How Often Should You Send Marketing Emails? There's no magic number. Find your sweet spot.

By Renzo Costarella

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Timing is of huge importance when it comes to email marketing. With click-through rates (CTR) as low as 2 percent for some industries, one of the best ways to improve results is by scheduling your emails and knowing how often to send them.

According to reports, people hate receiving promotional emails unless they subscribed to the service or the email contains something "beneficial" for them. However, one major factor that impacts how someone feels about receiving an email is the timing.

Related: 5 Email Marketing Tweaks to Double Your Business Revenue

If you keep bombarding your email list with emails, whether promotional or non-promotional, your subscriber list will begin to shrink at a rapid pace. In fact, 69 percent users unsubscribe due to "too many emails."

Knowing the right number of emails can be very difficult, especially when experts suggest you to communicate more with your customers. Sales funnel specialist Jeremy Reeves advises businesses to stay in touch with their customers and communicate more often. But how often is too often? According to Direct Marketing Association's National Client Email report, most marketers (35 percent) send two to three emails a month. Nine percent of marketers send six to eight emails a month, and 19 percent send just one email a month.

However, this is just a marketer's perspective. Take a closer look at customers, and you'll realize the need to send more emails.

According to a MarketingSherpa survey, 61 percent of users prefer receiving a promotional email at least once a month. Surprisingly, 15 percent of users say they wouldn't mind receiving a promotional email every day. The same study concluded that 91 percent of users have no issues with promotional emails. However, experts believe such emails should be well targeted.

These numbers tell you the difference between expectations and results. However, remember that no rules are etched in stone when it comes to the frequency of promotional emails. According to these numbers, an email a week would do well. However, you need to find your own sweet spot.

Related: The Only Online Marketing Metric That Actually Matters

Here are a few factors to consider:

Industry stats.

Look at your competitors, and see how many emails they send in a week. Also check their return-on-investment, and consider learning from them. However, do not blatantly copy their strategy. They may be sending more emails because they have a huge number of subscribers or because they have a specific goal. Your strategy should be customized for your needs.

Nature of product or services.

The number of emails you send largely depends on what you're offering to your customers. For example, if you're selling air conditioners, you would be sending more emails in the summers than in winter. On the other hand, if you're running a news agency, you would be sending daily emails to keep people informed.

Nature of the email.

You should know the goal of your email. Are you trying to make people purchase a product, or are you trying to make them fill out a form? According to reports, your first email has the highest CTR, which means you have one chance to make it right. Try to come to the point in the first email, unless you're building curiosity.

Related: 5 Things That Have Always Worked For Digital Marketers, Until Now

Here are some more tips on how to set frequency:

  • Let your customers choose how many emails they wish to receive. You can have this option when they signup for newsletters, or you can get this information by starting a poll.
  • Pay attention to figures. See your opening rates and how many subscriptions and unsubscriptions you're getting. These numbers will help you bring changes to your plan, if necessary.
  • It is important to understand the fundamentals of engagement. If you have low engagement rates, you may improve your customer engagement rate by increasing or decreasing the number of emails sent per week. Engagement is basically getting your desired result out of an email. You need to be sure of the purpose of an email before you send it. Not all emails are sent with a purchase intent. Some emails can be non-promotional, just to add goodwill. However, make sure all your emails add value to your readers. Do not send an email that's spammy or does nothing for the user.

Around 32 percent of users unsubscribe due to "irrelevant or useless" email. Do not make the mistake of sending emails just for the sake of it, unless you wish to have fewer subscribers.

The takeaway.

Having one answer to this complex question isn't possible since businesses are different with different goals and clients. You need to stick to the testing approach and see what works and what doesn't work for you. A/B testing can be applied as well, but remember to pay attention to all important figures.

Renzo Costarella


Renzo Costarella is an entrepreneur, avid learner and startup enthusiast currently living in Silicon Valley. He consults for several startups in the San Francisco Bay area while pursuing a few ideas of his own.

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