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Show Highlights

Let’s say you’ve got a discount going on and you’re counting on your email mailing list to get some traction. How many times should you email? A lot? A little? Well, the answer depends on who you ask and your own business philosophy.

Ashkahn and Graham share Float On’s philosophy on reaching out to mailing lists and how they reached those conclusions.

Listen to Just the Audio

Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)

Ashkahn: Welcome.

Graham: Hello.

Ashkahn: Hey there.

Graham: Happy Father’s Day, everybody.

Ashkahn: Thank you. Happy Father’s Day to you, too.

Graham: Yeah, happy Flag Day. So my name is Graham.

Ashkahn: And my name’s Ashkahn.

Graham: And boy, do we have a question for you. For us, you have a question for us.

Ashkahn: What is it?

Graham: I don’t know why I say that wrong every time. The question is, thank you for asking, “how many times do you blast out to your mailing list for a single special that you run? Let’s say, for example, Father’s Day.”

Ashkahn: What a question.

Graham: Yeah, what a perfect question.

Ashkahn: Great.

Graham: So yeah, it says mailing list. Yeah, they’re basically saying, do we send out one email a few days before Father’s Day? Or, do we send out 10 emails in the two weeks leading up to-

Ashkahn: Assuming we have some deal, right?

Graham: Father’s Day?

Ashkahn: We have some sort of discount, or something?

Graham: Yeah. It’s just for a single special. So I assume just a discount special?

Ashkahn: Oh, you’re not just emailing people 10 times to remind them that Father’s Day is coming up, right?

Graham: Is it on your calendar yet? Actually it comes on most calendars.

Ashkahn: I guess I’m always a fan of not contacting people as much as I think maybe other businesses do sometimes. I mean, we’ve said this before when we talk about newsletters and content in general, you need to be providing some sort of value to people. So if you’re just sending a bunch of emails and the only content of the email is like, “Hey, reminder. We have this Father’s Day deal going on.” You’re probably getting into the range of being kind of annoying.

And I don’t know, I guess like abusing the fact that people have their emails- People don’t put their emails in your mailing list because they want to hear 10 times about a deal that you have going on. They want to learn more about floating, and hear about you, and they also want to know when specials come up. But you know. I feel like it needs to be a part of a greater balance.

Graham: Yeah. I guess I feel like for one-off specials, and it also partly depends on how long it’s running, I guess, too, right? Like a Father’s Day special that’s running for the entire month leading up to Father’s Day, as opposed to just like, “You can buy some cheap floats on Father’s Day,” are kind of two different things, you know?

Ashkahn: Right.

Graham: So I mean, for a single day one, just because that’s a little easier, I almost feel like I’d say one or two emails is good. I could see doing an email about a week to 10 days beforehand, letting people know that there’s this deal coming up, and then another email the day beforehand or the day of, saying, “Hey, this deal is going,” you know, “Take action.”

Ashkahn: Yeah, I mean, for us, even for a longer … We do almost a pretty much a month long December discount. And we send, How many, two emails? Three?

Graham: No, three or four.

Ashkahn: Four emails to our newsletter?

Graham: Three, or four, actually, is what I said.

Ashkahn: We’ve sent four before? I don’t think we’ve ever sent four emails.

Graham: Sometimes we do it, we’d send it leading up to December.

Ashkahn: So we’ll send one out to kick it off.

Graham: Yep. Or leading up to, to kicking it off. Potentially.

Ashkahn: Pre-Thanksgiving.

Graham: Yeah, exactly. Pre-Thanksgiving email. Then December 1st, email. Then an email two or three days before Christmas.

Ashkahn: Right.

Graham: And then an email the day before it ends.

Ashkahn: Because we usually go all the way through December.

Graham: Yeah, so when we do our special in December. We do from December 1st to December 31st, essentially. So the entire month of December. So then on December 30th, or 31st, we’ll send it off. But I think this last year, for example, we did three. It was like, kick it off at the beginning of December with an email, do an email about two days before Christmas, and then do another email on the 31st right before it runs out, I think, is what we did this last year.

Ashkahn: I think that’s more typical. I think we’ve even done two before. We tend to be on the lower side of it.

Graham: Yeah, for sure. And you really do. You’ll have professional marketers out there who really know their stuff who will encourage you to send out an email every single day leading up to a sale. And the thought process there is, and I guess this is just something where it depends on what kind of mailing list you’re cultivating, how you’re actually getting those names and putting them on there, but the thought is, you know, “A lot of email these days go into a promotions folder, or just go in to some place where people aren’t looking through them every single time they come.”

And you’re really quick to archive something, right? If you glance down, you see that there’s sale or whatever. And you don’t care, like whatever. You just it’s one little click, and it’s gone. But you might catch people, maybe for the first five days of the sale, they weren’t that interested, or they just archived without even seeing the contents of their entire promotions folder, and then on that sixth day or seventh day, they actually did look at it.

And so, from that perspective, that’s kind of the philosophy behind shooting out just a ridiculous amount of emails is it’s not a huge cost if they don’t pay attention. And one of those 10, you might catch more people than you did with the others. So I don’t know.

I mean, that’s not the personal email philosophy that Float On kind of subscribes to.

Ashkahn: Yeah. I mean, it just comes from my personal experience. That’s a very fast way to get me to unsubscribe from a mailing list, if I were to be on the receiving end of that.

Graham: Yeah, but when was the last time you bought a float? So are you really the prime candidate, you know?

Ashkahn: Yeah, I mean, but we also, when we send multiple emails, the emails contain more than just that, too, you know. We’ll send maybe one or two of those emails are pretty much just about the deal, and a couple more are about something else, and then we also have a reminder that this deal is going on in there.

Graham: Yeah, but our December one is kind of when we do a big yearly update. So we’ll just talk about cool things that have happened with floating, and Float On over the last year, and kind of share some news stories and cool things like that. And just have a little more value that we add than just saying you can get cheaper floats during this entire month, or something like that.

So I don’t know. This is one of those questions where it gets down to, again, like marketing philosophy a little bit, and also marketing strategy. I definitely know people who swear up and down, and again, are very successful, professional marketers, by doing giant amounts of emails going into every promotional blast that you do.

And then I know ones that are much more in that more reserved camp of, “No, email people when you have something important to say. And because you’re not speaking loudly so much of the rest of the time, then they pay attention to when you do have something of value to contribute.” And I don’t know, I guess that’s just where we’ve always sided. I’d kind of rather risk making less money, but have our customers respect us a little bit more for not abusing their inbox, and stuff like that.

We kind of just take this high road with a lot of Float On decisions, you know.

Ashkahn: Yeah, I think it’s just more important for us to cultivate a mailing list more than others. Like if we were a web business, and we were getting tons of people signing up for our mailing list every single day, and our kind of people that could buy our product are global, there’s a little bit more just churn, I think, you can expect to go through.

You’re like, “Okay, we’ll just keep blasting people, and we’ll lose a bunch of people, but that’s all right. If we can convert whatever half a percent, a quarter percent, or whatever it is, then that’s a bunch of money.” But it feels a little bit more like a community or something with a float center’s mailing list. These are the people in your neighborhood, and the people who actually come and actively float with you. And you know, it’s something that I feel like it’s nicer to have a site we better respect for, and to be trying to think about people being on your mailing list for more of the long-term.

Graham: Yeah, so if you just buy up someone else’s mailing list, you haven’t cultivated, I mean, yeah, blast out to it just try to grab as many you can.

Ashkahn: Slam it.

Graham: Grab the iron while it’s hot.

Yeah, I guess another strategy for a single day sale, too, is doing the lead-up. And this is something else, again, that Float On doesn’t do, because we really don’t like kind of abusing that mailing list setup, but you know, some places will do two weeks beforehand saying, “Hey, this deal is coming up. Look in your inbox for it in two weeks.” And then a week beforehand, same thing. You know, kind of building excitement is the idea.

And maybe add on things, you know, a week beforehand, you added on more things to be excited about than the two weeks beforehand. And then you do that at the three day mark, and then you do that one day beforehand. And then you launch an email day of, so it’s almost this more and more frequent just reminder that a single-day sale is coming up, and then launch it on that day. And that’s also another one of those that, like I said at the beginning, Float On doesn’t personally subscribe to, but is vetted out, and well-used by a lot of other email marketers out there.

Ashkahn: I guess it has to do with what time, what you’re doing this for, too. I imagine around holidays, people are just getting so many emails from so many companies that sending a couple extra helps you stay above the noise a little bit.

Graham: Yeah, and then the other ones start sending extra, and yeah, yeah, no it’s a-

Ashkahn: And creates noise, yeah. So it’s a horrible cycle, but.

Graham: But that’s the holidays for you, anyway, you know.

Yeah, I think that about covers it. There’s no right or wrong answer to-

Ashkahn: Yeah. You can test it. I mean, you can just look at the traction, and see how many sales you get. If you have some sort of special discount code, make a different one for these emails, and then the ones that you’re doing in your shop or whatever, but just try to track how many people are actually clicking through and purchasing. You know, that’s the nice thing about kind of internet marketing is you can get really good analytics and information.

Graham: Yeah, and this one, it does get philosophical, because if you have just a ton of unsubscribes, but you sold more floats, is that a success?

Ashkahn: I mean, I guess it just depends on the numbers. If you’re in a downward spiral, if every year, your mailing list is getting smaller and smaller because so many people are unsubscribing, and you can never make that number back, that’s probably bad. But if you get twice as many unsubscribes as you would have otherwise, but that’s still not a huge ding, and your market mailing list is getting bigger every year, that seems, from a monetary point of view,justifiable.

Graham: Yeah, I mean, those people who unsubscribed might also be people who if you hadn’t abused them and sent out that many letters would have bought something from an email in the future and now never will.

Ashkahn: Sure. But I mean, that’s just exactly the balance of this question, right? I mean it’s pretty much sales versus unsubscribes is what you’re trying to optimize for.

Graham: Yeah. So pay attention, you know, do some tests. The other part of it is not just that, it’s also just culture, right? We haven’t tested this. We’re probably not going to go and see if blasting out 10 times for a single deal works for us, because it’s just not the Float On way. So separate from any metrics, there’s also just deciding what kind of business you want to run, and what kind of personality it has, you know?

Ashkahn: Right. Yep. So yeah. I mean we’ve never tested it, because I think-

Graham: We just don’t be the kind of person.

Ashkahn: -even if we were to make more money doing it the other way, I don’t think we’d want to do it.

Graham: Yeah. And you should never test things where you know what the result would be, or it would be the same no matter what the outcome is-

Ashkahn: Uh-huh.

Graham: -is a good scientific lesson. Pull out your journal, and write that one down, it’s a good one.

Anything else to say? Well, if we’re on your mailing list, and you send us 10 emails for a deal, we’ll unsubscribe.

Ashkahn: We will unsubscribe, yep.

Graham: So don’t do that.

Ashkahn: Yeah. Cool.

Graham: Good question.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: Lots of different opinions on this one, for sure. Mine and Ashkahn’s, for example.

Ashkahn: If you guys have other questions, you can go over to FloatTankSolutions.com/podcast and send them in.

Graham: All right. Thanks everybody.

Ashkahn: All right.

Graham: Talk to you tomorrow.

Ashkahn: Right.

Graham: And the next day.

Ashkahn: Goodbye.

Graham: Probably the day after that, too.

Ashkahn: Bye. Bye.

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