How Much Email is Too Much?


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Are your email newsletter readers overloaded?  There’s a lot of debate about email frequency…how often should I send?

How much email is too much?

Frequency is definitely important. If you email too frequently, you’ll burn out your list, and wear out your welcome.

It’s not just frequency

Frequency isn’t the only consideration though. For example, Groupon sends emails every single day, but people happily sign up (and open them), because they have a strong incentive. Each email offers a deal, and the only way to get it is to share (the discount goes “live” only if enough people sign up for it). Daily Candy has daily emails too. HARO emails three times a day!

Are the emails relevant? And are they useful?

The thing that really makes the difference  – what’s in the email and why are you sending it?  Is it relevant? Stuffed with marketing messages? Or full of useful content. Not every email can (or should) sell something — unless that’s what readers specifically signed up for.

Is the email urgent?

The reason Daily Candy, Groupon, and HARO can email so often is that the information is time-sensitive. Don’t respond or reply fast enough and you miss the deal or don’t get the press coverage.

Why people complain about too many emails

Is it because you’re mailing too often? Or because your content isn’t helpful enough? It’s not the newsletter that’s the problem, it’s the way you’re using it. Like using a hammer to break an egg.

How to email more often (without marketing more)

Mix in some messages that offer useful tips and how-tos, without any marketing message at all. Or, add an offer to an email about something else (an email marketing ebook to a newsletter with 10 tips for better newsletters).

Create an e-course

Put together a series of tips, and send them separately as a series of lessons. When Brian Clark (of Copyblogger) was selling real estate, he created an email relocation guide — sent as a year-long email course — by the time clients were ready to relocate, he was the first person they called.  You don’t have to painstakingly send each message manually; it can be done automatically.

Offer limited time special deals

Or, offer the option to sign up for 10 days of special discounts (this could work well around holidays). The only people who get the extra emails are the people who want them. Since it’s a limited offer, it also increases the urgency.

Have you gotten complaints about your e–newsletter?  What did you do?