Now that you’ve put in all the hard work to find subscribers and build up your email list, let’s move on to the next big question: how often should you bombard those nice folks with emails?
A study conducted earlier this year by Technology Advice shows that the number one reason subscribers end up eventually reporting marketing emails as spam is because they receive way too many of them. So it’s not super surprising that, when asked what businesses could be doing better, respondents said, “Send less frequent emails.”
Sending out too many marketing emails can cause some undesired ripple effects as well. Besides getting chucked into the dreaded spam folder, recipients tend to gradually disengage from emails that show up too often, even if they responded positively to earlier marketing emails.
Okay, point made—too many emails are bad. So what’s the just-right amount that you should be pestering your subscribers?
Email Marketing: How Much Is Too Much?
This is one question that doesn’t have a simple answer. The number of marketing emails that subscribers will welcome varies considerably depending on your business niche, your audience, and a bunch of other factors.
In the 2015 National Client Email report from the UK Direct Marketing Association, the largest segment of respondents (35 percent) sends out emails 2 to 3 times per month, a slight decrease from the previous year. The change in tactics seems to be working, though: 48 percent of respondents said delivery rate had increased over the last 12 months, 55 percent reported open rates had increased, and 44 percent said click-through rates had increased.
Similar research from Marketing Sherpa asked subscribers (rather than marketers) how often they’d like to receive promotional emails. Nearly 90 percent said at least monthly, and 60 percent said at least weekly.
We can’t tell you what the perfect number is for you, but based on this kind of industry data, sending a campaign anywhere from weekly to monthly shouldn’t end up overwhelming your mailing list. Regardless of the exact schedule though, do let your subscribers know what it’s going to be ahead of time and then stick to it. If they signed up to be notified of seasonal sales and end up receiving a weekly newsletter instead, that’s a great way to get yourself tagged as a spambot.
Emailing Too Little
Although most advice on the subject of email marketing frequency focuses on the idea of not going overboard, don’t forget that it’s possible to err on the side of not sending emails often enough, too. Marketing emails received only sporadically can make the sender look flaky and disorganized. And when too much time goes by in between emails, recipients have a greater tendency to complain about receiving them.
Plus, since customers do need to be reminded that you exist from time to time, occasional emails won’t pack as effective a punch as a well-planned, well-executed email marketing campaign.
Quality Trumps Quantity
While there’s no denying that frequency matters in terms of ensuring a successful email marketing campaign, don’t get so caught up in your handy-dandy email scheduler that you forget the one thing that keeps subscribers happiest: delivering high-quality content.
Whether you’re emailing everyone on your list 3 times a month or 3 times a day (we don’t recommend the latter, by the way), your subscribers will start dropping like flies if you fail to deliver relevant, valuable content. Segment, personalize, do whatever you need to do to your emails that reminds your subscribers of the reason they love your business in the first place.
Just make sure not to remind them too often.