Finding the sweet spot when it comes to email marketing is as much about nailing frequency as it is about choosing the right days and times.

Promotional emails should feel organic — and definitely not overly forced. If you send too many in too small of a time period, you risk coming off as overly pushy — which can be a major turn-off for your subscribers and could result in higher opt-out rates.

The key: focus on a cadence that doesn’t inundate but that keeps you top of mind. This requires that you find a balance between the various types of emails that you’ll be sending out and prioritizing content that offers the highest conversion rates so that you can get the biggest payout for your efforts.

Below, we’re breaking down what you need to know to find that elusive sweet spot and hit it on the mark when it comes to your email frequency.

How Often Are Marketers Sending Emails

Before looking at your own best practices, it might be helpful to look at what others are doing.

Here’s what a Databox survey found when they asked marketers how often they were sending out their email campaigns:

  • 33 percent on a weekly basis
  • 26.67 percent multiple times per month
  • 13.33 percent multiple times per week
  • 13.33 percent once per month
  • 13.33 percent daily

Based on this data, you can see that “weekly” and “multiple times per month” were the most common frequencies (though we’re assuming there’s some overlap there since if you’re sending once per week, you’re also sending multiple times per month).

Email Frequency Best Practices

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how often you should be sending emails. Instead, you’ll need to figure out what works best for you and for your subscribers. Here are some ways to do it.

1. Less is (usually) more

The number one reason that people unsubscribe from brand emails? They received them too often. This tells us that your contacts are well aware of how many emails they’re getting from you and that email frequency is as important as your content itself when it comes to keeping your lists intact.

2. But too few isn’t the way to go

Email your subscribers too infrequently, and they’re bound to lose interest. Yes, you read that right: sending too few emails can be just as detrimental as sending too many, especially when it comes to your open rate and click-through rate. If you’re emailing your subscribers once every other month, you aren’t offering them much value, and they’ll wonder why they even subscribed in the first place.

To hit the right cadence, start with a weekly email and then adjust up or down depending on how your conversions go. Or, you could conduct a customer survey to gain insights into how often your subscribers want to hear from you.

3. Adapt based on your results

Another notable finding from the Databox survey was how marketers adapt and react to their analytics, with 63.33 percent noting that they reduce email sending frequency to subscribers who aren’t engaging and 36.67 percent saying they continue with the same frequency regardless of subscriber behavior.

As far as best practices go, you should definitely be reducing frequency if your subscribers aren’t engaging at your current volume. If you don’t, you’re likely to see your unsubscribe rates increase as a result, which not only affects your inbound funnel but can also hurt your deliverability rate.

4. Rely on segmentation

When you look at the data around how your contacts are responding to your emails, you’re almost guaranteed to find that some are responding well to your current rate of engagement, and some aren’t engaging at all. The same separation will occur as you play around with frequency — with both positive and negative engagement outcomes as you tweak and send more or fewer emails.

In all cases, this information is more valuable than you might think. Use it to further segment your contacts so that you can optimize frequency by group and meet their preferences. Everyone responds differently to different approaches, but it’s up to you to respond to individual preferences by finding the best way to increase engagement.

5. Trust your instincts

It may be difficult to pin down a frequency that works for all subscribers at all times (probably because there isn’t one), but keep in mind that your subscribers do want to hear from you. Among consumers, 69 percent enjoy weekly promotional emails from their favorite brands, which means that so long as you’ve nailed the right frequency, your emails are likely to be well-received.

What’s the takeaway? Determine what frequency works for which group, but don’t drive yourself crazy worrying that every email you send is an intrusion. So long as you’re sending valuable content to an opt-in group of subscribers, you’ve already won half the battle.

What’s Your Perfect Email Frequency?

That’s for you to find out! Use the analytics that are built into your email marketing platform to figure out what’s working and with who, and go from there. Figuring out the right frequency is just as important as personalization and segmentation to get great results. And we promise, if you’re putting in the effort, you’ll see the benefits come through in your email performance.