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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Hourihan

How often should you email your list?

Keeping your brand in front of key prospects and clients will keep you top of mind

Did you know that Americans experience 5,000 advertisements per day?[1] With that type of exposure, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle if you don’t promote your business. But, at the same time, you can come off “spammy” by promoting too much.

So how do you find your sweet spot? When it comes to your contact list, let’s identify two factors that result in the appropriate amount of promotion.

Lead sources

When you build your contact list, it will typically consist of clients, prospects, and center of influence relationships. In this article, we are going to focus on your prospect list and where these contacts come from. Prospects can be added to your list voluntarily or involuntarily.

Voluntarily means they chose to opt-in to your email list by adding their contact information themselves; this can result from a “subscribe” call-to-action on your website or digital ad. Besides those two opt-ins, everything else is considered involuntarily. Involuntarily opting into your email list can include third party’s providing an email list, introductions at events or obtaining a list from an event you sponsored or were a vendor at, or even gathering business cards.

If you have built an email list mostly from voluntary opt-ins, you could assume your contacts are genuinely interested in your service offering, industry information, or any type of incentive you provided when they subscribed to your list.

If you have built an email list mostly from involuntary opt-ins, it’s difficult to say who is genuinely interested. Additionally, you have to build a trustworthy relationship in order to build brand awareness and brand acceptance with these subscribers.

Relative and timely content

Not all contacts on your email list are ready to buy, especially in our industry which has a longer sales cycle. Consistent email marketing can become more efficient and effective with relative and timely content. Offer your prospects some type of incentive to engage with your company, even if it’s not right away. Content such as infographics, checklists, videos, newsletters and more can position you as the trusted resource. Now, when these contacts receive emails from you they might be more inclined to engage and respond because you have demonstrated to be a trusted 401(k) resource for them.

So, what’s the sweet spot?

For retirement plan advisors, we say at minimum once a month and at maximum, once a week. In addition to these parameters, there are certain approaches you should take to improve your open rates, click-through rates, etc to ensure you’re meeting the contact’s needs while not wasting your time and money on creating low-return emails.

Be mindful of your contacts

The number one reason people unsubscribe from emails is that they get them too often from a single sender. And if you’re thinking of increasing the frequency of your emails, be mindful of the different types of contacts you have on your email list. A good way to avoid oversharing is to segment your email lists by prospects, clients, centers of influence, or even just general interest subscribers.

Welcome emails

Whether your contacts opt-in to your list voluntarily or involuntarily, you should always send a welcome email before you start sending out content. This gives contacts a chance to voluntarily unsubscribe if they don’t want to receive emails from you instead of marking your account as spam.

Keep your promises

If you incentivize website traffic to subscribe to your email list with industry updates, free content, or free advice, don’t let them down! Make sure to always deliver on what you promise your contacts. They’re expecting to hear from you.

Be consistent to build trust

Along with sending relevant content, be consistent! Whether that’s the first of every month, or every Monday morning, have a consistent email marketing strategy. We understand life happens, but don’t let one missed email deadline turn into a regular deal.

As you begin to identify your strategy for nurturing your email list, develop a calendar to follow and stick to it! Additionally, creating and distributing content is a major component of email marketing. You can read our article Content Marketing: Start with Strategy for our four simple steps on how to create a content marketing strategy!

Thanks for reading and Happy marketing!

About 401(k) Marketing

We believe the retirement plan industry can do better. Our clients are the best professional retirement plan advisors and TPAs in the business. They care deeply about saving America’s retirement future. We are proud to share their voices through industry writings, professionally-designed marketing materials (including websites), and expert content collateral. We lend support by promoting businesses through ongoing awareness campaigns.

About Retirement Plan Marketing

Retirement Plan Marketing is a product of 401(k) Marketing and is an ongoing turnkey marketing solution for retirement plan advisors. It is an easy-to-follow, consistent marketing program designed to get you noticed in your community and generate new retirement plan sales. When you deliver relevant plan sponsor content, you add value to your conversations and can work your way up to become known as the “go-to” retirement plan advisory office.

[1] Johnson, Caitlin. “Cutting Through Advertising Clutter.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 17 Sept. 2006,

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