

That’s tracked.

And guess what else?

That means half of your email subscribers are lowering your engagement rate and affecting your Sender Reputation.

Why could half of your list not be opening your emails?

Well, I’m going to answer my own question with another question.

How did the opt-in to your list?

Did they actually give you consent to email them?

Consent to email someone is super super important. Again, it’s law. And why would you send someone promotions to their inbox if they never asked for them? How do you know they even want them?

That’s also why you will see those double opt-in emails coming to your inbox every time you sign up for emails from some brands. They want to make sure the email address you entered is a) yours and b) valid.

Sometimes people will sign others up for emails or maybe they entered a type-o in their email address.

There are a lot of strategies out there to help you improve your inbox placement.

Here are a few you can take care of RIGHT NOW to improve your chances of making it to the inbox.

HOMEWORK: IMPROVE YOUR DELIVERABILITY 

1. Check out your inactive email subscribers.

 It’s easy. Create a segment that you think best summarizes what engagement means to you:

  • Have they opened the last 5 emails?
  • Have they opened any emails in the last 30 days, 60 days, 90 days? 

2. Exclude your inactive email subscribers.

In your next email send, try excluding them from the send and see what happens to your engagement metrics (Open rates, click through rates, etc.)

Not happy with the results? That’s fine. You can still send the email to this group separately. You might be surprised at the response you see.

3. Send from your own domain

You have a couple of options here depending on your budget.

  1.  You can either set up a custom domain that your emails are sent from. You will need a new domain address which can be a subdomain of your current web domain (i.e. email.flourishgrit.com). You will also need an email service provider account that allows for this kind of customization. Usually, that means you have to pay for it. Worth it? Totally.
  2. Address your emails from an email address with your domain in it. I see a lot of small business owners sending from a gmail address. That’s fine, but sending from an email with your domain in it is more reputable. It’s super easy to get. Check out gsuite. They’ll walk you through step-by-step and it’s pretty cheap. You can even find promo codes online that might give you access for free for a few months.