I am often asked about the timing of marketing messages – is every week too much? is once a month too few? how many tweets per week or day is OK? The answer is never simple but is does come down to ‘depends on what you’re saying and who you are saying it to’. Which probably doesn’t help a business owner greatly, so here’s some simple guidelines;

1. Think about your target audience. Understand their ‘media’ habits – when do they read emails, newspapers, or check social media pages. How engaged are they online compared to offline. You can find some of the information online in research papers etc, or from your own statistics – but the best way is to ask them! (use surveymonkey or equivalent)

2. Be relevant and valuable in your message. Relevant to your target audience – not just to you! This could be relevant based on what you know about the target audience or just relevant to the date (e.g Christmas), or topical news item (e.g Royal wedding). Give them something you know they will value – this can be simply information, an offer, news or a thank you. If one week you struggle to be highly relevant and valuable wait until you can.

3. Ask how well they know you. Current customers will be more open to receiving messages than cold suspects (it’s also easier to make them relevant). So an email once a week to current customers should be OK but not to cold suspects.

4. Think about the media you, and they, are using. Emails and direct mail are simpler, you control when it hits their inbox/doorstep (some days are better than others e.g mid week is best for BtoB email, end of week and weekends for BtoC). But for things like social media it’s more complicated. If your target has lots of followers, connections, friends etc they will be receiving lots of updates all the time so getting in front of them depends more on luck and arguably you need to post more often to hope to reach them.

5. Test and measure. Try different times and days and see how it affects your responses. Sounds simple, but many don’t do it (I am doing it myself today!)

The truth is if your messages were always perfectly relevant and valuable to your target audience they wouldn’t mind how often they heard from you. But they won’t be, I promise, and don’t even think they are – it’s probably impossible. However, you can get close.