Posted by Bethany Handy ● June 9, 2016

4 Tips to Help You Determine How Frequently You Should Be Emailing Your Database

Sending too many emails to your subscribers can annoy them and usually increases the number of people who unsubscribe.

Sending too few emails, on the other hand, can dilute and weaken your marketing efforts.


Apart from making sure your emails offer value, the key to successful email marketing is to optimize the frequency at which you send them based on your audience and their needs and expectations. Here are some tips that will help you.

Understand that Different Businesses and Audiences have Different Needs

Some say that you should send no more than one email a week, while others tell you that you can send as many as three emails a week. There is no fast and hard universal rule when it comes to what works best.

Rather, you have to determine what results you expect from your email marketing, whether it’s boosting conversions and sales, increasing your mailing list, generating leads, or building a sense of community, as well as how open your audience is to receiving emails, and only then can you discover the right email sending frequency for you. Your existing marketing data can help you figure this out.

Test Different Frequencies to Discover what Works Best for You

It is possible to test different email sending frequencies without alienating users. Begin by determining the specific results you want to achieve with the test, i.e. increasing click-through rates by 30% by sending three weekly emails instead of one, or decreasing unsubscription rates by 20% by sending one weekly email instead of three. Once your objectives are clear, choose the list segment you will target, containing your test to a sample size that is relevant enough to provide enough data.

Before you get started, establish baseline metrics for that sample, including open rate, click-through rate, conversions, and unsubscribe rate, against which you will compare your results. Your testing will be more accurate if you don’t make any changes to the structure and format of your current email templates.

Also, establish clear dates and hours for sending emails, eliminating day and time variables. Use surveys to ask email recipients how often they want email While they don’t usually provide definitive answers, email surveys can offer you valuable information about your recipients’ preferences.

Keep your surveys short and simple, asking only key questions such as:

  • How often do you want to receive mail from us?
  • Are you receiving too many emails from us?
  • Would you like more emails?

Don’t forget to mention what’s in it for them – i.e. their answers will enable you to provide them with a better newsletter experience.

More Often May Not be as Bad as Not Often Enough

While you don’t want to spam your target audience, it’s good to know that a study that has measured the effect of email sending frequency on both click-through rates and unsubscriber rates found that if you are already mailing your recipients once a week, mailing them more often, i.e. three times a week, doesn’t have any noticeable negative effects. On the contrary, it can increase click-rates, since recipients get to see your emails more often.

The message is quite clear: be active with your email marketing, testing, surveying, and analyzing relevant data to understand how much is too much. Because different audiences respond differently, testing and observing is the best way to determine optimal email sending frequency for your marketing campaign.

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Topics: Email Marketing