How Often Should You Email Segments of Your Email List?

So, all your email marketing campaigns are off to a promising start. So far, you have built promising email lists for all segments of the campaign, and the leads are of high quality. You also have great ideas on what to write, and you have in your arsenal powerful tools to make the campaign a success. Now, the hard part is determining how often you should email your subscribers.

It is one of the most controversial decisions you have to make as far as the email campaign goes. A recent study found that 69% of email subscribers in the United States unsubscribe from non-profit and business emails because they receive too many emails. At the same time, sending too few emails will negatively impact the goals of any email marketing campaign.

Too many emails, much like too few of them, could significantly harm your campaign. So, how frequently should you send emails to your campaign segments? In this guide, we will strive to help you find the sweet spot of the number of emails you should send to your email list segments.

First Off, Understand Email Segmentation

Segmentation refers to splitting your email subscribers or contacts list into groups based on shared traits. Segmentation makes it easier to personalize emails and market to different groups with different expectations.

When compiling your leads and email lists, you can come up with as many segments as required. For instance, you can segment recipients based on location, mode of signup, whether they have made any purchases or the products they are interested in.

It is also possible to have contact in more than one segment. For instance, a subscriber in the United States who already bought a product can receive emails sent to prospective customers in the United States as well as return customers who signed up for updates on a product they already purchased.

Base Email Frequency on Customer Lifecycle

A new analysis by zettasphere found that the sweet spot for sending emails to subscribers is about 6.21 emails per week. The figure was arrived at by analyzing the return rates for close to 200 million marketing emails across 600,000 inboxes over three months.

While there is no fixed 'ideal' number of emails, you should send your subscribers, the greatest determinant of the number of mails you should send a subscriber is where they are in a purchase lifecycle.

You must segment your email lists per customer lifecycle to manage the frequency of emails effectively. Most marketing teams segment email contacts into four stages of the customer lifecycle:

  1. Engagement phase
  2. Discovery phase
  3. Purchase phase
  4. Engagement and Retention phase

Contacts in the engagement phase may receive the most number of emails in a week because there is a lot for them to discover about your brand or products. In this stage, the prospects learn about the product, the company, or processes and have no pressure to make a purchase.

Number of emails to send to prospects in the engagement Phase: ~6 per week

The number of emails you send to potential customers should drop in the discovery phase as you enlighten them on how your brand or product addresses their specific problem. The emails customers expect at this point may include links to relevant content, customer testimonials, and how making a purchase will make their lives easier.

Number of emails to send to prospects in the discovery phase: ~4 per week

Recipients in the purchase phase are already customers who have placed an order or added items to their carts. Customers who have abandoned items in their carts also fall in this category. The subscriber is aware of the benefits of your product and has decided to buy it. At this point in the customer lifecycle, customers will be content with the least number of emails in a week. To increase the chances of purchase, focus on sending one or two personalized offers such as promotions or discounts.

Number of emails to send to customers ready to purchase: ~2 to 3 per week

Once a subscriber has made a purchase, you may start the process of building a relationship that will last beyond the first purchase. Every business needs return customers; however, the nature of business will determine the effort you need to exert for a customer to make another purchase.

For instance, if you run a fashion store, you may encourage a customer to return the next week and make another purchase. If you sell a digital product or software service, sending the same customer multiple follow-up emails after buying your product would be pointless.

Number of emails to send to retain customers: at least 1, at most 6 per week

Regardless of the nature of your business, it is crucial to keep your subscribers engaged with your brand and product. At the very least, you should send one weekly email newsletter to keep a subscriber up to date on new developments, staffing or funding changes, growth potentials, upcoming events, or just industry updates.

Essential Tips to Optimize Your Marketing Campaign Email Frequency

Sending too many or too few emails are detrimental to your email marketing campaigns. That said, there is no fixed number of emails you should send your prospects; there are just too many considerations that determine the right email frequency.

Here are five of the top tips you should remember as you optimize your campaigns to different email segments.

  1. Send all your email segments at least one email per week. There is a high risk of disengaging your subscribers if you fail to touch base once every seven days.
  2. Create and send one or two automated emails to each email segment, especially if you constantly grow your prospects. However, ensure that you have a good email tracking system in place to understand how each email performs.
  3. Only send emails that add value to the subscriber. Do not send an email a week just for the sake of sending one; you risk losing subscribers if the content delivered to their inboxes is repetitive, has already been sent by someone else, or adds little value.
  4. Optimize the day and time for sending emails to different segments of your email lists. For instance, if you have subscribers from all over the world, be sure to segment them by demographics and location and adjust the send time for each segment.
  5. Finally, use email marketing tools to learn how each segment of your email lists responds to each email. There are email marketing tools that feature machine learning algorithms you can use to understand your potential market and minimize the chances of making mistakes in your campaign.

Final Thoughts

For most businesses and marketers, there is a lot of trial-and-error in optimizing emails for their target audience. By far, the biggest mistake you can make is losing a potential customer because you sent them too many or too few emails.

Would you like to empower your organization to grow and engage with potential customers in ways that add them value? If so, visit to learn from the experts and discover new automated tools to optimize your email marketing campaigns.


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