Choosing the Right E-Mail Frequency: Part I

Did you score your last email marketing campaign? What are the results? You probably raised your open or conversion rate, or doubled the average order. Your next thought is… “Oh! It’s great! I’ll do it again now!”

It’s obvious and predictable. You’ve got better results and you desire to improve them.

Unfortunately this does not always work, especially in email marketing. The mistake of many email marketers is that they just send more offers to all the same people on their list. Increasing the email frequency could be a negative tactic if you email more often than subscribers expect or want.

Keep in mind these factors if you think about sending more frequently to your list:

• Increased frequency should not lead to a great leap of bounces. Expect an increase in monthly bounces of perhaps 10 to 20 percent.

• Sending more frequently doesn’t necessarily increase the percentage of unsubscribes from each campaign.

You’ll see the result after several mailings. Doubling mailings would double the number of unsubscribes per month.

• More frequent mailings entail a growth in spam complaints per message or campaign. It’s reasonable to suppose that the spam complaint rate will double if you double frequency. More frequent mailings could trigger ISP blocks on your sending IP and strike you off ISP whitelists or third-party reputation lists. Furthermore, unhappy recipients who don’t actually report you to their ISPs will set blocks or filters within their own email programs to make you go away.

So, as you see over-mailing can lead to a “list fatigue”, remove requests and even spam complaints. The list fatigue can have a direct impact on the ability to get messages delivered. A modern email user has become very skillful at sorting the email to good and junk. People know what they want from email and how to deal with senders who don’t respect their inboxes. But if you email only a few times per month, you’re probably loosing customers and leaving money on the table. In this case, sending a little more frequently could actually do more good than harm.

So, where is the golden mean? How to find the right email frequency and stay on the top?

On one hand, you don’t want to put your recipients out by emailing too frequently. On the other, you need a permission that allows you email subscribers between scheduled campaigns without violating the original agreement.

Calculating the right email frequency is a little bit of art and science, but a whole success depends on how you listen to and respect the needs and wishes of your recipients.

Frequency doesn’t just mean how often you want or need to send messages to your list. You also have to keep in mind how often your recipients want to hear from you. Both factors are important and how you balance them will determine the success of your email campaign.