Email Marketing Frequency: How Many Emails Should Businesses be Sending?


Chris Young

Email Marketing Frequency: How Many Emails Should Businesses be Sending?

Over the past several years, email marketing tactics have evolved to meet new customer demands and expectations.

Many companies have had to develop new ways to interact with their customers over email due to the sheer number of companies that are leveraging email marketing measures. Given the universality of email marketing, companies must be judicious with the emails that they do send, being cognizant of their customers who are undoubtedly receiving dozens of similar emails per day. 

Determining email frequency is both the art and the science of ascertaining the time, quantity, and quality of emails they should be sending for optimal engagement.

The Power of Email Marketing

The power of email marketing in the modern business landscape cannot be overstated. While much virtual ink has been spilled trying to determine whether email marketing is now “dead,” the obvious answer to this question is “no.” Or perhaps a more nuanced answer to this question is, “it’s only dead if you do it wrong.” Email marketing still stands as a formidable tool for businesses of all sizes, enabling them to forge and strengthen relationships with their customers, drive sales, and elevate brand awareness to unprecedented heights. According to a report by the Data & Marketing Association, for every dollar invested in email marketing, the average return on investment (ROI) is a staggering $42. 

Such impressive ROI figures don't happen by chance; they are a testament to the unmatched reach and personalization capabilities of email campaigns, especially when additional software is included in the mix. Imagine receiving an email with personalized product recommendations based on your previous purchases—this level of tailored content resonates with consumers and converts into sales. 

Email marketing can also act as a constant touchpoint, keeping your brand fresh in the minds of your audience. The success stories of businesses like Amazon, which credits a substantial portion of its revenue to email marketing, underscore the undeniable power of this channel.

Email Marketing Frequency: Too Much or Too Little?

Finding the right email marketing frequency is a dilemma that can make or break your business's online presence. Sending too many emails risks inundating your subscribers, leading to email fatigue and unsubscribes. It can leave a sour taste in their mouths, making them view your brand as spammy or needy. On the flip side, sending too few emails can result in a loss of engagement, missed opportunities, and customers failing to even remember that they gave you money once upon a time. 

Your audience may forget about your brand or become disengaged, and when they are finally ready to make a purchase, your business might not be top of mind. Striking the balance is essential; you want to stay in regular contact with your audience without overwhelming them. This balance ensures that your emails are welcomed, informative, and, ultimately, effective in driving sales and building lasting customer relationships. Remember, the goal is not just to send more emails but to send the right emails with the right messaging at the right time.

Understanding Subscriber Preferences

Understanding your subscribers' preferences and where your brand sits within their lives is the cornerstone of successful email marketing. It's akin to having the key to unlock the treasure chest of engagement and conversion. To achieve this, businesses must employ strategies to gather valuable data on subscriber expectations. Start by conducting surveys or using analytics tools to track open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates. These metrics offer insights into how your audience responds to different email frequencies. Unfortunately, these metrics will be different for each business so there is no hard and fast rule. While industry benchmarking can be used, the only tried and true way to discover your subscribers’ preferences is to test and see where the lines of “too much” and “too little” may be drawn.

Segmenting your email list based on subscriber behavior and preferences is also a great way to understand preferences. Some customers may prefer weekly updates, while others may prefer monthly newsletters or only want to hear from you when there's a sale or special offer. By creating segmented lists and letting customers choose which list they want to be on, you can ensure that your messages are not only well-received but also more likely to convert. Ultimately, the power of email marketing lies in its ability to offer personalized experiences, and understanding your subscribers' preferences is the compass that guides you on that path to success.

Segmenting Your Email List

Segmenting your email list is akin to crafting a personalized experience for each subscriber, and it's a pivotal strategy for optimizing your email marketing frequency. By dividing your audience based on criteria like demographics, engagement history, and purchase behavior, you can employ a tactic called “mass personalization.” This allows you to send email blasts to groups of people that share the same preferences while keeping marginal cost low. 

Segmenting your list allows you to match your email frequency to the unique needs and expectations of each group, increasing the likelihood of your messages resonating with them. This not only boosts engagement but also drives higher conversion rates, as subscribers receive content that aligns with their interests and readiness to make a purchase. Segmentation empowers businesses to strike the perfect balance in email marketing frequency, catering to the diverse preferences within their subscriber base and fostering stronger, more profitable customer relationships.

Crafting Engaging Email Content

Quality versus quantity is a debate that’s as old as humanity–McDonalds or bougie steak house? Both make money. While this is true of some products, this is not the case with content. Quality must be there and there has to be a certain amount of quantity. However, quality ought to take precedence. It does no good to bombard your email list every day or two with crummy offers or content–this will only serve to create fatigue in your customers and apathy towards your brand. 

To increase email frequency without overwhelming subscribers, your emails must consistently deliver value. Craft each message with care, offering content that educates, entertains, or solves a problem for your audience; if you’re going to ask for their attention, make sure they’re rewarded with something valuable. 

Use captivating subject lines to pique curiosity, and ensure that your emails are visually appealing and mobile-responsive. Your company should also leverage personalization to address recipients by name and tailor recommendations based on their past interactions with your brand. With all of the current tech out there, this is low-hanging fruit that cannot be ignored. 

Engaging email content not only keeps subscribers eagerly anticipating your messages but also helps build trust and loyalty over time. When subscribers consistently find value in your emails, they are more likely to welcome increased email frequency, knowing that each message brings something meaningful to their inbox. In this way, the quality of your email content can be the driving force behind finding the perfect email frequency for your unique audience.

Monitoring Open and Unsubscribe Rates

Monitoring open rates and unsubscribe rates is the thermometer which will tell you how “hot” your emails are. A healthy open rate typically hovers around 20% to 50%, although this can vary by industry and audience. If your open rates are significantly lower, it may indicate that you're sending emails too frequently and causing subscribers to disengage. Conversely, a surge in unsubscribe rates could be a sign of email overload.

To adjust your approach, conduct A/B testing to find the optimal frequency for your audience. Test different frequencies and measure how they impact open and unsubscribe rates. This can be a painful process in the short term. However, lacking this data in the long-term will ultimately cost your business much more than accidentally burning a few bridges at the beginning.

Beyond open and unsubscribe rates, pay attention to email click-through rates and conversion rates to see how your email campaigns are performing beyond just opens and unsubscribes. Regularly analyzing these metrics and being open to fine-tuning your strategy based on the data will help you maintain a healthy email marketing frequency that resonates with your subscribers and drives the desired results.

Leveraging Email Automation

Leveraging email automation is a game-changer when it comes to managing email frequency effectively. Tools such as Constant Contact, Mailchimp or HubSpot can be used to automatically send emails and give you a suite of tools for data analysis. Automation tools allow businesses to maintain a consistent and personalized email schedule without the need for constant manual intervention. By setting up automated workflows based on subscriber behavior or triggers, you can ensure that the right messages are sent to the right people at the right times. 

For instance, you can automate welcome series for new subscribers, birthday greetings, or cart abandonment emails. These automated sequences not only reduce the risk of overloading subscribers with too many emails but also ensure that they receive timely, relevant content. The best automation tools often come with features like dynamic content and personalization, which tailor messages to individual subscribers, making your emails more engaging and effective.

Wrapping Up

In the final analysis, finding the “who, what, and when” of email sequences is something that requires testing. Engaging a marketing agency such as Be More Digital can create a shortcut since we have prior experience with these rates in other companies. However, at the end of the day, every business is different and each business’ customer base wants to have different levels of contact. 

There are two important steps that companies can take to begin identifying the right email cadence for their companies. The first is to just get started–sending no emails is obviously the wrong number of emails. The best way to get started in doing this is by picking an email automation software, writing a few sequences and sending them out. The second thing that companies can do is to hire email experts like Be More Digital to help get to the right answer in a shorter amount of time. Having the expertise of a marketing agency can reduce the number of errors made and get to optimized open rates and conversion rates quickly. Our email specialists have decades of combined experience with a variety of other marketing tactics such as emails, SEO, PPC and more. Get in touch with our customer success team today to find out more about running email marketing or take a look at our case studies to see our experience.

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