The Ultimate Guide to Email Frequency


Do you want to know the “perfect” number of emails you should send?

Of course you do.

We all want to send enough email to get the dough rolling in, but not so much that your hard-won subscribers opt-out or you get spam complaints.

Yes it’s true that email frequency is unique to each business or nonprofit and your email list, but dang it, we’ve got 15 + years of experience about what works, and why, so let’s use that as a jumping off point…

The Brass-Tacks

  1. Consistency is most important: send email to your list on a regular schedule or you risk being quickly forgotten. You risk that your name doesn’t jump out at your subscribers when they see your messages in their inbox. You risk “mental opt-out.”
  1. Segmenting your list paves the way for you to send more email with drastically better results. At a minimum, you want to segment your emails by subscriber behavior, such as whether they are opening your emails or not. Ideally you’ve got more data, like interests, or how they subscribed to your list, from which to segment, but if not, behavior is always a proven winner.
  1. You rarely want to send a broadcast emails to your entire list… unless you have big breaking national news, such as a research breakthrough. This day in age it’s easy … “easier” and inexpensive to segment your list and if you are serious about getting 25%, 50%, 75%, or more of your revenue from email, it’s worth the extra time segmenting takes.


>> I created an easy FREE cheat sheet that summarizes the email frequency… by type of email campaign. Grab it right now. Or click the image below. <<

The Ultimate Guide to Email Frequency


How Many Emails People Want

Marketing Sherpa ran a survey last year of 2,500 people and found that the majority of people WANT promotional emails weekly.


Q: How often, if ever, would you like to receive promotional emails (e.g., coupons, sales notifications) from companies that you do business with?


The Direct Marketing Association tracks how much email their members are sending and it shows that the vast majority are sending promotional emails 2 – 5 times per month, which tracks with Marketing Sherpa’s results above.


Promotional Email Campaigns

You might ask how many emails should you send IN a promotional (sales, launch, or donor appeal) campaign?

The answer is: however many emails it takes to address every belief your buyer needs to have in order to say “YES!”

Each of these beliefs don’t have be a stand-alone email, but you’re likely going to need a series of emails to convince your prospects that they…

  1. have an emotional reason or motivation (or you’re dead in the water)
  2. believe your big promise
  3. believe in the benefits you’ve promised
  4. believe that you’re the best choice of all the choices they have
  5. believe that you’re reputable and trustworthy
  6. believe that there is scarcity or urgency
  7. believe that its easy or “no hassle” to buy or donate
  8. ANY OTHER BELIEFS specific to your product, service, or mission. For example, if you’re a nonprofit, your donor must believe that your mission is something that can be fixed or changed. People don’t like giving to lost causes. For my programs, my buyers must believe that they can actually implement my training successfully. They must also believe that online marketing will actually grow revenue.

I shared more about how you can use these persuasion strategies here: “How to write insanely great emails, even if you’re not a copy writing pro?”

Sample “edu-sequence” is what the frequency might look like


Changing the Frequency of Your Emails

How to safely change the frequency of your email campaigns: up or down

Create a control group of subscribers, a smaller portion of your list, that will get the changed frequency.

Watch their metrics… and don’t be fooled by unsubscribes.

Look for the REAL MONEY metrics of click-throughs and cart conversions.

If those go up, you’ve found the right frequency.

Remember, you’re looking to convert the 25% – 35% of your list that ever buy from you, so don’t worry about the “lookie-loos” jumping ship.

They were never going to buy or donate anyway.

Once you’ve found the right frequency, ramp the rest of your list up or down using my mutiny-free approach…


How to increase frequency without a full-scale mutiny

Add an extra email slowly to gradually ramp your list up.

Or vice-versa if you want to throttle the volume of email you send.

Any sudden changes in frequency will confuse your list and it’s not worth it.

If you’re only emailing once a month, or randomly, and after reading this feel you need to boost frequency to once per week, start by adding an extra email every two weeks and then bump to an email once per week.

I created an easy FREE cheat sheet that summarizes the email frequency for you. Grab it right now.

The Ultimate Guide to Email Frequency 1