The Danger in Mailing Too Often
If you increase your mailing frequency from once a week to twice a week, you'll probably increase your revenue. Three mailings per week increases your revenue even further. So what's wrong with sending oodles of email? You may be losing your best customers.
I recently studied the results of emails sent by two similar women’s clothing retailers. Both companies have several hundred stores in shopping malls and began the year with approximately the same number of subscribers in their databases. Company A sent more than 42 million emails, about 72 emails per address; Company B sent more than 50 million emails, about 90 emails per address. The results show that company B’s higher mailing frequency took a toll on its subscription rate: 10.6 percent of recipients unsubscribed compared to 7.5 percent of company A’s recipients.
However, 17 percent of company B’s subscribers became buyers versus only 10 percent of company A’s. A difference in average order size between the two retailers may have been due to different merchandise rather than a result of less frequent mailing.
Interestingly, some of the subscribers who unsubscribed made purchases before they disappeared. The total online purchases of all unsubscribers for each company was close to $1 million, as shown in the accompanying diagram. The most significant number is the average spend per unsubscriber. Company A’s unsubscribers spent an average of $220, whereas all its buyers spent only an average of $177. Company B’s unsubscribers spent an average of $156, while all its buyers spent an average of $115.
These charts reveal that the lost subscribers were more valuable than those who remained. Company B lost 292 customers who bought products four or more times before they disappeared. This kind of analysis shows the hidden costs of increasing mailing frequency. What else can we conclude from these numbers? That frequent mailing increased the number of sales and the number of unsubscribes. Marketers need to analyze those who leave, either through unsubscribing or their address becomes undeliverable. If you're losing your best customers, you need to find out why and what you can do about it.