sending too much email

Sending too much email?

Alex Mastrianni

Talk to any email marketer about their email programs, and there is one topic that’s bound to come up: email frequency.

Oversending is a big concern for marketers today. Inbox fatigue is real. You don’t want to push subscribers to the point where they’re driven to the point of hitting the unsubscribe button.

The 2017 Association Email Marketing Benchmark Report addresses email frequency and the correlation between how many emails a subscriber receives and engagement rates.

The vast majority of association subscribers — 86.6% — are sent 10 or less emails per month. On a more granular level, 68.8% are sent 1-5 emails per month, and 17.8% are sent 6-10 emails per month. That’s an average of 1-2 emails per week.

Subscribers who receive 1-5 emails each month have an average open rate of 22.5% and click rate of 9.8%. Those who receive 6-10 emails per month have very similar stats, with open rates clocking in at 22.9% and click rates at 9.5%.

Interestingly enough, both of these open and click rates are lower than the benchmark averages for opens and clicks (35.6% and 15.6%, respectively).

The highest open and click rates are achieved when more email is sent. Subscribers receiving 51+ mailings a month had the highest average open rates. Subscribers receiving 21-25 emails a month had the highest click rates.

You are probably thinking — they have got to be wrong here! But the data (from over 1 billion emails sent) has proven it to be true.

Engagement is tied to relevancy — not number of emails received. 

Here are three quick ways to ensure relevancy isn’t an afterthought with your next email campaign.

Check your content

Your content is often the main focus of your message, and it needs to be relevant to the subscriber — not you — if you want action to be taken.

Look at past email reports or web analytics to determine the most popular topics for members. Survey members upon subscription to learn more about their expectations from you. Take advantage of this information to tailor your email’s messaging.

Consider your audience

The days of batch and blast are long behind us. What message is relevant to your entire audience? None.

Consider subscriber’s past actions and what’s made them engage before. Take demographic data into account when shaping your messaging. Or, try using personas to target your message even more precisely.

Perfect your timing

We all know that messages sent at the right time are more likely to be engaged with (just look at how we’re getting a 50% open rate with this email). Capitalize on actions subscribers are taking to send a relevant message exactly when your organization is at the top of their mind.

Downloading a resource? Drop them an email. Perusing your annual conference site? Send them a note. That’s what AAAE did (and registrations increased by 25%).

For more information on email frequency (and much more email data!), get your free copy of the 2017 Association Email Marketing Benchmark Report here.

About the Author
Alex Mastrianni

As the Marketing Manager at Informz, Alex drives the development and implementation of our content marketing plan and marketing campaigns. Outside of work, Alex is a pop culture junkie, ice cream fanatic, and semi-pro vacation planner.