You’ve Got Mail (Again): Pro’s and Con’s of Increasing Mailing Frequency

In Email Marketing, achieving optimal mailing frequency is a hot topic. On the one hand, sending emails more often can increase up-selling and cross-selling of products and strengthen customer relationships. On the other hand, companies are likely to experience negative customer reactions and lose their customer base, especially if the increase in frequency was too rapid.

In this article, I will discuss what side effects increasing of mailing frequency may have. In the second part of the discussion, I will outline some examples where sending mailings more often will likely bring positive results.

Negative consequences of increasing mailing frequency

  • Increase of spam complaints. This negative effect is most likely caused by how the emails are designed, e.g. the unsubscribe link was not visible, subjects of the emails were similar or the same, etc. It is best to consider email design and regulation compliance first thing before setting up any email campaign.
  • Increase of unsubscribe rate. Customers who receive irrelevant or useless emails tend to unsubscribe. Thus, before increasing the mailing frequency, make sure that more emails mean more added value to the customer. In addition, segmenting your list and approaching each segment with customized offers will increase your chances of success.
  • Increase in bounce rate. The increase in bounces is probably due to poor revision of the mailing list in-between mailings. Ideally, mailing lists should be processed and hard bounces removed after each mailing. In case of repeated soft bounces, these must be removed as well.
  • Increase in costs. If the performance of additional email campaigns is poor, the cost factor plays a significant role. However, if you optimize the campaigns, it will keep constant or even improve the mailing performance when increasing mailing volume. Ideally, this should cause the cost-per-email to drop.

When raising mailing frequency is recommendable

  • You send the emails too seldom (e.g. less than monthly)
  • You sell a product that needs to be replenished or often replaced (e.g. food items)
  • You send mailings to heavy users and brand advocates
  • You send mailings to new users to take advantage of the recency factor (e.g. send mailings frequently within the first month of acquiring a new user)
  • You send promotional mailings for a certain period to latent users in order to activate them
  • You want to inform your customers more often (e.g. you often get new products in stock)
  • The character of your mailings is not strictly commercial, e.g. you offer interesting content
  • You have a special mailing campaign requiring high frequency (e.g. an Advent Calendar campaign)
  • Users actually chose to receive frequent emails (i.e. you offered them a choice of different email frequencies when they were subscribing)

How often you should contact your customers depends on a number of factors, such as the industry, the product, the customers, the sales funnel, etc.  The solution is probably to experiment with optimal mailing frequency by increasing it slightly over a longer period of time. Also, in this case, monitoring and adjusting campaigns accordingly is essential.

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Author: Elena

I acquired a BA degree in International Business with a specialization in Marketing from Nuremberg Technical School and a parallel degree from Leeds Metropolitan University. In 2013-2014, I worked in the field of performance and conversion optimization with an IT company and then was employed in content marketing. In 2016, I went back to working with Web Analytics and gained additional experience in project management. During this time, I received an Award of Achievement in Digital Analytics from the University of British Columbia (Canada). Currently, I am employed in Online Marketing. My areas of specialization include online marketing strategy, content creation, web analytics, conversion optimization and usability.

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