Email overload is a familiar feeling. Most of us have somehow found ourselves on mailing lists that overdo it, flooding our inboxes with daily messages that get promptly deleted.
This experience looms large over your company’s own email marketing strategy. Here at enCOMPASS, we hear from a lot of business owners who understand the value in regular email blasts but are also wary of giving their customers email fatigue. Where is the line? How many marketing emails do you really need to send… and how many is too many?
A Rule of Thumb
There’s no easy or straightforward answer to this question, and that’s because all businesses are different. The “magic number” that provides one company with its email marketing sweet spot may be far too many for other businesses, or far too few.
At enCOMPASS, we have a very general rule of thumb: For most of our non e-commerce clients, we recommend a single monthly marketing email, along with one “resend” for subscribers who don’t get around to opening it the first time around.
We would recommend this approach as a baseline to start data collection; however, we would also encourage you to think through a few other factors that may influence your decision about how many marketing emails to send.
Consider Customer Lifecycle
One area in which businesses can differ quite substantially is in customer lifecycle. This should be a major factor when determining the frequency of your email marketing agenda.
For example, clothing stores tend to have a fairly high repeat purchase frequency. It wouldn’t be unusual for someone to make a purchase from their favorite clothing store once every month or two, perhaps even more often than that. For a successful clothing brand, then, sending more frequent marketing emails can be a smart way to keep their line top-of-mind, or to let customers know about new arrivals, seasonal sales, and other promotions.
By contrast, if your business sells a particular piece of software that only needs updating every three or four years, sending a weekly email blast would be overzealous. Doing something monthly, or maybe even every other month, is probably all you would need to make sure your customers remember you.
The bottom line: The frequency of marketing emails should be determined at least partly by the kind of business you have, and by what that means for the consumer experience.
Think About Your Goals
It’s also important to take a step back and review your email marketing goals. What are you trying to accomplish through your email marketing campaign? An increase in website traffic? A big boost in sales? The loyalty of your subscribers? The goal you set should be another significant factor in determining your email marketing frequency.
For example, if your email marketing campaign is intended solely to drive people to your website, or to rack up sales, then you may want to err on the side of greater frequency. Provide plenty of chances for your subscribers to click through to your site, to browse your ecommerce store, or to complete a purchase.
But if you’re in a more service-focused industry where you may need to reach out to your clients with urgent questions or updates, it makes less sense to clog their inbox with overenthusiastic marketing emails. A more restrained approach can better help you reach your marketing goals.
Keep an Eye on Email Metrics
One more thought regarding email marketing frequency: You may decide to adjust your send rate on the fly. The best reason to do this is because you’re following the metrics and determine that your current approach isn’t working.
For example, some companies find that sending emails too frequently actually causes them to wind up in spam folders. If you notice a sharp downturn in your open rates, that could be why. You may be able to course-correct by dropping the frequency of your emails.
Along the same lines, watch for the number of people who choose to unsubscribe from your email list. If you see a significant uptick in this number, that’s a pretty clear red flag that something isn’t working. It could be that you’re not offering valuable content, but it could just as easily be that you’re overburdening your subscribers with too many emails.
Make an Informed Choice About Email Marketing
Again, many of our clients generally find great success with a single monthly e-newsletter, along with a resend for those who miss it the first time. Your mileage may vary. As you consider the right email send rate for your business, there are plenty of factors to keep in mind.
Do you have more questions about email marketing? We’d love to talk with you further, and to walk you through some strategies that might help you see significant results. Reach out to the team at enCOMPASS any time.
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