If you have an email marketing strategy and an email newsletter with a growing subscriber list, you’re well on your way to marketing success. Email is a great way to deliver your content and increase your sale opportunities. However, it’s a delicate balance between under and over-sending emails. You’ll notice that email subscribers ebb and flow over time. The moral of the story is that email frequency matters. Let’s find out why.
Consequences of Undermailing
While sending fewer emails (undermailing) is often seen as a safer approach compared to overmailing, it comes with its own set of repercussions. One could assume that fewer emails mean less frustration and complaints, but this would be incorrect. Undermailing your subscribers can result in:
- Missed sale opportunities
- Decreased value for the consumer
- Lack of inbox recognition (leading to unsubscribes)
- Inconsistent reputation with subscribers
- A higher average complaint rate
Implications of Overmailing
Conversely, if a business is bombarding you with emails left, right and centre, the natural response is to opt-out or unsubscribe. The following can also occur as a result of overmailing:
- Less engagement and action
- A decreased open rate of emails
- Mailboxes may start to filter you out and flag you as spam
- More complaints
The Proof in the Pudding
Let’s back it up. Return Path conducted a study of over 199 million emails sent to more than 600,000 inboxes and found that as the average weekly frequency increased, open and read rates decreased, and subscriber complaints increased. But negative responses also occurred with too-few sends.
So, What’s the Magic Number?
The magic number for email frequency will differ from business to business. Email frequency is dependent on several variables such as the industry, the goal of the email, the value you provide and consistency.
Generally speaking, sending between 1–5 emails per week is seen as the sweet spot. Our recommendation is to start by sending one email per month. Keep track of consumer engagement and behaviour, and increase the frequency to one email every two weeks over time. Eventually, you may be able to get away with sending a weekly email or two if you have varying relevant content to share.
Consistency is Key
Once you set a schedule, you’ll need to stick to it. You can always increase the frequency, but sending emails sporadically won’t send a trustworthy message to your subscribers. Pro Tip: Consider creating a schedule or calendar with topic categories for each week’s emails to avoid losing momentum (and subscribers).
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