Discover more from Erica Drayton Writes
How Many Emails is Too Many to Send?
My very long answer.
The question that seems to be on the minds of two types of ‘Stackers:
The paid option (who needs this to be a sustainable career)
is: How many emails should I send each week?
I think we are all asking the wrong question. What we should be asking is: What kind of Substack newsletter am I looking to write? The answer to this will tell us quite emphatically how many emails that type of Substack requires in order to work. Allow me to dive in with some examples, and I’m gonna name name’s here:
Daily Newsletters I subscribe to:of Roulette Weal fame comes to mind for fiction writing that he delivers on the daily and about to hit 1000 fiction stories! Wow!
Seth Godin has a daily newsletter where they can range anywhere from one sentence to several paragraphs in length. The topics are based on whatever wealth of knowledge he wants to impart on a daily basis. He’s been keeping up a daily email for decades (?) now!
Morning Brew is more for daily news that’s consolidated into bite sized nuggets. I love it because it lets me know what’s going on in the world without needed to travel to sites with tons of pop-ups (that I hate).
Multi-Emails a week Newsletters I subscribe to:
Keeping on track with Morning Brew, I want to mention Tech Brew. They only send an email every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Again, I’m a techie person and there are some pieces of news contained in these emails that may not be featured in the Morning Brew I get.
Similar to Tech Brew is The Publish Press. They also email on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and they tend to have a different set of stories they find interesting that keeps me up to date on entertainment and world news.
Weekly Email Newsletters I subscribe to:has his weekly Top 10 list every Friday. If it doesn't hit my inbox I'm sure I'd be concerned (at least) and wondering where it is. I basically set my calendar and know what day of the week it is based on ending my Friday by reading his email. There is always something worth reading and learning as he shares things from his past life, present life, and future going’s on.
On the flip side there’swho delivers short fiction every single Sunday. A great way to welcome the work week to read his short, one sitting, story.
There’s alsowho delivers short fiction every single Thursday.
One of my favorite illustrators on Substack would have to beof . His work is amazing and he delivers an email every week, about to hit 190 tomorrow! That's some consistency if I ever heard. And aside from his weekly emails that I read he also has a podcast and other great news he emails throughout the week.
Monthly Email Newsletters I subscribe to:
The Agatha Christie Newsletter comes to mind as it doesn’t have a set day of the month that it comes out so whenever it hits my inbox it’s always a surprise. But everything contained within is just what a lover of Agatha Christie (such as myself) loves and I read every line and click every link. I’ve even made a few choice purchases based on their recommendation.
Odd Days Email Delivery Newsletters I subscribe to:
Then there’sthat delivers serial stories every other day. Depending on what you like or want to follow there are options or just read them all.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the one who I consider the OG, even though there are other’s who’ve been doing this far longer,, who is sometimes weekly, sometimes not. But whenever she posts something I will always stop to read it. I can't think of anyone else on Substack whose pieces inspire me to write as much as I do. It's the main reason why I'm writing this in the first place, actually! is another one who, I think, and please correct me Simon if I get this wrong, you deliver fiction (serial?) every week and then non-fiction every four days or so? I tend to stick more with the non-fiction stuff he emails and similar to Elle, I find myself inspired to comment/write immediately after reading.
Why have I shared this list of newsletters that I subscribe to if not to maybe get you interested in subscribing to them too cause they are all awesome! Really, I am trying to make a point.
FREQUENCY IF RELATIVE
Everyone who has a newsletter has an idea of what they are putting into what they are sending and the person on the receiving end, likely, has an understanding of what to expect when they open that email.
Think about yourself and the many emails you receive, from whom, how often, what is the content, how much time are you spending reading what they’ve sent?
I will read over and over again what I’ve written and if I feel myself starting to get bored with my own words then it means someone else might and I edit accordingly. Or if I think I’m possibly emailing too much when I used to just be a once a month gal and I see people unsubscribing the reason can be two-fold: 1) My content is boring and pointless and annoying or 2) My frequency jarred some people and I gave no warning or context as to why I changed. This can go for if you deliver daily and change to monthly and visa versa. All it takes is simply informing your audience of what’s coming and sticking to that change if you mean it.
ONE LAST EXAMPLE
I leave you with myself as an example. I made two major changes which, if I did it right, my subscribers will not have noticed at all.
I informed everyone in my monthly email on May 1st that I was going to be sending an email daily that will consist of 100-word stories.
I decided (very spur of the moment) that I wanted to store these stories someplace separate from my main Substack (the why of it all is for another email) and I quietly createdand moved my list over there. Boom done.
What surprised me was how many people have unsubscribed since I transitioned from my once a month email to my daily emails: ZERO!
Not only has no one unsubscribed but my percentages for people opening emails has increased to above 40% where before it used to hover around 15%.
Have I figured out what’s working? No idea, but my fiction is resonating and that’s what I always wanted. I’ll keep up my dailies and let’s say in 6 months I’ll report back on how it’s going. Hopefully I will have been consistent with my delivery in that time and will have nothing but good news to share.
What is your Substack/Newsletter frequency? How did you ultimately decide? Was it trial and error? Was there subscriber input? Tell all in the comments! I’d love to start the conversation going and going and going…