The best newsletter frequency for you

March 9, 2009

I’ve already discussed how I believe that every magazine website should have a newsletter and be building a database of interested readers, even if you have limited resources to send one out. There’s no better way to communicate with the largest amount of your readers (as RSS is still for the tech-savvy minority). And a recent article in Business Week discusses how newsletters are one of the best sources of online revenue. But once you’re collecting names, the next question becomes: how often should the newsletter be sent?

There are two main points to consider: what your readers will be receptive to, and what your staff can manage.

If you’re running on limited resources, I would recommend a monthly newsletter; less often than that and I don’t think you’re connecting often enough. Remember that it doesn’t have to be “written” per se; it’s more a reminder that you’re there and offering them value than necessarily more content. Plus by contacting readers monthly – and having them visit the site monthly – you’re impacting your metrics every month.

If possible – and if your site’s frequency of updates warrants it (and it should!) – weekly is best. You’ll increase your repeat traffic and keep readers informed of what’s new on your site.

And if you can manage it, you can also consider a daily newsletter. Dailies are tricky, and I wouldn’t want them to be my only newsletter (as many readers would never sign up for one), but they’re a great way to give your most engaged readers extra value. The key is to make them short and sweet. I’m having success with my Best Health Tip of the Day newsletter (a daily quick health tip with three related links), which was partly inspired by Runner’s World’s daily quote newsletter and Martha Stewart’s Cookie of the Day (which doesn’t seem to be on her site right now, although I am still getting it).

Of course, if possible, you may want to consider more than one newsletter, depending on how you want to engage with readers.

And above all, remember the golden rule: don’t annoy your readers – or, here, subscribers. Give them what you said you would and let them unsubscribe easily if they want to. You’ll be rewarded by happy subscribers and lots of click-throughs.


One Response to “The best newsletter frequency for you”

  1. Fiterati Weekly is my free, HTML e-mail newsletter service with fitness news, inspiration and 5 deals every week. We use the service to connect with subscribers the world over, with special emphasis on Toronto studios, boutiques and deals. We do that to reach out globally and serve our local community. From inside the newsletter, we often link out to other products and services or back to the website for related articles. We make the deals available through the newsletter only and only to subscribers, although anyone can become a subscriber. News is posted frequently on the blog/site. We can also segment the newsletter for specific campaigns to target demos in various markets. Advertisers support the business and it’s steadily growing financially stronger.
    Please check out back issues, if you like, via these links:
    Kat, you are wonderfully talented, bright and very generous with your knowledge. Thank you for your guidance to the best and most useful info to increase online success. It works for me!

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