What’s Your Frequency?
However, very few companies can get away with e-mailing customers every day. And those who choose to make exceptions, such as retailers and e-marketers with strong holiday sales seasons, need to decide whether they can accept the greater number of unsubscribes. “It’s a calculated risk,” says Brady. “You’re going to get a slightly larger amount of opt outs, but you have to capitalize on whatever your peak season is.”
Testing 1, 2, 3s
A successful testing technique will help you turn customer analysis findings into an actionable contact strategy. The basics of testing start with segmentation of your file, which means creating a control group along with medium- and high-frequency test groups. “You want people who all joined at about the same time period, or make sure that you have a really good cross-section of your file,” says Brady. “As a stake in the ground, I would say if you have a small-sized file, you’re going to need samples of at least 5,000 to 7,000 names in each cell. If you’ve got a much larger file, you may want to take at least 5 percent of your file and split it into those different cells.” It’s also essential that the only variable for each test cell is the frequency. The content and offer should remain consistent across all test groups. Wexler also advises e-marketers to set a reasonable upper frequency cap. “Increased frequency shouldn’t mean jumping between once a month and once a day,” he says.
It will take time to collect comprehensive results that you can use to plot your contact pattern. O’Gorman urges, “When you’re doing testing, especially frequency testing—depending on your frequency of contact with a typical customer and your buying cycle—you really need to take a good look at behavior for three to six months-worth of activity before you make a decision based on [frequency test results].”