Apparently we need to send even more email

By: John McGarvey

Date: 27 January 2014

Apparently we need to send even more email/lady receiving lots of emails{{}}Here’s a good one for you. According to new data from digital marketing agency Alchemy Worx, brands could increase engagement and revenue by simply sending more email.

Before we examine this idea any further, let’s just recap where we are in the world of business email: 

In short: email is out of control. And they reckon we should be sending more of it?

More emails, more revenue?

The business behind this research, Alchemy Worx, is an email marketing agency. Its conclusions are based on an analysis of its own client data, which consists of 2.2bn emails sent to 40.6m recipients over the last year.

This analysis found that if a brand with five million email subscribers sent one more email to that list every month, it could achieve an extra 1.9m email opens and an extra 175,000 clicks on links in the emails.

Alchemy Worx reckons that could equate to an extra £1.8m in revenue.

Every business is different

So: send more emails and you’ll get more business. Is it really that simple?

Well, no. Even if we disregard the wider issue of inbox overload and the mess that will ensue if every company decides to send emails more often, it’s clear different businesses will see different results.

The best analysis I’ve found comes from MailChimp. If you’re re-evaluating your email marketing strategy then it’s worth reading the whole article, but the key point is that every business has an email sweet spot.

If you increase the frequency with which you email your customers, over time people engage with each individual email less.

This means that if you move from sending an email once a month to sending emails three times a month, you’ll almost certainly find your click through rate drops for each individual email.

As you’re now sending three times as many emails as you were before, the total number of clicks may still be higher. That means more engagement overall, and — potentially — more revenue.

But if you increase email frequency too much — say to five or six times a month — you could see lower engagement than with fewer messages.

You need to be more sophisticated

Email marketing is a long-term effort. You don’t want to undo all your hard work of building a list of loyal customers by sending them so many emails that they start to think of your messages as spam.

But equally, you don’t want to email so infrequently that you drop out of people’s minds altogether.

Quite simply, you need to figure out what works for your company. Again, MailChimp has summarised it well:

“I’d highly recommend ignoring calls to ‘send send send,’ and find a comfortable middle ground that feels balanced between individual campaign engagement and overall periodic engagement.”

So, while using your data to make decisions is important, there might be other considerations too. For instance, it’s increasingly possible to send targeted emails to specific groups of customers, rather than hitting everyone with the same email.

Finally, next time you’re about to press ‘send’ on a marketing email, spare a thought for the state of your recipients’ inboxes. With email, as with many things, less really can be more.

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