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Email Marketing Frequency – Pizza Wars

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Tuesday October 16, 2012 )

How many emails a week is too many?

I like pizza. Very much so. If there was no other food available on the planet, I would do just fine.

There has been a pizza revolution in Australia. It was once a luxury – I remember a small pizza costing $5 back in the late 70’s. Allowing for inflation, in today’s dollars, that’s around $20. You can get a large pizza now for around $5. Heaven.

I associate pizza with all sorts of fond memories. Even part of my working life was spent making the things, and I still didn’t lose my passion for it. My avatar on Skype is a play on the name of a famous pizza chain.

So I’ve set the background. I know something about pizza. I’m an easy target for pizza related marketing.

And even I was getting sick of it.

I signed up for the lists of a couple better known pizza chains quite a while back and a few weeks ago, a strange thing started happening. It seemed like I was getting multiple pizza related emails daily. If it wasn’t one brand, it was the other – or both.

There was a serious pizza war going on. After a week of this, I really started tuning both brands out, then I nearly unsubscribed from both as they were annoying the crap out of me.

Then suddenly, it stopped. Why? I really don’t know, but I’m wondering if they were getting complaints – or noticing the more they emailed the less response they were getting.

There’s an old bit of marketing wisdom that says your prospect may need to have your message put in front of them 7 times before they’ll act. I’m not sure if whoever first uttered that meant over a seven day period, particularly in relation to such a product.

There’s a temptation when things are a bit slow to keep yelling louder and more often; but all that might achieve is making you look loud and very annoying. Some are able to pull this off; it actually becomes part of their brand – but most can’t.

Be really careful not to contact your lists too often with sales pitches unless they know in advance they’ll be receiving X number of messages a week. Remember, it doesn’t take much effort for folks to click an unsubscribe button and once they have, you may never get them back.

With regard to the answer to the question of how many emails a week is too many; unfortunately it depends. Watch your open rates, click rates and unsubscribe rates and those three indicators will let you know pretty quickly when you’re starting to redline.


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