Email frequency: how often should we email leads?

June 27, 2016
Topics covered in this article:

Promise Value ... Then Live Up to It.


One of the best ways to collect quality email addresses from your target audience is to promise something of value. Then follow through on that value.

But then ... how frequently can you email them without them unsubscribing?

Your "Just Right" Email Frequency Strategy

Send too often, and your audience will feel overwhelmed and opt out. Too infrequently, and they'll forget who you are. (I'm at fault of that! My "Ask a Content Strategist" letter is quarterly. Most people receive it well. After three months? People may forget they asked for it.)  The answer lies in your audience personas and your message content.

Here are a few things to consider when creating your email frequency strategy:

  1. Is the message time sensitive? Upcoming events, sales, real estate listings, public health alerts, and audience goals -- these all may dictate a daily email for a specific period of time, while the reader needs it. Once they are no longer traveling in that area or shopping for a home, as examples, daily may be too often.
  2. Are they receiving the message in other ways? Many social media platforms send your content out by email on your behalf. Getting repeat content can be annoying. Be sure to change up your message per platform to approach your audience in fresh ways.
  3. How long does it typically take to make a decision about your product or service? Within a few weeks? You might want to email more frequently to new leads and less frequently to old ones.
  4. How often -- and when -- does your audience check email? Some people check in real time. Others only once a week. A build-up of email from you can just be deleted.
  5. Do you really have something valuable and new to say? I know not everyone reads every email, but repeating information can be a huge turn-off. Respect your audience's time and only email when it's really important, and you have something new to tell them.

Once you know who you're talking to, what you need to say (that they want to hear), and how often they need it, your email frequency plan will come together. Use this Email Guidelines Template (PDF) to pull it all together.


Need help writing effective lead gen emails? Have a different content strategy question? Ask away!  

About the Author: Shelly Bowen

Shelly Bowen, content strategist

Shelly Bowen, MFA, is a content writer, content strategist, and founder of Pybop.

For decades, Shelly has written for businesses on complex topics from disease prevention and medical devices to alternative energy and leveraging data. Today, she's hyper-focused on supporting B-B technology businesses. In her spare time, she hikes, kayaks, draws, and works on her T-Bird.

A wide variety of brands rely on Shelly as an essential freelance writer and content strategy resource.

Follow Shelly on Instagram @pybop or connect on LinkedIn. More about Shelly and Pybop.

You Might Also Like ...