The Importance of Email Frequency and Revenue


Should You Send More Emails to Your Subscribers?

There’s typically a direct positive correlation between email frequency and revenue, so companies often want to send more and more emails. But here are a few things you need to think about before increasing the frequency of the emails you send.

Both Positive and Negative Results Associated with Higher Email Frequency

Increasing the number of emails you send can have both positive and negative results. At FulcrumTech, we recently ran a frequency send test for a client that involved sending the same email to the same subscriber list for five consecutive days. The positive results achieved with the higher send frequency were dramatic:

  • Open reach (the cumulative number of unique individuals who open an email throughout a campaign) increased by 103%.
  • The number of paid subscription sales increased by 269%.

Although increasing your email send frequency can help maximize your opportunity to engage and convert subscribers, it can also negatively impact your email performance results. Email frequency and consumer engagement were analyzed in a Return Path study that involved subscribers of eight major clothing retailers. Using linear regression analysis (which was used to determine how the send frequency predicted read rates), the results showed that:

  • The highest email read rates could be expected at a once-weekly send frequency.
  • Although expected read rates decreased with increasing send frequency, consumers could still be expected to read every fifth email at a five-times-per-week send rate and every seventh email at a seven-times-per-week send rate.
  • Complaints increased when email frequency exceeded five emails per week.
  • When exceeding seven emails per week, every 10th consumer could be expected to mark it as spam.

Studies Give Insight into What Consumers Want in Terms of Email Frequency

A 2015 survey conducted by TechnologyAdvice also gives some insight on consumers’ opinions about email frequency:

  • 43% of survey respondents said they wanted businesses to email them less frequently.
  • 45.8% of survey respondents would mark emails from companies as spam because companies send emails too frequently.

So what’s the optimum email frequency? Although there’s no single frequency that’s ideal for all brands, a 2015 MarketingSherpa survey gives an indication of how often subscribers prefer to get promotional emails from companies. “At least monthly” was the most popular response, chosen by 86% of consumers, whereas “at least weekly” was the second most popular response, chosen by 61% of consumers.

Tips for What to Do Before Increasing the Number of Emails You Send

If you’re thinking about sending more emails to subscribers, be sure to spend time planning and doing initial analysis of your list. Here are a few tips for what to do before you increase your email send frequency:

  • Identify and track the responses of the inactive subscribers on your email list (subscribers who haven’t opened your emails in the past six months or longer). Sending more emails to inactive subscribers might encourage some of them to become active again. If this group doesn’t respond to more frequent emails, however, you may consider removing some of them from your list to avoid negatively impacting your email deliverability. Otherwise, it could result in more foldering (i.e., getting dropped into junk folders), which would mean that some people who really want to receive your emails won’t ever see them.
  • Use what information you know about your subscribers to segment your list. This will help ensure that the emails you’re sending more frequently are relevant. You need to be smart about what content you send to your subscribers so they feel that they’re getting something of value from your company. In a TechnologyAdvice survey, 31.6% of subscribers said that they flag emails as spam because of irrelevant content.
  • Instead of sending single emails multiple times, create email campaigns to help build and keep subscribers’ interest. The campaigns would include a series of emails — presenting content congruent with your value proposition — that highlight different aspects about your product/service in each email.
  • Track your deliverability and reputation carefully as you ratchet up email frequency. You want to be sure that your emails aren’t landing in junk folders and that your unsubscribe rates and spam complaints aren’t increasing to unacceptably high levels. Click here, to find industry-appropriate unsubscribe and spam complaint rates based on 2015 email statistics.

Increasing the send frequency of promotional emails can increase engagement with your subscribers, drive more conversions, and increase your revenue. But it can also result in subscribers engaging less often, more people unsubscribing and marking your emails as spam, and ultimately hurting your email deliverability. That’s why it’s important to continually test to find the optimum frequency for your subscribers.

Should your organization be sending more promotional emails? FulcrumTech can help you answer that question, as well as design and implement a comprehensive email-marketing program to boost your return on investment. Contact us and get started today!

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