How To Find Your Customer’s Email Tempo

Are you sending a frighteningly large amount of campaigns? Is there a magic number or does it change from business to business? Your customers (and rates) will let you know, so make sure to use them

Lauren Dowdle
January 10 2018

It’s a question as old… well email marketing: How many emails should you send your customers?

You’re not going to find some magic number on a Google search or chiseled onto an ancient stone, although that would be pretty amazing. The only answer you’re going to find for this question begins with, “It depends.”

We all get tired of hearing that response, but with each company having such different customers, it’s the truth. Luckily, there are ways to figure out the exact number of emails your customers want to receive from you — and techniques to ensure they actually like what you send.

What’s Working for Other Companies?

While every brand is different, it can help to see what’s working for others to figure out what might be a good starting point for you — and also help you compare your efforts.

Here’s a look at how many emails marketers are sending each month:

  • 19 percent send a max of one
  • 35 percent send two to three
  • 21 percent send four to five
  • 9 percent send six to eight

69 percent of consumers say the top reason they unsubscribe is because they’re receiving too many emails. To help you figure out your customer’s desired email tempo, we’ll break down how you can figure out what they want and the best way to provide it.

Let Customers Decide the Frequency

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could ask every customer exactly how many emails they want to receive from you each week? That would make your job a whole lot easier, right? Well, you can. Whenever someone opts-in for your emails, see how many emails they want. You can include a multiple-choice question where they check the box for what works best for them.

For example, they can choose once a month, every two weeks, once a week or daily. You can then use that information to segment your customer email lists so that all of your daily, weekly, monthly, etc. people are together. That will also show your customers you care about what they want and listen to their feedback, integral parts of retention. For current customer subscribers, you can send them a survey to gauge how often they want to receive your messages, along with other data you’re looking to collect.

Pay Attention to Your Rates

All of your email rates — like read, click-through and bounce — tell a story about how your email campaigns are performing. To get the full picture of what is and isn’t working, you need to look at your metrics during a certain time span. For example, did you start sending emails twice a week (instead of just once) and see a boost in open rates? Did your unsubscribe rates go up drastically? Or maybe you experienced both of these.

When you start sending more emails, it can help you weed out customers who don’t really want to receive your emails and better engage those who do (no opens or unsubscribes vs. those who click-through). You should always put quality over quantity with your email marketing strategies.

You’ll get the best results if you review your analytics from an entire month (or longer) to really see how your customers respond. Just picking and choosing days to compare won’t give you all of the information. Watch your trends and see if more or less emails are improving your rates.

How To Make Your Emails & Promotions Stand Out

A solid email marketing campaign isn’t just based on how often you send out emails. It should also focus on what you’re sending. You could have the perfect formula for how often to send emails, but if the customer doesn’t see any value in what you’re sending, you might as well send it straight to the trash. Here are a few examples of how to give customers emails they want to read.

Create Niche Lists

One of the best ways find success with email marketing is by segmenting your lists. That helps you personalize your campaigns and increase engagement. You can separate customers by age, demographics and interests, like what type of email they want to read. You can also ask them what they want to read. The majority of big brands already include this option when people sign up. It’s normally a list of choices they can checkmark, with topics like news, promotions and categories specific to your company.

Add a Personal Touch

With the average office worker getting 121 emails a day — and 49.7 percent of email being spam — you need to create personalized messages that provide the customer with value. One email marketing study found 24 percent of consumers want emails that are more informative and 23 percent who want more personalized messages. You can also personalize emails in other ways by occasionally putting their first name in the subject line or in the email body. (Doing this for every email can make it lose its effect, but it can catch their attention every so often.) Or, send them an email based on a recent purchase or action they took on your site. Any big data you can use to personalize their experience is a bonus.

Be Smart with Promotions

You obviously want to promote your brand, products and services. That’s no secret. But, you need to keep your sales content to a minimum. A good rule of thumb is to only share promotions in one out of 10 email campaigns to keep from scaring your customers away. Even when you’re promoting something, you still need to make the email valuable to your customers.

For example, if you’re sharing information on a new product, let them know what features will benefit them and why they should care. Keep the promotions lighthearted to keep from coming on too strong. You can do that starting with the subject line and carry over the theme with fun images and content.

Every email you send should engage your customers, keep them informed and build a relationship with them. When you achieve all of those things, you won’t have to worry about scaring them away.


Lauren Dowdle

Lauren Dowdle is an award-winning writer and magazine editor based in Nashville, Tenn. Her nearly decade-long writing career has covered everything from landscaping to marketing — plus being interviewed by Jay Leno and winning a backhoe-operating contest. When she’s not behind the keyboard, you’ll find her spoiling her four furry babies and exploring the city with her husband.

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