Tim­ing is of huge impor­tance when it comes to email mar­ket­ing. With click-through rates (CTR) as low as 2 per­cent for some indus­tries, one of the best ways to improve results is by sched­ul­ing your emails and know­ing how often to send them.

Accord­ing to reports, peo­ple hate receiv­ing pro­mo­tion­al emails unless they sub­scribed to the ser­vice or the email con­tains some­thing “ben­e­fi­cial” for them. How­ev­er, one major fac­tor that impacts how some­one feels about receiv­ing an email is the tim­ing.

If you keep bom­bard­ing your email list with emails, whether pro­mo­tion­al or non-pro­mo­tion­al, your sub­scriber list will begin to shrink at a rapid pace. In fact, 69 per­cent users unsub­scribe due to “too many emails.”

Know­ing the right num­ber of emails can be very dif­fi­cult, espe­cial­ly when experts sug­gest you to com­mu­ni­cate more with your cus­tomers. Sales fun­nel spe­cial­ist Jere­my Reeves advis­es busi­ness­es to stay in touch with their cus­tomers and com­mu­ni­cate more often. But how often is too often? Accord­ing to Direct Mar­ket­ing Association’s Nation­al Client Email report, most mar­keters (35 per­cent) send two to three emails a month. Nine per­cent of mar­keters send six to eight emails a month, and 19 per­cent send just one email a month.

How­ev­er, this is just a marketer’s per­spec­tive. Take a clos­er look at cus­tomers, and you’ll real­ize the need to send more emails.

Accord­ing to a Mar­ket­ing­Sh­er­pa sur­vey, 61 per­cent of users pre­fer receiv­ing a pro­mo­tion­al email at least once a month. Sur­pris­ing­ly, 15 per­cent of users say they wouldn’t mind receiv­ing a pro­mo­tion­al email every day. The same study con­clud­ed that 91 per­cent of users have no issues with pro­mo­tion­al emails. How­ev­er, experts believe such emails should be well tar­get­ed.

These num­bers tell you the dif­fer­ence between expec­ta­tions and results. How­ev­er, remem­ber that no rules are etched in stone when it comes to the fre­quen­cy of pro­mo­tion­al emails. Accord­ing to these num­bers, an email a week would do well. How­ev­er, you need to find your own sweet spot.

Here are a few fac­tors to con­sid­er:

Industry stats.

Look at your com­peti­tors, and see how many emails they send in a week. Also check their return-on-invest­ment, and con­sid­er learn­ing from them. How­ev­er, do not bla­tant­ly copy their strat­e­gy. They may be send­ing more emails because they have a huge num­ber of sub­scribers or because they have a spe­cif­ic goal. Your strat­e­gy should be cus­tomized for your needs.

Nature of product or services.

The num­ber of emails you send large­ly depends on what you’re offer­ing to your cus­tomers. For exam­ple, if you’re sell­ing air con­di­tion­ers, you would be send­ing more emails in the sum­mers than in win­ter. On the oth­er hand, if you’re run­ning a news agency, you would be send­ing dai­ly emails to keep peo­ple informed.

Nature of the email.

You should know the goal of your email. Are you try­ing to make peo­ple pur­chase a prod­uct, or are you try­ing to make them fill out a form? Accord­ing to reports, your first email has the high­est CTR, which means you have one chance to make it right. Try to come to the point in the first email, unless you’re build­ing curios­i­ty.

Here are some more tips on how to set fre­quen­cy:

Let your cus­tomers choose how many emails they wish to receive. You can have this option when they signup for newslet­ters, or you can get this infor­ma­tion by start­ing a poll.

Pay atten­tion to fig­ures. See your open­ing rates and how many sub­scrip­tions and unsub­scrip­tions you’re get­ting. These num­bers will help you bring changes to your plan, if nec­es­sary.

It is impor­tant to under­stand the fun­da­men­tals of engage­ment. If you have low engage­ment rates, you may improve your cus­tomer engage­ment rate by increas­ing or decreas­ing the num­ber of emails sent per week. Engage­ment is basi­cal­ly get­ting your desired result out of an email. You need to be sure of the pur­pose of an email before you send it. Not all emails are sent with a pur­chase intent. Some emails can be non-pro­mo­tion­al, just to add good­will.

How­ev­er, make sure all your emails add val­ue to your read­ers. Do not send an email that’s spam­my or does noth­ing for the user.

Around 32 per­cent of users unsub­scribe due to “irrel­e­vant or use­less” email. Do not make the mis­take of send­ing emails just for the sake of it, unless you wish to have few­er sub­scribers.

The takeaway.

Hav­ing one answer to this com­plex ques­tion isn’t pos­si­ble since busi­ness­es are dif­fer­ent with dif­fer­ent goals and clients. You need to stick to the test­ing approach and see what works and what doesn’t work for you. A/B test­ing can be applied as well, but remem­ber to pay atten­tion to all impor­tant fig­ures.