A member of the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook asked:
I write a weekly eNewsletter that takes me about 1 hour to put together each week and gets about a 30% open rate within our membership of 120 businesses. I’m thinking maybe an every-other-week eNewsletter may be more effective. How often do you put out your newsletter? Any advice?
There are two things to consider with this question:
- Every chamber, and thus their member audience, is different.
- The content should play a role in the distribution frequency.
How Often Should We Send a Newsletter?
How often you distribute a chamber e-newsletter should depend on your audience’s need and interest in it. This is based on the content. The only way to know what your members want is to either ask them – assuming they know and will tell you – or try different send times/frequencies and see how it effects the open rate.
30% open rate is fairly good. You’ll never get 100%, or anything close, unless there’s a personal reason for every member to open it. Considering some members can’t even remember their email password, it’s probably just a pipe dream to think of anything above 50%.
What’s in the Newsletter?
Content matters. If you want members to open it, there must be a reason for them to do so. A list of the newest members to join and a synopsis of the latest meeting notes, probably aren’t it. The easy answer is you must provide “meaningful content” to drive open rates. The hard part is there’s not an exact definition of meaningful content. Different members have different interests.
Anissa Freeman Starnes from Constant Contact had some great advice for chambers:
I would recommend that all Chambers segment your lists so that you are only sending members emails that they want to receive. If you are doing daily (yes, some do), weekly and monthly – ask your members which ones they want to get and don’t blanket all members with all emails.
Also segment by interests – governmental affairs, education, economic development, tourism etc. and have the members opt in to which emails they want to get. I recommend a minimum of twice a year to send out a profile update to all members asking them to reconfirm their interests and frequency to which they want to be communicated with.
Don’t reduce your sends just because your open rate is lower than you imagine it should be. If you give your audience the ability to choose how often they hear from you, you’ll experience less unsubscribes and more happy recipients.
Guest post by Christina Green
Image credit: Norma Davey