Considerations for B2B Email Frequency


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This is a question that gets asked a lot; How often should we send emails during a nurturing program? And, yep, wait for it — the answer is — it depends.

Here are some of the factors to assess when formulating the answer to the frequency question:

  • How long is your buy cycle?
    If it’s 8 months, trying to increase the frequency to complete the program in 3 months isn’t going to change that. Buyers will move at their own pace. Fatigue them and lose them. Being uber pushy also results in pushing them away. Instead of trying to use frequency to increase their urgency and momentum – focus on how your content can help do that. Trying to increase your buyers’ momentum with frequency is really a demonstration of your urgency, not theirs.
  • What volume of content can your resources produce?
    If it takes one month to get an article researched, written and to pass muster through the corporate editing process, you need to account for that in relation to the number of resources you can assign to the project. Map your processes to a timeline so that you can meet the frequency schedule you choose to follow. Being able to continuously publish content is important. Better to space it out and do it well than to rush to publish based on an artificial schedule you cannot maintain over the long haul.
  • How will you publish the content?
    Can you publish blind (not on the site navigation) web pages quickly and easily to use their URL links in your emails? Or do you need to wait for two weeks once your content is ready to go for IT to get it loaded and published for you? Or, do you need to publish in PDFs which means more time for production with graphic design and layout?
  • Who else is emailing to the lead list identified for this program?
    Is corporate marketing sending awareness pieces or a company newsletter out once a month? Are your leads also receiving invitations to webinars? What about new product announcements or version releases? What else? Unless you can isolate your targeted lead list, you need to look at the entire universe of email that they could be exposed to from your company and plan accordingly. As I said before – fatigue them and lose them.
  • Are you able to segment your lists for better personalization or are you still using a one-size-fits-all approach?
    If you’re segmenting – bravo! Your frequency should be slower with content offers matched to progression across buying stages based on the specific interests of that segment. Remember that your buyers are just as busy – if not more so – than you are. This said, responding to them when their behavior shows a pick-up in interest should be built into your frequency (touch point) plan.

    If you’re unable to segment your list, I suggest selecting 3 possible themes/issues that may interest the different segments of your list. Identify the hook quickly so those who aren’t interested can pass until they get an email with higher relevance. With this method, you will have lower response rates because your emails and content will be targeted to a specific segment even if your list is not. But, you’ll have the opportunity to engage those interested in specific topics and can begin to identify with them based upon response. You may also spur pass-along as one lead may share or forward something they know would interest someone else on the buying committee.

    This said, don’t start sending like crazy trying to meet all interests at once because you’ll alienate your entire list. Rotate through the themes with one send every 10 days and that way you’ll be delivering something relevant to the interests of your leads at least once per month – even while using one list for all. Not the best approach, but I’ve seen it work when planned well.

There are other things to consider in determining frequency, but I hope this helps you get started. Remember to look at the answers to the question in two ways. The first is related to your internal processes, the second is related to your prospects’ experience.

Frequency affects both sides.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee is a B2B Marketing Strategist and the CEO of her firm, Marketing Interactions, Inc. She helps B2B companies with complex sales create and use persona-driven content marketing strategies to turn prospects into buyers and convince customers to stay. Ardath is the author of Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Results and eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale. She's also an in-demand industry speaker.


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