Email Marketing: How Many Emails is Too Much?

Figuring out how often to send out emails as part of your email marketing campaign is very tricky. If you send out too many emails, then you will annoy your subscribers and they will opt out. But if you don’t send out enough, your subscribers will forget who you are and you lose out on potential leads.

There is no set amount of emails in email marketing which push the limits into annoying. Some companies have incredibly effective email marketing campaigns where they send out daily emails without many subscribers opting out. Others are sending out just monthly emails and getting most of their subscribers to drop out quickly.

Obviously, it isn’t just the number of emails which matters to your email marketing campaign; the content of your emails and demographics are also incredibly important. In order to figure out how many emails is most effective to get you leads without opt outs, you need to consider all of these factors together.

If your email campaign promised “weekly news” or “joke of the day”, clearly you will be sending out emails in accordance. If your email campaign promised special deals though (as the bulk of email marketing campaigns do), then you have to consider how often your subscribers are actually going to take advantage of that deal. “Special” deals which get sent out weekly aren’t going to seem special anymore. Thus, the subscriber will feel no need to take action after reading and you miss out on a lead.

One good piece of advice when determining email frequency for your email marketing campaign is to calculate how often you have a resale. For example, if your website is an online shoe boutique and you send emails about special deals, you should calculate the average time from when your customers come back to buy shoes again. In this case, the customers may return every 3 months (new shoes for the new seasons). You would then want to send out your emails to subscribers before 3 months have passed. This gives the subscribers a friendly reminder that you are not only there, but you have the deals on the new shoes they were going to buy anyway!

In a recent NY Times article about email marketing, a businessman discussed the intricacies of email marketing. Since email marketing is basically free, he compared it to an all-you-can-eat buffet but with one major difference: the more you indulge, the sicker your subscribers get. The writer makes a good point that direct mail marketing is incredibly costly so there is a lot more thought before the campaign is launched. When trying to decide how often to send out emails for marketing, pretend that the campaign is costing you the same as a direct marketing campaign. Is the campaign worth it when you pretend it is costly? If not, then wait until your campaign is more likely to bring you back results. Yes, email marketing is basically free but it can also give you no return if you send out the emails too freely!