This guest post is by Francis Santos of Benchmark Email.
Blogging and email marketing are a lot alike. Okay, a lot might be stretching it, but they do share some similarities. For example, both are easy for beginners to use, are generally inexpensive, and great for business.
Another quality these two internet-powered vehicles share is the importance of frequency.
Whether it’s entertaining your blog readers or marketing to your email subscribers, frequency is something that could literally make or break you.
Blog posts: two perspectives on frequency
One of the golden rules of blogging is to post, and often. How important is it to post with regularity? Very, if you’re a fan of market research.
According to HubSpot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing report, underestimating the importance of posting frequency is equivalent to leaving cold, hard cash on the table. The report showed that businesses that posted to their blogs multiple times per day had the highest levels of new customer acquisition, at 92%.
On the other hand, you have those who say that blog posting frequency no longer matters, citing that quality, engagement, and reader loyalty are more important.
The observers on this side of the fence have a point, but frequency is something that should never be viewed as an afterthought. It is usually the moment you get comfortable and feel you can ease off on posting that your visitors get bored and take their blog reading adventures somewhere else.
Email: frequency matters
Although I’d say it’s vital, the overall importance of blog posting frequency may actually be questionable when you factor in aspects like quality, engagement, and loyalty. When it comes to email marketing, however, there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it—frequency definitely matters. It really is one of those double-edged swords that can cut you on both sides, too.
With blogging, you can pretty much post away until your heart’s content. Of course some posts might perform better than others, but this really is one of those no harm, no foul situations.
This is not the case with email.
If you flood your subscribers with too many messages, they are likely to get annoyed, which could lead them to opt-out or cry “spam” and report you to their ISP.
But if you’re not contacting them enough, you run the risk of having them lose interest, which could again lead to a higher opt-out, rate and money wasted on subscribers who have little to no chance of converting.
Finding the frequency sweet spot
Blogging and email marketing may be two entirely different animals, but you can take similar steps to determine the ideal frequency of both tactics for your blog and audience.
Think about your content
What type of content are you offering your readers? Is it the latest in celebrity gossip and entertainment news? If so, then daily updates may be appropriate. Is it coupons, special offers, or other forms of cost savings? Maybe every other day or once per week will suffice.
When you’re trying to nail down the right rate of frequency, your content should be one of the first things you consider.
Evaluate your resources
You could have all the ambition in the world, but in some cases, it will be your resources that determine what is the right frequency.
For instance, if you have multiple people contributing to your company blog, posting every day may not be a problem. But if it’s just you, something like a monthly newsletter to your email subscribers may be all you’re able to handle.
Let your audience dictate
Bloggers and email marketers alike often find that letting their audience decide is the best way to get a grip on the frequency dilemma.
It is possible to determine what they want by judging their response to your approach, but don’t hesitate to ask them in a blog post or a survey just to be sure. This is a good idea because people tend to have different preferences, especially when it comes to email communications.
Frequency and format
Whatever the format, as long as a communication concerns your marketing message, the frequency at which you deliver it will always be important. This is true whether we are talking about blogging, email, or posting on social networks like Facebook or Twitter.
No matter what turns out to be the best frequency, make sure you commit to it because your ability to be consistent with it will tell all.
Got any additional advice on frequency for bloggers and email marketers? Feel free to share them with us in the comments.
Francis Santos is a writer for Benchmark Email, a best practices email marketing company.