The worst and best email times I’ve ever seen

Last year, I got an email out of nowhere. It looked a lot like spam and I was about to flag it.

Although I hesitated.

The name was familiar to me and it was the kind of thing I would sign up for. So I searched my inbox to see if I had any more of these people.

Turns out they sent frequent emails (if you can call one a week “frequent”) in 2016. Then they stopped.

Then I got an email in 2017 announcing a webinar.

One more in 2018 fixing his book.

Then in 2019, they started emailing roughly every week.

I wonder how many people rejected them or marked them as spam, like I was about to.

This kind of sloppy and clumsy email makes me sad.

On one level I get it, sometimes you need a break.

(Not that I’ve had one close to that long since I started …)

But if you take a break, don’t start over from scratch. Remind people who you are and why they are on your list. This is not the time to play cute – your topic should be “I know you haven’t heard from us in a while …”

If not something even clearer.

Then introduce yourself again.

Email is intimate. You can’t just disappear from people’s lives for two years and then start over like nothing else.

Here’s something even better than reminding your list of who you are:

Never stop sending emails.

Not for a moment.

And if you want a good relationship with people, forget about this nonsense once a week. Your circumstances may vary, but I can’t imagine emailing less than three times a week.

Daily emails are even better.

Daily Emails – Isn’t That Spam?

Spam, like so many other things, is subjective.

Sure, there are extreme cases. Few people would say that Nigerian princes who ask for your bank details count as legitimate communication.

But for less extreme cases, it is less clear.

Consider this:

You probably have someone in your life whom you would happily see every day. Maybe it’s a spouse, a child, or a best friend. Hell, it could be a fart.

Daily interaction with them is not “too much”, is it?

Of course not. In fact, the more the merrier.

Now think of someone who irritates you. Perhaps it is a simple clash of personalities. Perhaps he is a fundamentally bad and obnoxious person. Meeting with them once every two weeks is probably too frequent.

Now imagine someone better than all that.

If you meet someone like that, good luck.

And this is someone you enjoy hearing from. Partly because they are fun or interesting, but also because they add value to your life.

It could be a golden broth tip, a fresh new recipe, or just something else to smile about.

How much is too much for someone like that?

If they chose to communicate with you only once a month, how would you feel? If you knew that they could talk to you every day but wouldn’t bother, would you feel resentful about it?

You would have every right to do so.

As a professional, it is your duty to help people. Whether you’re a life-saving physician or an embarrassment-avoiding beauty consultant, do what’s right for your people and communicate with them frequently.

If people like you and add value to their lives, three emails a day is not too much. I know this because I’m on lists like that, and I’ve occasionally sent 20 emails for a few days. It’s too much if you’re clumsy about it.

So that’s it, right? Be charming (be it funny, inspirational, abrasive, weird, or whatever comes naturally to you …) and add value.

No, that is not.

Because there is a common misunderstanding about what it means to “add value” …

When people love ads

When some people (read: too many) talk about offering value, they mean that you should give away content without asking for anything in return.

They say people hate being sold so you should give away so many free things that they … I don’t know, they feel compelled to buy or something.

I don’t understand the reasoning.

The truth is that people love to be sold.

When the right offer is offered in the right way, it is exciting. Think about the last time you noticed the perfect offer. Maybe it was a device that will save you time at home, maybe it was training in something you’ve always dreamed of learning.

Whatever it was, you loved being sold.

This, then, is your business plan. Create dream deals for your market and then sell them that deal every day.

By the way, this is valuable to your readers. Informing them of the solutions to their problems counts, as long as it is genuine and you make it clear.

Being funny is valuable in itself, since who doesn’t like to laugh?

Telling a lovely story that lets you get away from your troubles for a while, well that’s valuable too.

Adding value is not always giving away free things. If you are entertaining enough, your presence becomes an asset. How else do you think comedians get paid?

If you make them smile with every email, your readers will never complain about hearing from you every day.

Emails in a nutshell

Summing up all of the above, here is the best email program:

Every day, be entertaining, charming, and fun. Add some kind of value to their lives, either with your charming presence or with some useful knowledge. Then ask about the sale.

Leave any steps out and it will seriously undermine your ability to send emails.

Follow the process and you will sell or build the relationship. Win win.