Sending too often can be a problem throughout the year

So just how many emails take it that one step too far?

Well it’s not actually an easy question to answer. There are no hard and fast rules on deciding how many emails to send however there are some guidelines that will help you get the ultimate balance and ensure your subscribers are still pleased to see you in their inbox.

You need to be intelligent and monitor your reporting. You also need to understand your customers preferences.

  • Look at opens, clicks, unsubscribes

Are clicks reducing and unsubscribes increasing? Are more people marking you as spam? This can be a sign of too many emails, unfortunately it can also be a sign of irrelevant content or a poor data list. So you’d also need to check your data integrity – are you engaging in active data collection efforts? And look at the content, does it offer value, is it relevant?

  • Monitor emails over time. Has there consistently been more unsubscribes and less opens on each campaign?
  • Ask your subscribers.  Simply ask for feedback when you are speaking to them or do as best practice recommends and ask subscribers how often they’d like to hear from you using a preference centre at sign up.
  • Send often enough so they don’t forget you, but not so often they get annoyed. Put yourself in your subscribers shoes. Would you want to hear about your pre Christmas 10% special offer 5 times in one week? Probably not. So don’t send it.

Lots of marketers send once monthly, but 2 or 3 emails a month, or once a week is acceptable. Anymore and you are starting to push the boundaries – this level of frequency will almost certainly lead to high unsubscribe rates, or having your emails reported as spam.


Getting the frequency wrong can destroy your relationship with subscribers. Too little and they will forget who you are, and mark you as spam (which will also ruin your relationship with ISPs). Too many and they will be annoyed with you and mark you as spam.

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