Finding the Sweet Spot in Email Frequency

Finding the right email frequency for your subscribers can be a tricky proccess. Given the large number of emails received daily, you may be wondering if more is better? Unfortunately, there is no golden rule or “right” answer – it really depends on your audience.

That being said, there are a number of factors which can help you establish which email frequency is best for your particular audience. Read on to find out what they are.

Analyze Existing Data

Before figuring out your sweet spot, you have to take a careful look at what you’ve been doing so far. Make sure to examine your spam complaints and unsubscribe rates as they may help determine whether your frequency is too high. Of course, you can expect to have some unsubscribes with each email send – and there are a number of factors that can contribute to your unsubscribe rate – but if your unsubscribe rate is higher than 1%, you may want to consider if email frequency should be adjusted

Your engagement rates, like clicks and opens, will also give you an indicator if people are finding value in your emails.

In the unsubscribe form, we recommend including an optional field with a list of unsubscribe reasons (for example, “too frequent of emails”, “content isn’t relevant to me”, “I don’t recall signing up”, etc.). Using this method, your unsubscribers can opt to provide a little bit of feedback as they exit, giving you insights which can improve the prospect journey (including if email frequency was a factor in their disengagement!)

Consider Database Quality

How did you acquire your leads? Did they fill out a form on your website (an indicator that they are fairly “warm”)? Or, is your database primarily made up of trade show attendee list uploads (typically considered “colder” leads)? Have you interacted with them recently, or has it been a few months?

A good rule of thumb is, the better your audience knows your company/brand, the more frequently you can email them. Partners and existing customers, for instance, may be more receptive to receiving a few emails a week, in comparison to a cold lead list. Similarly, if you haven’t engaged in a while, it might be best to start leads off with a slower email drip, and slowly increase frequency, if you see engagement.

Test, Test, Test!

The best way to develop your optimal email frequency is to monitor your performance metrics while experimenting with different sending frequencies. Segmenting your audience based on subscriber activity and engagement can be a great way to understand how different segments of your audience are responding to changes in frequency, and design a strategy for each segment.

For people who are less engaged, slowing their email frequency might be a good idea, until they warm up. Marketing automation platforms like Marketo and Hubspot can help you automate this process using lists and workflows.

Give Your Audience Control

Remember, email marketing is about the user experience, and the buyer journey – and it’s important that your audience feels like they have options. It may be a good idea to give them the option to choose their preferred email frequency during the time of subscription or through re-engagement campaigns.

You can also include a “manage preferences” option at the bottom of every email, giving readers an alternative to unsubscribing – and giving you first hand feedback on the types of things they want to hear about. Presenting your subscribers with a choice can help avoid email fatigue and do wonders for your overall engagement rates.

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Samantha Warren is a digital marketing expert with over six years of experience in crafting 360° campaigns that marry creativity with strategy. She has helped clients in a variety of industries, including e-commerce, technology, and healthcare, to reach new heights with their marketing initiatives.