Email Marketing 101: How Many Emails Are Too Many?

Posted on November 6, 2018

How much is too much? It’s a question we often have to ask ourselves about a number of things to avoid overindulgence. Because we all know no matter how good something may be, too much of it can often be harmful.

This logic most certainly applies to email marketing. But how do you know how much is too much? If you’re bombarding your contacts, you’re running the risk of losing them altogether as a result of annoyance. At the same time, if you’re sending emails to your contacts too infrequently, your brand could be easily forgotten. In either case, you’re clearly not building a positive relationship with your consumers.

You must find a compromise that lies somewhere in the middle to allow your email marketing plan to be effective. You want to be fresh on the mind of your target audience, but you don’t want to become spammy.

Speaking of spam, you first need to make sure you’re maintaining good hygiene with your email lists. A study from Return Path revealed 20 percent of commercial emails sent in 2017 didn’t arrive in the inbox. You don’t want to be among that group, and practicing good hygiene plays a major role in helping ensure you don’t land in the spam folder.

This means making sure you’re maintaining a quality list of contacts and centering your efforts around the proper target audience. If you’re building for long-term success and improving customer lifetime value, you don’t want to waste time pushing regular emails to discount junkies who will never develop a strong affinity for your brand.

Finding the right frequency-of-email balance depends largely on circumstances that will be exclusive to your business. There is no perfect one-method-fits-all frequency in email marketing. It’s not only about what you’re trying to accomplish, but also what’s compelling to your target audience. And that’s going to be different for almost every business.

It’s for this reason segmentation within your email list for the purpose of testing is a very useful tactic. If you have a list of 50,000 contacts, split them up into five segments of 10,000 and deploy a different frequency strategy for each. Finding the right mix of quality and affinity with your contacts should dictate how many emails you’re sending. If you’re testing to find that answer, you won’t remain in the dark playing a guessing game. Your contacts will let you know what works and what does not.

If you do need at least a rough idea of how frequently to stay in touch with your target audience, here are some stats uncovered by a study from Marketing Sherpa:

  • 86 percent of customers would like to receive a promotional email at least once a month.
  • 61 percent would like to receive a promotional email at least once a week.
  • 15 percent wouldn’t mind receiving a promotional email daily.

If there’s one thing these statistics do reveal for every brand, it’s how easy it can be to underserve your email target audience. You want to be cautious and you want to avoid being an annoyance. But don’t become obsessed with that. After all, if you believe people don’t want to hear from your brand then what’s the point?