Working for an e-mail marketing service for small businesses, I’m constantly addressing the issue of e-mail frequency – in articles I’m writing, during speaking engagements and when I’m talking with small business owners and entrepreneurs.
The most important thing to remember regarding frequency is to respect your subscriber’s wishes. For consultants and business services professionals, once a month is usually sufficient. Retailers have sales and special promotions, so weekly contact can be effective.
It’s a rare business model that can effectively send email communications on a daily basis, but I found one great example in Balance Spa, a day-spa retreat Tewksbury, MA.
As the owner and operated of Balance Spa, Nan Vardaro has the challenge of making sure her staff hours are booked throughout the day, whether it is for a facial, a massage or a full body treatment.
But as in any personal services business, appointments can fall through or be rescheduled at the last minute. When this happens, Ms. Vardaro sends daily e-mails to her subscriber list.
The e-mails offer 25 percent-off sales on the next day’s open slots – bringing customers in the door and coming back. Using e-mail this way yields Ms. Vardaro instant results and revenue.
E-mail marketing is so immediate that Ms. Vardaro can look at the day’s schedule, determine what last minute openings are available and offer those services to her valued clients at a great discount.
As a result, Ms. Vardaro and her staff at Balance Spa have a full schedule of appointments every day, which is the bottom line when it comes to achieving profits in the personal services businesses.
Does e-mailing every day make her a spammer? Certainly not. She has simply taken accepted best practices for e-mail marketing frequency – don’t be a nuisance to your subscribers by e-mailing them too often – and adapted it to the unique aspects of her business and clientele.
One thing I learned from Ms. Vardaro’s story that is relevant to businesses of all types and sizes is that e-mail marketing best practices are excellent guidelines, but each business has a unique message and audience.
As long as you deliver the right message to the right people at the right time, just as Ms. Vardaro does, e-mail can be one of the most effective tools in helping you grow your business.