Overmailing your customers can be a costly mistake in the long run to your marketing program, but when is it too much? Every marketing program and audience is different, so there is not a magic number that will answer this question. Instead, learn about the formula that will lead you to the answer.

It’s tempting, and almost expected; but don’t use the holidays as an excuse to email your subscribers every day if you aren’t already on a similar frequency. A sudden increase in frequency can cause subscribers to ignore the additional emails or create an uptick in unsubscribes, which can hurt your overall in-box delivery.

Use subscriber behavior metrics to determine if you are currently overmailing. For this article’s sake, let’s say you were sending 2-3 campaigns per week but have since gone to a frequency of 5 email campaigns per week to everyone on your list. Compare the metrics from before to now. How are your subscribers reacting to the increase? Has the percentage of your unsubscribe and/or complaint rate gone up or down? What is the change in percentage for your churn rate? Are your click-throughs rising in percentage to openers or dwindling? Are subscribers remaining shorter periods of time or has the engagement frequency gone on longer now? Every subscriber database is different, so comparing metrics will lead you to the answer.

Target your subscribers! Let’s say you send out 4-5 email campaigns out per week right now. If you were to target each campaign to subscribers using specific data, such as purchase history or behavior, those that qualify would be more inclined to open the campaign instead of ignoring it. You would have the right set of subscribers that want your mail, opening it. This creates a higher percentage of openers against the number of mail sent out to those targeted, which in turn strengthens your delivery to that particular mail client (such as Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.). Having a strong delivery reputation to a mail client will result in less scrutiny of your mail when it comes into their network of users (your subscriber recipient). It will also send most, if not all your mail to everyone’s inbox, even if they aren’t a frequent opener.

Don’t be afraid to get involved with your subscriber data and trudge through the mess to figure out what is working and what is not. The end result will be invaluable to the success of your program. Remember, the goal is to keep recipients subscribed for longer periods of time with the correct frequency of opportunity to purchase your products.

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