email deliverability frequency

Improve Email Deliverability Through Optimal Email Frequency

It’s one of the top questions to plague email marketers: “What’s the best frequency for email marketing to optimize response rate?” Is there an generalized optimal email frequency: once a week, once a month, once a day!? Is less more or or is more more?!

As you might have already guessed, one of your best email deliverability tools isn’t actually an email delivery tool at all. It’s actually a skill: it’s knowing when to email people at the right time with the right message. How does that improve email deliverability? When you consistently tell people what they want to hear when they want to hear it, your emails are welcomed, not ignored or reported as spam…both of which can work against your reputation and cause email delivery problems.

In a recent compilation of testing results on the Retail Email Blog, they found that Monday, Thursday and Friday were all tied as the most popular days to send retail emails in the U.S. In addition, there is significant variability in email frequency, ranging from such high volume as nearly 5 emails a week in the peak-selling period before Christmas but dropping to an average of around 3 in other periods of the year. Another report by Econsultancy reported that the top 100 online retailers in the US sent an average of 132 emails to each of their subscribers in a year (averaging 2.5 emails per week and 11 emails per month). These numbers are interesting, but ultimately, what works for one online retailer may not work for a nonprofit informational newsletter. The key, as always, is through testing.

If your email frequency is too high, subscribers will tune out: deleting, unsubscribing, or (worst of all) reporting your emails as spam. All of which negatively affects your email deliverability. In order to determine your ideal email frequency, the best thing to measure is your total open and click rates under different email frequency conditions. Consider running an A/B split test with different email frequencies and comparing the results. Even if you’ve offered an opt-in frequency selection through your email preference center, some subscribers may still report they are receiving too many emails, even at the time of sign-up they thought they wanted to receive emails more often. That means that even with the use of an email preference center, it’s still important to test the results of your email frequency. In one study, 73% said that frequency was the main reason for opting out. Ouch! It’s clear that identifying the most optimal email frequency for your specific email campaign is critical to your overall email marketing success and email deliverability.

If you’re thinking “Oh my gosh, I need to start testing now, but have no idea where to start!” call on ClickMail for guidance oh implementing tests or setting up email preference centers.

Published On: November 28th, 2011Categories: Email deliverability

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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