Email Marketing Frequency Best Practices You Need to Know

June 15, 2017

Email Marketing

email marketing frequency best practices

Mr. Smith owns a furniture establishment that has a retail location, as well as an online store. And as with many other business owners, he has in place a method to collect the email addresses of his customers and other interested parties.


Mr. Smith regularly sends out emails to his list but isn't getting any measurable results. So what's the problem?


Email marketing is one of the best tools there is for reaching an extremely targeted audience full of likely buyers, but only if it's done right.


When done wrong, it brings dismal results and could possibly have subscribers heading for the unsubscribe link or voicing their discontent on social media. And no one wants that! However, there is no one right way to perform email marketing which only compounds the problem.


Email marketing is a delicate balance of carefully crafted headlines, content, the frequency of email delivery and more.


Therefore, it would behoove Mr. Smith to become knowledgeable in email marketing frequency best practices, as well as any other effective tactics for providing positive email marketing results.


Any amount of time he spends learning the intricacies and methodology of email marketing is definitely time well spent and will give him a much better chance of bringing his business higher returns going forward.

What Are the Benefits of Using Proven Email Marketing Techniques?

If Mr. Smith decides to learn how to properly implement an email marketing campaign, the benefits will far outweigh the time and effort he spends to learn it.


Because email marketing is measurable in ways that other types of marketing aren't. Email marketing provides a tangible way to determine the return on investment versus efforts. It's customizable, mobile, and customers expect, and still prefer, receiving valuable content and offers via email.


Email also has a much broader reach than other types of marketing, as well as making it easier for readers to respond. It also helps drive conversions and is proven to provide a higher ROI.

What Should Be Included in an Effective Email Marketing Strategy?

Email marketing is continually evolving. Therefore, all businesses need to be flexible enough to change with it; otherwise, performance will suffer.

Here are some current strategies that should be included in any email marketing plan.

  • Always provide value or else risk damaging the brand.
  • Use the 80-20 rule. Meaning 80 percent valuable content and 20 percent sales and incentive offers.
  • Personalize all messages.
  • Only send content based on each subscribers' likes.
  • Utilize segmentation to get the best response.
  • Never use a email address.
  • Always use mobile friendly emails.

In addition to the above tactics, all emails should be routinely tested for the best copy, design, and buttons to see which ones are the most effective.


And, using trigger-based emails such as welcome, thank you and transactional emails like a sale confirmation email, will almost always perform better than a traditional email. When a response is received from this type of email it is commonly referred to as the "Hot Potato Effect."


And that simply means businesses should email more often when someone first joins or makes a purchase, and less often as time passes. Therefore, trigger based emails should always be used for the maximum benefit.

Email Marketing Frequency Best Practices

Unfortunately, there is no one right answer for the frequency in which businesses should send out emails.


There are, however, some email marketing frequency best practices that should be followed.


But keep in mind that by continually communicating with customers and followers, a business will ultimately be seen as a credible expert in their industry, establish trust, remain top of mind, and be able to overcome objections more easily.


That doesn't mean a business should be emailing more frequently or sending emails that don't provide value. It simply means every business has to find that fine line between the email marketing frequency, one that works for each segment of that audience while maintaining high levels of quality content, and over-emailing which leads to disengagement and un-subscribes that will ultimately cause the company to lose sales.


Here are some of the email marketing frequency best practices to follow.

  • Customize email efforts based on customer response, including the top of the funnel versus the bottom of the funnel. Therefore, the Hot Potato Effect should be thoroughly tested and followed.
  • Email less frequently to low responders.
  • Change email frequency based on testing and customer responses for each segment.
  • Allow the customer/prospect to decide on the frequency by giving them options via a profile or survey.
  • Implement a re-engagement campaign using special offers or discounts to encourage those subscribers who have become inactive.

Just like Mr. Smith, each business will have to find their own "sweet spot" when it comes to email marketing frequency. What's working for Mr. Smith and his furniture store, might not work for a women's retail clothing store, etc.


Testing is the key to finding and managing that frequency sweet spot. This can be done by capturing all user data and automation workflows so benchmarks can be set for any given business and to help them develop their own frequency standards.


Additionally, while this is all being ironed out, expectations should be set for the frequency and timing of emails on the opt-in page so customers/prospects know what to expect, send out at least one email per month, and always provide value!

The Survey Says...

Here is what real people are saying about receiving promotional emails and how often they would like to receive them. Below are some of the answers people gave based on a survey given to approximately 2,100 people last year by Marketing Sherpa.

  • 5% of people wanted to receive promotional emails quarterly
  • 87% want promotional emails at least monthly
  • 61% want promotional emails weekly
  • 10% want promotional emails twice a week
  • 15% want promotional emails daily

Surprisingly, 91% of the people surveyed stated they don't mind receiving promotional emails at all. However, some of the people surveyed said they only wanted promotional emails once a year and some, about 9%, said they never wanted to receive promotional emails.


So you can see why it's imperative for each business to test its email marketing strategies and frequency by segment if they want the best possible customer/prospect response.

The Bottom Line

Now that Mr. Smith has mastered the tactics for effective email marketing, and he has them solidly in place, he can sit back and relax.


Because he now enjoys knowing that he has in place a passive way to increase his income without breaking the bank or blowing the budget.


Mr. Smith's efforts have paid off as he has now exceeded his goals for income growth every month since he began following the proper email marketing frequency best practices.


Can you picture that being your business? Yes, it really is that easy!

Will Cartwright

Will Cartwright

Will specializes in digital marketing and web design with ROI as the determining factor for all decisions. Will makes use of all possible sources of traffic from the web. Focusing also on converting, closing, and nurturing each website visitor.

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