Ultimately, the answer comes down to reader expectations. If your subscribers expect to receive one email per month, they’ll be irritated when you start sending them 3 new emails every week.
On the other hand, if you make it clear that your newsletter will be more frequent (daily or weekly), your subscribers’ expectations will be aligned – they will expect to get a lot of email from you.
Once a Day
Sending emails every day can be exhausting for both you and your readers. In a world already bogged down by emails, a new email every single day can really clog up one’s inbox. For the most part, we don’t recommend sending newsletters every day, especially if you are a smaller business.
According to a research study done by TechnologyAdvice.com, 43% of subscribers would like businesses to email them less often. That’s a pretty high percentage! When in doubt, send less.
However, the daily email newsletter does have its place. It is especially useful for newsletters that are extremely concise and cover news, links, and other “curated” content. Cool Hunting is a good example of an effective daily newsletter. Every day, they send a curated list of 5-6 links and stories about art, design, and music. View a sample of their newsletter.
Takeaway: If you’re going to send out an email every day, keep the format uniform and simple. If possible, make the title rather mundane – simply stating the date works well. A different, uniquely-written title for every newsletter is more easily perceived as spam. Don’t forget to highlight the daily nature of your newsletter in your subscription form, too.
Also, keep in mind that your readers will likely scan your emails and not read the entire thing. Sometimes, they may not even open them at all. As a consequence, your stats will most likely suffer.
Once a Week
In many ways, once a week is the ideal compromise – it’s not too often to be irritating, but it’s often enough to stay in your readers’ minds. The brief nature of the daily newsletter often works better in a weekly format, while still managing to stay more current and relevant than a monthly newsletter.
However, the weekly newsletter does have its downsides. For one, it can be too often, especially if your business is relatively static. If you find yourself struggling to fill a weekly newsletter with news, blog posts, and other top-notch content, it’s probably a sign that you’re sending too often. If you’re a small team or a long business-owner, you probably don’t have enough time to write 2 or 3 excellent blog posts per week. As a result, you’ll be tempted to fill your weekly newsletter with filler content – a bad idea, indeed!
Once a week can also, ironically, be too slow. Depending on the nature of your industry, week-old news can be terribly out of date. This is especially true in time-based fields like media, business or finance. If your information is of an urgent nature, your readers want to get it urgently – not a week later.
Once a Month
Once a month is the default, safe choice. Like hiring IBM in the 80’s, no one is ever fired for sending a monthly newsletter. For the most part, it’s a good choice, too. The month timeframe is a good balance between depth and urgency – it’s long enough to be comprehensive and content-rich, but often enough to stay relevant.
A monthly newsletter allows you to be comprehensive. Rather than sending a short daily or weekly newsletter, you can send a monthly newsletter filled-to-the-brim with good content, interesting links, and other useful goodies. Instead of skimming through your newsletter, your readers will look forward to it – after all, it only comes once a month.
As the email marketing space continues to grow (and email inboxes continue to fill up), the monthly timeframe is becoming more and more of a good idea. In a busy marketplace, bloggers are starting to understand the importance of quality over quantity. Rather than creating a surplus of sub-par content, they are focusing on a small amount of high-quality content. Over time, this translates into a more engaged audience, better SEO results, and (most importantly) being proud of the work you’ve done.