Two Keys to Email Marketing Success: Repetition and Relevance

By , The Solo-CEO: Content Marketing Strategist

Solo-E Certified Solo Entrepreneur Expert

Terri Zwierzynski - The Solo-CEO: Content Marketing Strategist

I spoke with a woman last week who was receiving up to 60 emails daily from different retailers. Sixty! She finally started unsubscribing because she was worried she was missing real emails amidst all the “ads”.

Now aside from recommending using a different email address for online purchasing, I could understand how she got into this situation. I also purchase online frequently, from both big-box retailers and smaller specialty shops. Every one of them signs me up for their mailings, which I receive almost daily, filled with sale items, percentage-off savings, free shipping, etc. Some I have no intention from purchasing from in the near future, so I unsubscribe.

But others I let come into my inbox, and delete them just as quickly. It adds up to perhaps a dozen daily emails that I end up deleting! So why don’t I unsubscribe? Because once in a while I see a really good deal, or I’m shopping for something I know I might find at that store, and then I look back to see what sales and deals are available in the recent emails.

What it comes down to is that I’m willing to put up with daily emails because I eventually have a pretty good chance of finding something that I AM interested in. And because I get emails daily from those few stores, when I am looking for a particular item, their name comes to mind first.

The lesson for us as solo and small business marketers is that repetition works…as long as it is also relevant. I keep myself subscribed to a few small business newsletters, even though I often delete them, and despite the fact that they sometimes send three emails in a week about some new product or program they are launching — because I know that in the past they have sent me something I found valuable. And I expect that they will do so again in the future, so it’s worth my time. I’ve deemed them relevant, so I put up with the repetition.

It’s also important to recognize that repetition increases relevancy. That new product they are launching may not be relevant to me now…but it might become of interest to me later, and so it is worth it for them to keep mentioning it periodically.

If you hesitate to repeat, remind yourself that repetition does work, if your messages are relevant. If I had to guess, I’d say most of you aren’t emailing often enough. And that’s as bad as emailing too frequently, because they might forget they signed up for your list! And that is just as likely to get you relegated to the spam folder as emailing too frequently.

You may need to do some testing to learn how much repetition is too much, and find the boundaries of what your audience deems relevant to them, but it’s worth the experimentation. Find the happy medium, and both you and your customers will flourish there.

Terri Zwierzynski, MBA (UNC-Chapel Hill) became a corporate refugee in 2001, after 15 years of servitude employment. After her initial shock at being unemployed, she vowed to “never work for an idiot again!” and decided to be her own boss (and try to live up to that vow!) She launched in 2003 to provide a quality selection of online resources for building a Solo Entrepreneur business, from hand-picked, proven, truly Expert coaches, consultants, trainers and implementers - mentors she personally trusts.

© Copyright 2011 Terri Zwierzynski
One comment on “Two Keys to Email Marketing Success: Repetition and Relevance
  1. with gmail you can set up rules to put your emails in folders.  I have over 500 folders!  So…. when I’m in the mood to read emails from a certain mentor or email list or what have you, I click on that folder!  But when I only have 2 minutes, I check just the main email box for which no rules are set up– that’s where customer orders come in, questions from my unit members, messages from my kids’ preschool teachers, etc.  But then when I have more time I can click on…. well, say the solo-e box for example.  🙂

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