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Hitting the Email Frequency Sweet Spot

Sabin Mindrut

Hitting the Email Frequency Sweet Spot

Today’s digital marketers have more tools to reach customers than ever before.

Yet, despite the growth and prominence of social media platforms, email remains one of the most personal and powerful ways to reach the target audience. How significant of a role does email marketing play exactly?

There are more than 3.9 billion active email users worldwide, which is already half of the global population. Furthermore, US workers receive around 126 emails a day, revealing the great opportunity to penetrate the target group. Looking at email usage, it is safe to say that email marketing is still the best bet for a successful marketing campaign.

Given the large number of emails received daily, marketers need to take an extra step to make their messages stand out. Besides having attractive headlines, finding the best-performing email frequency for your specific target markets can deliver excellent results.

To do so, you need the right data, right on time, which you can source by leveraging the real-time data acquisition capabilities of marketing automation platforms such as Oracle Eloqua.

When a company hits the right email frequency, they naturally see an increase in email open rates, click rates, and sales-to-click rates. However, the line between overwhelming contacts, striking as if you are sending spam emails, and allowing audiences to become disengaged because of a lack of activity is thin.

This article pinpoints recommendations meant to help you hit your email frequency sweet spot, improve engagement with target customers, and achieve maximum benefits with minimum resources invested.

Dive in to help your email marketing strategy take off.

What is Email Frequency?

Email frequency refers to the number of emails sent per day, week, month, or year. Before getting into the hows, it is crucial to note that there is no one universally “right” number of emails for all brands and companies, but rather, it is dependent on specific brands and target audiences.

In this example, an insurance company managed to increase its email turnover by 45%, among other metrics. How did they achieve this?

In the past, the company sent one email per year when it was time for the customer to renew their subscription. However, they decided to increase email frequency for a part of their email list to improve those customers’ returns. Recipients were also encouraged to take part in surveys to generate feedback. After several months of testing, a significant increase in turnover from emails was recognized, motivating the company to do this for the rest of their email list.

On the other hand, too much of anything is never good. Another example demonstrates how a company mistakenly created a massive drop in average daily revenue by over-increasing the number of emails their audiences received. In this case, the strategy backfired. After reducing the frequency, the company started seeing an upward trend in revenue again.

Ultimately, the art of nailing the best-performing email frequency requires a thorough understanding of your target group.

Let’s take a look at the risks and opportunities of high and low email frequency in the table below:

How often to send?

Finding the right frequency for your specific audiences can be a rather tricky endeavor, even for an experienced digital marketer. Unfortunately, there is no one-true secret universal solution to determine precisely the right frequency.

As previously stated, it all depends on specific businesses and differs from one industry to another. Yet, there is one rule that can help to lure users in – sending them relevant content.

MailChimp conducted a study in which a direct correlation between the click rate and cadence was found. The test concluded that the higher the email frequency is, the less prone to engagement users are. In this situation, the email fatigue phenomenon took place. The results are a brilliant example of why sending less frequent emails but focusing more on higher-quality content may be a better alternative strategy.

Another email marketing company, Campaign Monitor, shares valuable findings on email frequency, based on plentiful data available to pool, analyze, and draw relevant conclusions. According to their general best-practice recommendations, the perfect balance for email sending frequency is between two emails per month and four to five emails before the users start to unsubscribe from the service.

However, to ensure that your audience receives the best-suited number of emails, you must conduct thorough testing on your specific audience and industry. Doing so would take some time, indeed, but the results make it genuinely worthwhile.

Let’s break down a few steps you can take to establish this.

For starters, you would need to split your audience into smaller groups to differentiate them. Sorting your emails with tags is of paramount importance to categorizing and benchmarking results against one another. Equally, scheduling multiple email campaigns helps test out various performances.

Most importantly, you must generate detailed campaign reports. This is easily achieved by using such a comprehensive platform as Eloqua, given its numerous out-of-the-box functionalities, the potential for customization, and further detailed processing and data interpretation. Given these insights, you instantaneously have access to all data needed to make well-informed decisions.

Interested in gaining further insights into our Eloqua Innovative Reporting solutions? Check out the customer success story to better understand how we use our extensive Eloqua expertise to generate data-driven reports and personalized dashboards for our clients. In turn, gain access to crucial information on how all these efforts contribute to accurate, real-time decision making – such as determining your email frequency sweet spot.

Having said these, any digital campaign’s most critical aspect remains to provide value for the recipient regardless of frequency. This means that every time you send an email to one of your subscribers, that email has to offer something deemed relevant, valuable, and insightful. Examples may comprise product sales or price cuts, informative blog posts, feedback surveys, or free trials, and many more. The value that you can add naturally depends heavily on the industry and audience that you have.

To be fully appreciated by your subscribers, you have to learn what their specific needs are and you need to research them extensively.

Final thoughts

Without any further ado, there are many factors to be considered when trying to determine which email frequency delivers the best results for your audience.

There is no one golden rule. However, guidelines are available, which you can take into account when designing your email strategy. Ultimately, the best recommendation remains to stick to testing by grouping your audience, sorting with tags, scheduling emails, and reporting on results through metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and unsubscribe rates. It is essential not to appear too insistent with emails, yet not so trivial that your subscribers forget about your brand’s existence.

Download our INFOGRAPHIC: Most Important Email Metrics to Analyze & How to Measure Each to access further detailed insights into all the most important email marketing campaign performance indicators.

Most importantly, though, don’t forget to always add value.

In this way, you can ensure that your subscribers always look forward to interacting with your brand, helping you avoid the email fatigue phenomenon. Carefully considering all these insights will help you build a great strategy and deliver efficient email campaigns that can drive the traffic you aim for and generate the revenue you need to fuel your company’s growth.

To gain further insights into our Eloqua Reporting & Analytics expertise, we invite you to check out a complimentary trial service. Schedule your LogDMS Enhanced Email Deliverability Reporting, and gain access to precise action items for further improving your Eloqua campaign performance, by fine-tuning your email deliverability across multiple audiences, located in different time zones. Ultimately, manage to reach the right people, at the right time, with the right message, right from Eloqua.

Sabin Mindrut

Driving digital innovation through Marketing Automation (Eloqua, Marketo, SFMC, HubSpot) and connected capabilities.

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