When we first started SHIFT’s weekly newsletter, SHIFT Happens, one of the questions I was asked by our leadership team was, why weekly? After all, going from 3 newsletters in 10 years to weekly seemed to be a bit of a jump. Here’s the short and simple reason why: in order to stay top of mind with your audience, you need frequent contact.
Nowhere is this more true than in a long sales cycle. For example, at one previous company I worked at, the sales cycle was roughly 140 days, give or take, since it was enterprise sales.
If you send a newsletter once a month, then in 140 days, you reach your prospective customers approximately 3 times, assuming they open each newsletter and read it. If your open rates are less than 100%, then there’s a chance, possibly a good chance, that your prospective customers never read what you have to say during that entire time.
However, if you send weekly, then you reach the prospective customer up to 20 times. Even if they only open 1 email in 5, you will still reach them 4 times. You get more chances to give value, to prove your worth, to demonstrate your expertise, with a weekly newsletter.
Another reason to send weekly? Sometimes, the window to be invited to submit a proposal for an RFP is stunningly short, as short as 30 days. If you send a monthly newsletter, your prospective customer might hear from you the week after the RFP was due, and you miss out for another year. If you send weekly, then you’re top of mind more frequently and can be invited to participate in more sales opportunities.
Of course, this is all contingent on being able to generate enough worthwhile content to maintain a weekly pace and keep the interest of your subscribers, but it’s a vital ingredient of any enterprise strategy for long sales cycles. If you’re currently sending monthly, try stepping up your pace to send weekly and see if it makes a difference in the performance of your email marketing program.
Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology