What’s the magic number of emails you need to send to maximize supporter engagement and minimize fatigue?
The answer is “five”.
Kidding. It would be nice if it were that simple. But your ideal email frequency is unique to you—your content, your supporters, and your organization.
In truth, you’re searching for more than a frequency. You’re after the ideal cadence. Email cadence describes both the quantitative and qualitative forces that drive engagement and fatigue. This combines the nature of your content (unique to you), your audience (also unique to you), and the frequency. These unique factors explain why it’s impossible to pinpoint one ‘perfect frequency’ that works for all organizations. There’s more than one way to approach this problem. Let’s look at four.
This is not a bad place to start, particularly if you’re short on time or resources. Sign up to every list you can find. Pay attention to the rhythm of organizations that look like they know what they’re doing. Better yet, talk to people in colleague organizations to better understand what’s working and what’s not.
Use a limited survey or email preference page to solicit feedback. This helps you approximate closer to an answer that is unique to your organization. However, it’s very possible the impression your supporters have of your email frequency may be conflated with everything in their inbox.
This would be the gold standard. But you need to be willing to push some of your supporters (to the point that they may switch off). If you have a decent testing and analytics system (and a chunk of time), this approach shouldn’t be out of reach.
You still just want a straight answer, don’t you. Okay. Based on Animals Australia’s experience (having ‘trialed and errored’ our way through delivering 100M+ emails), here’s what we found works best:
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