What Is The Ideal
Frequency For Email Marketing?
Written by Rob Lane.
When is too much of a good thing a bad thing? Most of us working in ecommerce understand the inherent power of email marketing as a channel to promote our products directly to consumers. Yet on the receiving side we are increasingly bombarded by a variety of offers in our inbox, ranging from the precious to the ridiculous. As we search the inbox for offers that might actually be valuable, one of the proven signals that will determine our propensity to open and click through an offer is the frequency of messages from a particular sender.
Many marketers play the volume game to get their message into as many inboxes as often as they can. In a sense, they are right. If you shake enough trees, you’re bound to have some low-hanging fruit fall on your head, but with diminishing returns as you continue shaking the exact same tree in the exact same way. Online retailers must think past the quick and easy gains if they want to build a reputation that will sustain their business well into the future.
2. High Sending Frequency Can
Have A Negative Impact
Although each consumer relationship is unique, generally speaking, sending out email offers too often can hurt your business as consumers get turned off by email blasts that are simply too frequent and bothersome: “Don’t these guys know that I’m not interested in what they’re peddling?”
MailChimp’s Chief Data Scientist, John Foreman, recently conducted a comprehensive statistical study of their customer base and found that:
“Frequency and engagement are negatively correlated—meaning as you send more frequently, people tend to engage with each campaign less… For all users with good historical data, the more frequently they sent, the lower the individual campaign click-through rate got.”
Our time and attention span are valuable assets that we have to guard against distractions if we want to get anything done and still keep our sanity. Receiving a continuous stream of boring, irrelevant, poorly constructed offers only contributes to the digital noise that constantly threatens our focus, creating a sense of consumer dissonance with the worst offenders:
“According to a survey by BlueHornet more than a third (35.4%) of consumers site frequency as the main reason they unsubscribe from email newsletter”
There are notable exceptions to this pattern, such as political campaigns, which are time limited and where the post-election reputation of the politicians never seems to be held in the same esteem as when they are campaigning. Conversely, it is possible to send too few emails as in the case of some insurance companies, for example, which only reach out to touch base with their clients when it’s time for renewal, creating the impression that such companies are only interested in collecting their premiums.
3. So What’s The Ideal Frequency
For Email Marketing?
Each situation is different and the optimal email frequency can also vary by industry, but overall patterns are emerging. Last year, Campaign Monitor published results of a study that examined over 2 billion emails, identifying the email frequency “sweet spot” for healthy open rates that don’t burn out your subscriber list:
“Every marketer wants to figure out the “perfect” number of email campaigns they should send: enough to get the best response, but not so much that subscribers stop paying attention. Or worse yet, get annoyed. Our data suggests that sending a new campaign roughly every couple weeks is optimal.”
Of course the only real way to find the optimal email marketing frequency rate for your offering in relation to your customer base, and specific segments within your base, is to test your campaigns for the frequency that works best for you. The data from these studies suggests that there needs to be a balance between periodic engagement so that you and your product get noticed, without overdoing it to the point where you email yourself out of sales, or possibly become branded as a spammer.
If you’re an ecommerce merchant and don’t have automated email marketing campaigns setup for your store, you’re losing money. Right now.
Rare.io makes it easy to start using automated email campaigns for common challenges like: Welcome Series, Abandoned Carts, Order Follow-up emails and more! You can learn more about our powerful email marketing automation features here or go ahead and get started right away by using Rare.io for FREE.
And if you’re one of the thousands of merchants who are already using Rare’s Smart Email Marketing software and want to see how our Customer Success Team can work with your brand to grow your revenue – feel free to book a call at your convenience here.