How often should you send your email campaigns?

More often isn’t always better
Email Marketing - How Often?
Email Marketing – How Often?

Email marketing remains one of the strongest ways for companies to stay in touch with their customers. Emails keep their customers informed, and ensure that businesses stay in the forefront of customers’ mind when it comes time to make a purchase. One of the thorny issues for email marketing is the question of email campaign frequency. Just how often should you sent out your emails? Every day? Monthly? Quarterly?

We know from various email marketing research that sending out emails too often is one of the leading factors that leads readers to unsubscribe. The View from the Inbox study shows that 73% of users who unsubscribe from an email list report “too many emails” as their reason for unsubscribing!

This is a rough concept for some email marketers and business owners. It’s very tempting to think “If I send out more emails, I’ll get more click throughs, and more sales!”. Alas, this is not necessarily the case. Over-delivery can lower every email marketing metric you care about.

How often should you send out your email campaign?

Remember, there isn’t one answer that fits everyone. There are some models that work successfully sending out multiple email newsletters per day — though they are the exception. In a perfect world, you would do random sampling and testing within your email campaigns, but you need several thousand subscribers before you can obtain statistically significant data that way.

Instead, we’re going to look at some overall rules of thumb, based on research conducted by many email marketing companies. The results should be applicable to most businesses. If your email marketing campaign falls within these ranges, you should be safely outside of any danger zones.

Send email newsletters a minimum of once per month: anything less than once per month is no longer a regular update. The email newsletters start to get so far apart that you’ll lose the big advantages of email marketing — you’re no longer keeping your company in the forefront of customers’ minds. If you have important news you could send out a mass email about it, but it’s not really a newsletter if it isn’t regular. Delivery once per month can be very effective. It’s just inside the timeline that your customers will remember you, and when it comes time to make a purchase decision, you’ll be in their head.

Send email newsletters a maximum of once per week: the weekly email newsletter is a very effective frequency (as are frequencies in between). While some companies can have very effective daily email campaigns, many people will simply unsubscribe or even report the emails as spam. Clickthroughs and opens both drop dramatically once you get more frequent than weekly. Some larger companies have made their email campaign frequency research public, and showed that even dropping from twice per week down to once per week lowered unsubscribes by over 50% with more than an 80% increase in opens. Most importantly, email newsletters delivered once per week convert to higher sales.

Content is crucial

Finally, any time we’re talking about the idea email campaign frequency, it’s worth mentioning that the most important factor is the quality of the content in your e-newsletters. The best way to lower unsubscribes and increase clickthroughs is to increase the value and quality of the content of your email campaign. Don’t try to come up with “filler” content to justify a more frequent email schedule.

If you’re considering an email campaign more frequent than once per week, you have to ask yourself whether the information is really that time-sensitive. If it isn’t – are you sure it can’t be saved for the weekly e-newsletter? And if it is time-sensitive, how can you tell your customers sooner?

Be sure that your e-newsletter is providing useful information to your customers — not just information that they may not know, but information that they care about. Make sure it’s presented in an attractive, understandable way, and that it includes calls to action that allow you to measure the results of your campaign.

Kathryn Shaw
Project Manager
Date Posted
13th October 2015
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