6 lessons learned from tripling my email newsletter frequency

How do you know when your email marketing is working for your business, and what specifically should you be looking at to know what's working and what's not? In this post, you'll learn 6 key takeaways that you can apply to your own small business email marketing.

In April of 2024, I realized something wasn’t working because my emails weren’t converting the way I hoped. It was time to optimize my email marketing strategy and try something different.

For 30 days, I switched up my newsletter cadence from weekly to three times a week. I’m amazed at folks who can consistently show up in subscribers’ inboxes 3-5 times a week because I overall didn’t enjoy it.

That being said, I don’t regret this experiment because I did learn some important email marketing lessons.

Here are the the email marketing lessons that you can apply to your own strategy:

Experiment with new ways of showing up in your subscribers’ inboxes

Like all things business, there’s no one-size-fits all approach to email marketing. It depends on so many factors, including your business model, what you’re selling, price points, and who you’re selling to.

What works for one business might not work for yours, but you won’t know until you try it. And if you’re going to make a drastic change – for example, tripling the frequency of your emails – treat your subscribers like humans by setting clear expectations about any major changes and giving them opportunities to opt out.

Pay attention to your email marketing metrics

In order to know what’s working (and not working), you need to know your email marketing metrics. That includes open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribes, and reply rates.

Depending on your email marketing software, some of that might have to be done more manually. For example, ConvertKit will allow you to track the first three, but not reply rates.

And while open rates on their own aren’t the best metric to pay attention to since they aren’t very accurate, it’s helpful to look at them in context of multiple emails that you send. An especially high or low open rate of a single email compared to other emails is an opportunity to get curious.

Define what you mean by email conversions

Yes, conversion often means making a sale, but when it comes to email marketing, sometimes it means clicking on a link or replying to an email.

However you define it for that email, make sure your call-to-action matches and its prominent in your email. (And you’ll likely need to repeat it in multiple emails.) For example, if you want people to reply, you need to ask them to reply.

Which brings me to my next lesson…

Make it easy for your subscribers​

Especially when it comest to asking for replies.

Instead of asking them a high-level open-ended question such as “What is your biggest struggle right now when it comes to automating your email marketing”, give them 3-5 options (including “other) to choose from. When I did this in one of my emails, I saw the highest response rate ever, and many people replied with some very robust answers which started a dialogue between us.

Ask deeper questions to better understand people’s challenges​

In short: don’t assume what they mean when they they respond. Ask follow-up questions – I’ve found “What would it look like for you…” to be a great way to phrase it.

When I reached out to ask my community about their challenge when it comes to email marketing, the highest response was split between:

There’s more I could be doing to make the most of my email marketing software & automations, I just don’t know where to begin, and

My emails aren’t converting

I had certain assumptions about what it means for an email to “convert,” but when I asked a follow-up question not everyone defined it the way I assumed they would. And I would’ve never known that if I hadn’t asked.

Ask for your email subscribers’ input

If you’re intending to use email as a tool to sell, then use your community as a sounding board.

I tend to be the type of person who goes all in with creating an offer without understanding if that’s what my community is looking for. During this experiment, though, I took another approach.

For example, I had an idea for a workshop. But since only 3 people replied expressing interest, I didn’t waste time making marketing assets for an offer people don’t seem to want right now.

Would you like support with your email marketing strategy?

Do you know what’s working and not working with your current setup? As a specialist in email marketing automation strategy, I offer an Email Automation Audit to dig deep to understand the story behind your email metrics and uncover where there are opportunities to improve your setup so align with your business goals.

Learn more and book your Email Automation Audit.

Now booking Email Automation VIP Days for May 2021