That’s the optimal response rate for email campaigns from the eight major clothing retailers in a recent Return Path study Watson analyzed for his post, “Email Frequency Send Sweet Spot Is 6.21 Emails Per Week [New Analysis].” Finding out how many emails recipients actually read is the secret, he says. And each marketer has to test to learn that secret.
“Basing any strategy on averages from other brands is not best practice and certainly won’t give the best possible result,” Watson writes.
His email marketing blog post from Monday comes lauded on Thursday by former Target Marketing blogger Ken Magill.
— Ken Magill (@Kmagill) September 10, 2015
Watson studied June 30 research from Return Path in order to determine what email send frequency brought “quality traffic” to marketers’ sites. “Optimizing for the most traffic is not the same as optimizing for the highest read rate,” he adds.
If recipients opt in for daily updates, they may be OK with getting seven campaigns a week, Watson says. He says this to contrast with a generalization from the Return Path study.
“Among highly active email users, most tolerate up to an average of five messages per week before complaints offset increases in messages read,” according to Return Path. “(When users complain by indicating that a commercial message is spam, mailbox providers stop delivering the sender’s email to the inbox, effectively ending their email relationship.)”
How Watson suggests a specific marketer test for the right frequency:
1. Run a Frequency Split Test. An email marketer sending two emails a week may want to split test with three email sends to 10,000 or more subscribers per group:
- The control, with two emails per week
- A test group with one per week
- A third test group with three emails per week
For each test group track:
- Campaign average open and click rates
- Gross number of clicks
- Web sessions created
- Web conversion rate
- Total revenue
- Number of unsubscribers
Run an eight- to 12-week test, he says.
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