Relevancy over Frequency

For years, email marketers have debated over what’s the just-right frequency for sending emails that effectively engage — but don’t overwhelm — subscribers. Is daily too often? Is weekly comfortable? Bi-weekly? What frequency maximizes email engagement?

The reality is that frequency isn’t the only factor that drives email engagement (or dis-engagement). In fact, plenty of evidence shows that relevancy and usefulness of the content, as well as trust in the sender have a huge impact on subscriber engagement, regardless of the frequency of sends. In some cases, more may even be better depending on the strength of these other factors.

For most marketers, it’s not that the quantity of emails needs to decrease, but rather the quality of the content and the relationship needs to improve. Respondents cited irrelevancy and lack of helpful or interesting content as primary reasons to ignore emails.

That suggests there’s plenty of room for marketers to improve the relevancy and quality of their content in order to overcome subscriber disengagement.

Trust in the brand is the No. 1 reason email subscribers open and read marketers’ emails. In fact, nearly two-thirds (58%) of subscribers say trust is more important than the content itself in enticing them to read emails.

Relevancy is also extremely important for subscribers, and it’s becoming increasingly critical for marketers who are beginning to monetize their campaigns through in-email advertising. Sixty seven percent of adults will click on an email ad if they trust the sender and nearly two of three will do so if the ads are relevant.

In fact, when they’ve earned subscribers trust, and the content relevancy is high, marketers have a bit more leeway when it comes to frequency.

Some marketers may fear that sending too many emails may get them flagged for spam, the evidence just isn’t there. While unsubscribes are definitely not ideal, it reinforces the point that by building a relationship based on relevancy and trust, marketers can still preserve their brand reputation, regardless of how frequently they send to subscribers.

While sending emails too frequently can be a factor in subscriber engagement, it’s certainly not the only factor. The relevancy of your content and the level of trust you’ve established with subscribers can be even more important than cadence when it comes to maintaining email engagement.

Despite hordes of research into what consumers want, we may never have the “Definitive Answer” to the burning question: How often should I send? But if relevancy and trust are high, more may actually be more.

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