How Many Emails To Send?
Staying consistent in your efforts is the key when it comes to email marketing. Doesn’t matter your customers are not converting multiple times a year; even once a year will work since that ensures your brand is providing lifetime value!
Depending on the context and the content you’ll be sending, you can send more or fewer emails and still have fun.
However, your sending can go wrong in two ways. Either you’ll be sending a lot and burning out your audience, that they’ll unsubscribe, or you’ll not be sending enough, and the audience will lose interest in your brand and unsubscribe.
So, you must always be aware of your emails and regulate the number of emails sent because you don’t want to burn out your audience. This is like taking out your office furniture and deciding to light it on fire. That’s a business asset that you’re burning and bringing loss to the company.
- How Often Do Most Marketers Email Their List?
- How Do We Create Hub Content To Get In A Rhythm Of Sending Once A Week?
- Hub Content For Promotional Events
- Email Marketing Frequency Best Practices
- Basing email cadence on customer lifecycle
- Adjusting cadence based on broader marketing goals
- Giving subscribers control
- How To Know When You’re Sending Too Many Emails?
- Decreased open rates
- High unsubscribed rates
- High spam complaints
- Decreased click-through rates
- Negative feedback from subscribers
- Wrap Up
Similarly, the audience is a business asset, too, that you need to be careful about. If you are not careful and burn them out, they will disengage and unsubscribe.
On the other side of the spectrum, you might not be sending enough, i.e., you’re not leveraging the audience the way you need to. This means you’re not generating the revenue you could if you used your emails well.
This comes down to a few variables you need to consider regarding the frequency of sending and finding that sweet spot and that balance where you feel like you’re doing it right.
Every business goes through a process where they try different things in email sending and find the balance that suits them and their audience.
So, in this blog, I will walk you through different factors affecting email sending and also what to think about while sending.
How Often Do Most Marketers Email Their List?
Here are a few things you need to consider that might affect the email sent.
- The training of the audience
Thinking about the audience first, you need to be clear about how many segments you serve and how different those segments are from each other. It would be best to consider how willing they are to buy and how you can leverage the data you collect to communicate with them in a valuable way.
We can get into this depth by using an example of a children’s clothing brand with three different audience segments; the parents, the grandparents, and the gift-givers.
These three segments make up most of the brand’s audience, and they will receive different emails at different times according to the information collected about them.
Starting with parents might be your evergreen audience, i.e., they will be receiving emails consistently during the year, which they will be opening for sure and engaging with them because they need that information consistently.
Grandparents are active less frequently, maybe once a month, because they may not need as much information regularly. However, they may want to get their grandchildren something cute around the holidays, so they would want to see your emails. And then there are the gift-givers who would probably be active and engaged only two to three times a year.
So you wouldn’t be sending each of these groups the same messages. The content you will send to engage the parents, your evergreen audience will differ from the content you’ll send to peak seasonal or sales audiences.
This comes down to a strategy perspective. Planning how well you can collect and leverage the first-party data you collected to ensure the right message is being sent to the right person at the right time.
Talking about the right time, another important thing to consider here is knowing the general activities of your audience so you know the right time to receive an email from them. Where does that audience spend their time?
Whether a particular customer is out of town every single weekend, for example, if you have an equestrian client and they have shows on the weekends, it’s common sense that they wouldn’t be raving about their email consistently during the day on a Saturday.
So instead of sending them on the weekends, you’ll send them emails early in the week. Those are times when they will be active and engaged, not busy doing something else.
Thus, in such cases, it is important to understand the context of your audience’s life and know where they might be busy at a particular time of the week, so you refrain from sending at that time.
The thing you should be thinking about is what content is available and how you’re going to use that.
You can categorize your email into two different kinds of sends. First, you have promotional campaign sends and then content sends. Both of these are very necessary and are needed for any business. If you’re interested in diving deeper into promotional and content email marketing campaigns, check out the blog post that covers this topic.
I recommend focusing more on content sends, especially in the e-commerce space, because only some people send content emails more frequently, making it a unique experience for your audience.
This is because you will send content that will add value beyond the transaction for them, ideally engaging them in a way that will allow them to build a certain level of trust and authority with you.
The more trust and credibility you build over time, the more likely you are to connect with them long-term and maximize the lifetime value you will provide them.
The other category we have is promotional sends. Those promotional sends are more transaction-focused emails about sale events, product releases, product rollouts, early access, etc.
The real strategy is to find a balance between both email categories, which allows us to find a great way to communicate with the audiences by keeping them engaged and driving a business outcome.
When focusing more on promotional sends, your business will look like a used car lot. People will get burned out due to constant promotional messages and can eventually disengage with your brand.
However, if all you do is send content emails, too, it will look like you’re trying to be a media company for your business. And if we’re not generating revenue through subscriptions, then it’s obvious that these emails have no effect.
It is important to know that the content sent does play a good role when somebody does need to make a decision. You have top-of-mind preference available because you’ve been helping them make decisions throughout that customer life cycle, which helps you become their preferred provider after a certain point.
So finding the balance between sending each of these emails is helpful. This ensures you have good enough content to send, giving you a reason to reach out to your audience. You must strategically send these emails to different groups, audiences, and cohorts.
The next thing to consider is what kind of industry you are in. Whether your business is in B2B or B2C; B2B may not have high-frequency sending, whereas B2C may have a slightly more acclimated high frequency.
For example, you could work for a business services bus company or a women’s cosmetics business. Both of these brands will send very different cadences of emails, but both sendings will be normalized within that given industry.
Though both kinds of businesses, B2B and B2C, merge consistently, it is important to understand what kind of vertical you are in to determine whether you have the bandwidth to send more.
So you need to know whether you are more on the side of business services, which would offer only 2-3 sends a month and stay on the lowest end of the realm, or you’re more on the side of a political campaign service which is wilder in terms of sending. They may offer 20 to 100 emails a month.
This gets a little extreme and crazy for many brands where most cannot pull that off, but others do. So with that, you now know that it is important to understand the context of your environment and how frequently you will be sending depending on the norm for that particular industry.
Moreover, being thoughtful about the audience’s requirements would be best. You can’t send every email to every single person, so, referring to tip number one of this article, make sure you segment your audience here too.
You also need to take into consideration the bandwidth of your team. It would be best if you didn’t stretch everybody so thin that you can’t do anything else. You need to pull back a little. Based on this, it will be important to determine how well your team can execute all of it.
So you shouldn’t stretch your team too thin early and should ensure you’re leveraging your resources because the incremental value of one extra send may not be worth the labor-intensive work that goes into it.
Here first, we need to be able to differentiate between context and content.
There is a marketing joke that says that content is the king, and context is the queen, and this relationship where context meets content is really important.
The context of the email is very important because it is more likely to get opened. After all, the audience finds it an extremely valuable experience to receive something relevant to their life and routine.
These automated emails you will send to individuals would be relevant specifically to them based on their actions and behaviors. And the most wondrous and unique thing about this is that if you send very targeted and segmented emails, you can send as many emails as you want without worrying about burning out the audience because those emails would be about them and for them.
For instance, we talked about an equestrian client; if you send them an email with their horse’s name or an email on the day of their horse’s birthday that is going to be a win for you because the client will feel that you care about them and their experiences. This would make them feel valued and seen.
This is what distinguishes automated contextual email from a broad campaign send. These will not burn out the audience as campaign emails would because they would be more valuable for the audiences.
Now, moving on to appropriate sends for both emails, for automated emails, we can send up to five emails a day, and for campaign emails, you may have to throttle back a little and send two emails a day.
However, if it is the holiday season, it is a known fact that around this time, people are busy and not prone to opening emails much, whereas their inbox is bombarded with emails from every brand.
So sending three emails daily on Black Friday and Cyber Monday would be enough because everybody’s inbox is flooded with promotional emails, and you can expect people to miss your emails around that time.
The last thing to consider here is how trained your audience is to receive consistent emails. This highly depends on how frequently you regularly send your audience emails. The more consistency you show, the more trained they are to receive emails from you.
If your audience is not trained enough to receive frequently from you, but now you are considering sending more, you’ll have to bring that transition smoothly. Going from sending 0 to 20 emails in a month will seem alarming to them because they aren’t used to receiving that many messages from you.
But if you go from zero to five emails in a month, that may be a more consistent trajectory that will slowly train them to see you in their inboxes more often.
Getting into a rhythm where you send one hub email a week will be a good place to start from. And then you can start building more from there.
Also, if you have customers that you have brought on board through automation, then that is the audience to whom you can send automations a bit more frequently because they are just joined the list and are new to your business, so you need to add value for them through those send.
But ensure to make those emails less sales-y. There should be some level of value-added content to that onboarding automation. You may also exclude them from campaign sends if they’re already receiving something more tailored and specific.
So these are the variables and the things you should look at while planning your email list. The one rule of thumb you should be thinking about is going from no emails to one to two emails a week, and then once you get into that hub strategy, that will open the door to more things for you.
How Do We Create Hub Content To Get In A Rhythm Of Sending Once A Week?
In one of my previous blogs, we discussed Hygiene, Hub, and Hero content and how to create a piece of hub content that is replicable and easy to send frequently. This hub content can help build a rhythm of sending consistently once a week.
So let’s briefly go over that again.
Let’s talk about a typical month that has 31 days. This month, you have one hub send a week that you send on a Tuesday or Thursday. These middle of the weekdays are a smart choice because Mondays and Fridays are busy days.
On Mondays, everybody’s inbox is full from the weekend emails, and your mail can get lost within that pile. Whereas on Fridays, as it is the beginning of the weekend, most people like to travel on this day, so there’s a high chance they’ll miss your email. That’s why Tuesdays or Thursdays work best and generally offer many opportunities for the business.
If you send emails every Thursday for a month, you have built a rhythm of sending emails weekly. Then, with time, you can add an extra piece of content that comes through on a Tuesday.
So now you have gone from sending only on Thursdays to sending on Tuesdays too, and like that, gone from four campaign sends to six emails in a month. That is a big yet smooth jump because it is scalable and manageable. It doesn’t burn out your audience and doesn’t alarm them with a sudden increase in frequency.
Hub Content For Promotional Events
Next, you must carefully fit this hub content into your broad marketing calendar and ensure you have promotional sends for the month. Say you have a promotional event on the weekend offering a 2-3 days sale or discount.
You would want to send promotional emails regarding this particular sale event. You start by sending a teaser on a Tuesday, a follow-up on a Saturday, and a last-chance email on a Sunday.
Here you can notice that we go from one email send to four emails fast and smoothly without overwhelming the audience. And when that promotional event is over, you get back into content emails. You may even send a piece of content as a Trojan horse with these promotional events. This provides you with a chance to build up a rhythm of consistency.
When thinking about hygiene, hub, and hero content, this is how we go about things. Do more than just focus on sending hero content. Always try to incorporate some of the hygiene content. You can see how we’ve gone from four emails sent a month to 7-9 emails so fast.
You also need to ensure that you are not indulged in too many promotional events in a month, which can burn out your audience and compromise your brand’s image. If you have one every month or every six weeks, that would be enough too.
All this allows you to add value to the customer’s experience with your brand. So much value that when you offer them promotions, they’re ready to get on board, and when for some reason, you don’t send them content for a while, they start missing you.
And when your brand reaches that level, where the audience feels your absence, that is a big win for you regarding positioning your content.
Email Marketing Frequency Best Practices
Some of the other best practices to maintain a good frequency in email marketing include:
Basing email cadence on customer lifecycle
Connecting the email cadence with the lifecycle stage of your customer and thinking about where they are in that lifecycle will allow you to send emails a little early, but you may also want to throttle back a little
Adjusting cadence based on broader marketing goals
As discussed earlier, you can increase the cadence through a promotional event. But it is necessary to ensure you send consistently ahead of time so you can enjoy success when the time comes.
Giving subscribers control
It’s also a good practice to give subscribers a chance to choose how many emails they want to receive. They can choose whether to receive once or twice a week or how many they would want in a month.
Let them communicate their preferences. This will help you find that sweet spot without burning out the audience.
The more personalized and the more contextual the emails are, the better. Focusing on sending the right message to the right person at the right time and doing all of this consistently should be one of the main goals while sending these emails.
As I just said, consistency is very important. As a good marketer, you should have a relationship of consistency over intensity with your audience. Make sure you maintain that consistency throughout the year.
If your customers only receive from you during the Black Friday run-up, they won’t consider you a loyal brand and will find no value in you. So you want to be around them and pay attention to them all year.
Maintaining that consistency would automatically give you the required results around the BFCM season.
How To Know When You’re Sending Too Many Emails?
There can be many red flags that you begin to see when you are on the verge of getting too extreme with your emails.
Decreased open rates
When you start seeing the open email rates decrease very fast, that indicates that there might be some deliverability issue you’re running into. So if you’re trying to be consistent without a high level of engagement, the less valuable of a sender you will be considered by Gmail, Yahoo, or any other email service provider. Thus you should make sure you have a clean sender reputation.
High unsubscribed rates
If you see a high unsubscription rate, that could mean you’re bothering your audience too much with your emails.
High spam complaints
A high number of spam complaints is also one of the main red flags.
Decreased click-through rates
If your click-through rate dwindles, you may need to do something differently. You may need a change in your emails. As I always say, you may need to zig while you’ve only been zagging with your emails. If you send the same thing repeatedly, your audience may not be interested in opening your emails anymore.
Negative feedback from subscribers
The direct negative feedback from subscribers and a filled inbox of your customer service providers are one of the main red flags indicating you to pull it back or ensure the audiences are segmented better.
These are all the signs that your audience is overwhelmed and is not engaging with your constant sending because they don’t find your content valuable anymore. This is where you want to train them, inform them, and ensure those messages are as highly contextual as possible.
I always say this is a marathon, not a sprint. If you’re doing things nicely and consistently during the year, that will show good results at the end.
I will wrap up this article with one thing only, it’s not about converting somebody four times in the first year, but it is about converting everyone once every year. That is what shows your brand is providing that lifetime value that every customer is looking for.
I hope I was able to cover the most important things you need to know when working on your email list and email sending. There is no perfect way to do it, but give it a start by running.
One email a week, then two a week, and then start building up from there. Once you get into a rhythm and a consistent pattern, things will get easier for you as time passes.
So hopefully, this article was helpful. Let me know in the comments below if you have any other questions!