Ryan Allis

Ryan Allis is the CEO and co-founder of iContact, a leading on-demand email marketing service. As CEO, he's managed iContact from its start in July 2003 to its current size with more than 90 employees and 25,000 customers worldwide. In 2005, Ryan was named by BusinessWeek as one of the "Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25." Ryan is also the author book Zero to One Million: How I Built a Company To $1 Million in Sales and How You Can Too, published by McGraw-Hill. As an email marketing expert, Ryan will provide guidance in his blog posts on how to enhance and improve your online marketing campaigns.

I hope everyone had a great and relaxing Fourth of July weekend, and that you are gearing your business up for the second half of summer. Over the course of the summer months, at least in the United States, millions of people go on vacation, take a break from work and travel away from home. As email marketers, it can be hard to gauge the frequency with which to send your email newsletters over the summer. You may be asking: is it even worth it to send messages at all over the summer because so many of my customers may be on vacation? The short answer is yes, and here’s why.

A 2007 study from eMarketer posted on Emaillabs.com shows that even while on vacation, 77% of people ages 22-34 check their personal email, along with 64% of people 35-45, 58% of people 46-59, and 60% of people 60-70. For the 22-34 demographic, 39% still check their work email while on vacation, as compared to 50% of the 35-45 population and 40% of people 46-59.

What these statistics should show you is that even during the summer months or times when many people are on vacation, a large number of people in each demographic are still checking their emails. Not only should you feel comfortable sending out your messages over the summer, it’s also a solid business strategy to keep your brand as visible as possible to your customers during these months.

That being said, you should not overflow your subscribers’ inboxes during the summer or the holiday season (or really any other time) either. This same study found that nearly 50% of people who received excess amounts of email during their vacations simply deleted the emails. Many others reported the senders to their ISPs as spammers, or unsubscribed from their newsletters altogether. However, the study also found that over 40% said excess email did not affect their daily habits, but in the end it’s best not to be the sender that clogs email inboxes (Source: Fourth Annual Holiday Email Consumer Survey 2008, published by Return Path).

The remedy for these problems is to be consistent with how many messages you send out per month. If you use iContact as your email marketing service, you can predetermine the date and time you want your messages to be sent out. Using this “Schedule-for-later” feature allows you to determine the number of messages you want to send out ahead of time as well as when to send them. This way, you can always remain cognizant about the number of messages you are sending, and when they are landing in your subscribers’ inboxes.

Thanks for reading and I’ll be back in a few days to discuss more email marketing advice and best practices.


Ryan Allis

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