If I like a particular store and the products that they provide, I want to keep up with sales, discounts, new products, or special offers. I will subscribe to newsletters, Facebook, or Twitter updates so that I am aware of these offers. By signing up, I expect to receive updates; I don't think of these updates as spam and don't expect to receive spam. I like getting these emails. It keeps websites on my mind and sometimes reminds me that I haven't been shopping in a while, "I could probably use a new scarf now that it is winter." It is good for the merchant, because I am more likely to make a purchase on their website, and it is good for me, because I can use the coupon codes provided in the email to get a discount on the products I would like to purchase.
For those websites who send out emails every week, month, or a few times a year, I take a look at the emails or offers that they send. However, I have signed up for newsletters (or been automatically opted into a newsletter just by placing an order) that are sent out on a daily basis. If I open my emails every day, and every day I see an email from this same company telling me to make a purchase on their website, I tend to skip those emails. I readily delete my daily discounts from Express because there is no way that I am going to place an order on their website every day. Instead of these emails being beneficial, they become regular spam.
The difference between the emails I receive from companies I have purchased from and spam emails, is that I can unsubscribe from these emails. When it gets to that point, the regular newsletters are counterproductive. Instead of drawing my attention to attract sales, they turn me off from purchasing from that company and from receiving those emails.
It is a good idea to keep in touch with your existing customers, but don't annoy them by always being in their face. Some good tactics would be to send emails when there are things that are applicable to the customer specifically, to the season, or something big with your store.
- Specific emails to customers. This is probably the most ideal option, to only send emails to customers about things that they would care about. This does require that you have a good way of tracking customers' purchases and sending specific emails.
- Regular emails (weekly, monthly, etc) or specific to the season. People are busy and have lives, so nice little reminders are often welcome. At the beginning of winter you can send emails to customers to let them know winter products are on sale. When there is a holiday coming up you can specify gift ideas, holiday decor, or remind them to prepare for that holiday in any way that is applicable for your store.
- Specific to events of your store. These could include a new version of one of your products, an end of the season sale, or advances in your business such as new Facebook or Twitter pages, a new brick and mortar store, or any other event in your business' life that is worth celebrating.