How Often Should Email Marketing Be Sent?
From monthly newsletters to constant contact drip marketing, emails are a tricky beast.
Most businesses follow the crowd. They send the average number of emails for the industry and call it a day. But, if you really want to amplify your email marketing, you must master your email frequency. You must know the line between too few, too many, and just enough emails.
And, unsurprisingly, it’s hard to find that point of diminishing returns!
To help you understand this finicky aspect of email marketing, I’ve compiled this handy guide. Keep scrolling to learn more about how, when, and why to send marketing emails. I’ve even included a few tips to help you nail your email frequencies.
What Happens If You Don’t Send Enough Emails?
Now, we need to understand why it’s important to schedule your campaigns.
Sending emails is not enough. You need to have a clear goal, a decent schedule, and some savvy business ideas. Otherwise, you risk losing subscribers.
On your journey to find the sweet spot, you’ll probably start small. A low email frequency is both frugal (as many platforms charge based on how many emails you send) and logical. Most businesses build from here, slowly increasing email frequencies until they find the point of diminishing returns.
In plainer language: They ramp up their weekly emails until the results are suboptimal. Generally, these results are defined by a combination of how many people unsubscribe and how much revenue the campaigns generate.
Fewer Emails Mean Less Engagement
One of the biggest consequences of a suboptimal email frequency is the resulting engagement level. Some brands are perfectly fine with weekly emails, but that doesn’t mean they’re getting the most for their money!
This is also the perfect time to mention that establishing steady email frequencies is particularly important during the early phases of the customer lifecycle. More precisely, you want to ensure customers know what to expect during the welcome flow.
Yes, this takes work! You’ll need to do some testing to find the perfect email frequency, but the results pay for themselves. An established email cadence gives customers something to look forward to, and it makes it super easy for your team to plan automated emails.
A Low Email Cadence Negatively Impacts Brand Awareness
The right email marketing frequency will boost your brand’s visibility. However, a low email frequency will do the exact opposite! Instead of being at the forefront of your audience’s mind, you’ll become more background noise.
Obviously, we don’t want that.
And guess what? Email service providers don’t want it, either. Many prominent providers filter out brands that send infrequent marketing emails. Similarly, most marketing automation software is built to send at least one email per week.
I’m not saying that the answer is to drown your subscribers in content. Rather, I’m pointing out that a regular email cadence gives you the biggest return on your investment.
Your Less-Than-Weekly Emails Could Be Lowering Your Visibility
While I’m on the topic, let’s talk about inbox visibility. This fancy term is used to describe how much a campaign stands out in a subscriber’s inbox.
Obviously, this is dictated by many factors. Your preview text and subject lines are two of the big players in this area. That being said, the number of emails you send per week also influences your visibility!
If you’re only sending emails every few weeks, you’re not giving customers many chances to see your stuff.
What Happens If Your Email Marketing Frequency Is Too High?
All that said, there’s also such a thing as too many marketing emails!
Yep! There’s such a thing as both too few and too many emails.
So, “How often should you send marketing emails?”
Like any romance on primetime television, the answer is complicated.
The Wrong Email Marketing Frequency Can Impact Your Subscribers
One of the most obvious consequences of over-sharing is a high unsubscribe rate.
An excessively high email marketing frequency can earn you more than just lapsed subscribers, though! If your email campaigns are annoying enough, you may find yourself on the wrong end of spam complaints, which will eventually lead to blacklisting and blocking.
While email marketing tactics like personalization can help you increase the number of emails you send per week, they can’t save you from an overblown marketing strategy. Even the most relevant campaigns grow stale, so stick to the right email frequency!
Your Open Rates May Suffer, Too!
Another consequence of too many emails is a lower open rate.
Think about it this way: Let’s say you get 500 cell phone calls daily, and 499 of them are spam. Most people are going to block the numbers calling and ignore future calls, right? The same is true for email marketing!
If you bother people enough, they’ll ignore you.
And, as noted in the last section, ignoring a brand is the best outcome. Customers may even resort to reporting and blocking particularly pesky marketing emails.
So, if there’s such a thing as an extreme high and low for your email marketing frequency, how can you figure out the sweet spot?
What Factors Influence Your Email Marketing Campaigns?
You might need to take a step back to truly understand your send frequency. After all, there are many moving parts in marketing. What works for some businesses won’t work for others, and vice versa.
The Buyer’s Journey Is More Important Than You’d Think
One of the first factors to consider as you search for the sweet spot is the recipient’s status. More specifically, you want to know where your subscribers are on the buyer’s journey and sales funnel.
Think of it this way: New subscribers are often more hesitant to engage with a brand, and inundating these users with constant messages is a recipe for disaster.
However, returning customers and loyal subscribers are more inclined to enjoy frequent messages. At this stage in the relationship, these individuals can be considered your business’ friends. These engaged audience members form a critical audience, and you can (usually) use a faster send cadence for them.
(And, as a bonus, knowing where your customers are in the cycle also lets you send more targeted messages and high-quality content!)
Certain KPIs Can Help You Figure Out Your Emailing Frequency
Data-wise, there are x metrics to consider as you find the optimal frequency. Namely, you’ll want to study the following KPIs:
- Click-Through Rates show you how many people are progressing down your sales funnel
- Conversion Rates tell you how often your subscriber list completes the desired action
- Open Rates are all about your overall views
- Return on Investment (ROI) measures your gains against an email campaign’s cost
- Social Share Rates (sometimes known as “email forward rates”) tell you if people are sharing your content
Now, you won’t always be studying the same key performance indicators. More often than not, you’ll be citing different metrics for each campaign.
Think about it for a moment.
If your email marketing campaigns aim to increase traffic to your website, your ROI isn’t going to be your primary concern. However, that very metric will be your greatest asset if you design an email strategy around boosting sales.
Summarily, you want to set expectations early and figure out a plan before you look for the best frequency.
Check Your Industry Averages
If asked, most marketers will admit to studying the competition. In fact, knowing your enemy is half the battle!
One of the best ways to begin your search for your subscribers’ preferred frequency is to investigate your industry’s standards. A simple Google search will probably give you plenty of data, and those numbers can help you set your email preferences.
“But,” some readers may be saying, “Why would my business’ industry influence my email program?”
Well, my curious friends, it boils down to your target audience.
Some industries — such as clothing and jewelry — have high demand and frequent purchases. A business within this sector can expect frequent purchases and high engagement levels.
However, there are many other industries that do not have these benefits. If you need an example of such a brand, think about a SaaS company. These brands have longer lifecycles and lower sales.
So, your marketing approach to these brands will be different!
Tips to Help You Determine How Often to Send Marketing Emails
While I can’t tell you what the ideal email marketing frequency is for your business, I can certainly help you find the answer!
Here are some handy tips to help you manage your email marketing.
Have a Plan Before You Start Your Email Marketing
One of the best practices for this complex industry is to plan ahead.
Aside from knowing what your overall vibe should be, you’ll also want to establish your basic flows. Set up your standardized email campaigns first, and build from there.
Your first start should be your welcome series. After all, this is every customer’s introduction to your brand! Make sure this flow is polished and refined. Then, define the email marketing frequency. Many brands have a 1–3 email per week template for their introductions.
You should also set up any additional email campaigns, such as loyalty rewards and informational flows.
Innovate and Organize With Segments
As you establish an email frequency, keep tabs on your most active subscribers. These valuable individuals are your brand’s most loyal consumers! Give them a unique segment and flag them as prime targets for future drip campaigns.
Keep going from there, too!
Set up automated segments to maintain a handy database of customers. Again, every stage of the customer lifecycle is different, and it pays to know where everyone is on their individual journey. Their status informs your marketing emails, and it’s worth the extra few seconds to ensure everyone has the perfect email frequency for their needs.
Test That Email Frequency
Finally, don’t be afraid of some A/B testing!
You may lose some early subscribers, but this process is well worth its upfront costs. A solid A/B test tells you more than how often to send marketing emails. It can also help you understand your target audience and build more relevant campaigns.
These sandboxes are perfect ways to try out a new subject line or tweak the formatting for your monthly emails. And, if the results are less than satisfactory, it’s easy to switch back!
Reduce Your Stress and Let the Pros Handle Your Email Frequency
Does this feel like a bit too much?
There’s so much to consider as you plan your marketing campaigns, and most business owners don’t have enough time to keep an eye on a campaign monitor. Ultimately, sending frequency is just another problem to deal with, and I know how long an entrepreneur’s to-do list can be.
Instead of stressing yourself out, let the pros handle it!
Get in touch with me, and let’s schedule a free strategy session. Together, we’ll brainstorm the right digital marketing plan for your unique enterprise. And I’ll consider everything — from your purchase cycle to your sender reputation. We’ll also chat about how a skilled team of experts can help you craft a remarkable email marketing strategy.
While you wait for your appointment, don’t forget to browse the rest of my blog for more handy tips and tricks to amplify every email campaign. You can also check out the sidebar to sign up for a free downloadable strategy guide!