Don't let those newsletter dates slip

mailbox with cobwebs

Three is the proven number; make contact with your prospects within three months. We seem to know innately that "three" is the way to go. Don't seasons have three months? Don't we say "Third time lucky"; "Try, try, try again"? New business activities myst be ongoing over the life of your company, not a stop-start-stop activity. Proven by Saatchi & Saatchi over a twenty-year test period and during my time with Inter-Continental Hotels, ninety days - or less - is the cycle for building relationships. (Wendy Evans)

At Chilli Chocolate Marketing we love email newsletters because they work. Stats show that every dollar spent on email marketing generates nearly $45 in return, more than six times the return from printed mail-outs. But they have to be done right. They have to be timed right.

Whenever we sit down with a client to plan a customer-contact campaign like an email newsletter to the client's database our campaigns are based around contact at three-monthly intervals. That frequency isn't chosen at random: 90 days is the magic number, and this is something backed up by decades of marketing research across a range of industries.

The clock starts ticking when your first email goes out. Think of a first newsletter as an introduction, an initial meeting. But the second newsletter is the followup. It's the confirmation that you care. When you think of it that way, you'll see that...

The second newsletter is more important than the first.

Unfortunately - and this is something that we've seen many times - the second newsletter often slips. "Oh, that first mailout was great, huge response. But we're swamped so we're just going to push the second one back a bit..."

Ironically this often happens because the initial response to the first newsletter was so positive. There are new sales orders to fill, responses and feedback to follow up, website reports full of new visitors to analyse, new subscribers to add to the database, and before you know it ninety days have passed. And then that window of opportunity closes. Then the second newsletter, the "welcome to summer" mailout, gets pushed back to midsummer, and then it's autumn. And those recipients who were pleasantly surprised that you cared about them are now thinking "why didn't you write to me again?" Or worse, they've forgotten about you. Even worse, maybe those recipients are now talking to your competitor who has been in touch twice since you last did.

Remember what it is like when you get a call from someone you met, say, two years ago and haven't heard from since? They invite you to lunch and you know three things absolutely: they are in trouble and want your help and you will end up paying for lunch. This is the not the reaction you want people to have to you. (Wendy Evans)


Don't let those newsletter dates slip!

(Image credit: jgrebedw, Creative Commons.)