How Many Emails Should You Send A Month?

Is 5.75 the magic number of email marketing frequency? New research released this week by Paytronix Systems suggests that email marketers should only send a handful of emails to subscribers every month.

The loyalty marketing company analyzed data from clients who use their email solution between January to July 2015 and determined that five or six emails per subscriber was the optimal number of emails to send per month. The average volume of peak effectiveness is 5.75 according to the report, and increasing email frequency resulted in increased opt-out rates.

“Clearly, the more emails you send in a particular month, the more total opens you’ll get that month,” writes Lee Barnes, lead of the data insights team at Paytronix and the author of the report. “But that isn’t the end of the story -- each subsequent email is less effective than the one sent before it, and sending more emails increases the opt-out rate.” 

Paytronix’s recommended 5.75 emails closely mirrors industry averages reported in a report released Thursday by email marketing company GetResponse. A poll of 1800 email marketers revealed that the average frequency across all industries was five emails a month.

The finance, banking and insurance industries send the highest frequency of emails per month according to GetResponse, with an average of 12.2 emails per subscriber per month. The online advertising network industry sends the fewest frequency of emails at an average of 1.4 emails per month. 

The success of an email marketing campaign is determined on numerous variables in addition to frequency, however, so it may be naïve to say there is a specific magic number. The success of email marketing is most drastically boosted by subscriber relevancy and as they say, “the customer is always right.”

"The email frequency question is largely philosophical and is based on far too many variables," says Garin Hobbs, customer experience director at email marketing company Movable Ink. "Setting frequency benchmarks also doesn't take into consideration triggered emails, which are one of the best ways to engage with customers based on their own online behavior. In short, there's no magic number, so the key for marketers is to test and find their own sweet spot."

“There is no magic number but rather a strategy to understand what works for your customers,” agrees Sean Brady, president of the Americas at Emarsys, a B2C marketing cloud company.

Brady recommends that email marketers review their historical reporting monthly for the past year, analyzing engagement, clicks, purchases, unsubscribes and subscribes.

“This data will provide you the insights you need to understand when to send more or less,” says Brady. “Also, consider taking a strategic approach like remailing your subscribers that did not open, did not click or did not purchase with an incentive to do so.”

1 comment about "How Many Emails Should You Send A Month? ".
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  1. Jen Capstraw from Women of Email, February 9, 2016 at 5:32 p.m.

    I know how much my clients love clear, definitive answers to questions like "How many emails should I be sending?" But a question like this is always much more complex than it seems.

    Thanks for pointing out the naivete of the study. The data is interesting, but incomplete, and the assumptions and findings are a bit simplistic.

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