Did you ever know someone who was over keen? Who didn’t respect your space? Maybe they had something valid to say, but in the end you just had too much and tried to avoid them somehow?

As marketers, we have to be careful not to fall into this category with our email campaigns. It’s a fine line between staying top of mind with your reader and, well, bugging them. Quite simply if you “blast” them with too many newsletters, your image will suffer and eventually they’ll probably either unsubscribe or hit spam.

He’s Just Not That Into You

Email frequency has been found to be the most important reason for unsubscribing from a newsletter for consumers, cited as driving over a third of opt-outs. How many people just hit delete and emotionally unsubscribe? Yet 65 percent of email marketers don’t differentiate email frequency by customer according to AgilOne. And 60 percent of marketers don’t offer email preferences (pdf) (such as frequency) to customers according to Experian Marketing.

We all know that scarcity breeds perceived value: diamonds, drugs, alcohol, limited edition, whatever ... and this holds true for email marketing: < = > or in longhand: less can equal more. Finding the email frequency sweet spot is a bit of a Holy Grail for marketers -- just enough to keep readers stimulated, but not too much to annoy them.

Slice and Dice


A single optimal email frequency is a bit like a single pair of jeans that flatter everyone: it doesn’t exist! Marketers can take notes from the launch of Levi’s Curve ID jeans to suit different body shapes -- to get a better fit they offer different options.

Similarly a one-size-fits-all email frequency isn’t optimal. Your enthusiasts will be hungry for more and your more relaxed subscribers will be overstuffed. It makes good sense that it’s better to tailor your mailing frequency to how engaged your reader is.

The more they’re into you, the more they’ll want to hear from you. That way their level of interest and the frequency of your emails are in sync. The trick is to break down or segment your subscribers into several groups according to their level of engagement.

Behavioral Indicators of engagement include: