Customers want your promotional email- kind of?


We love looking at data trends and using them to improve our marketing campaigns. So when I started reading Adobe Campaign’s third annual consumer email survey I was blown away by the numbers I was seeing. There is data on how often people check their email, where they check email, what they use email for and more.

Drilling down into the data, three numbers really stood out to me.

  1. 49% of respondents want to hear from their favorite retail brand once a week.
  2. 11% want to hear from them daily.
  3. 50% of respondents said getting emailed too often by a brand is the most annoying thing when receiving an email from a marketer.

Hold the phone… On one hand, you’ve got 60% of people who want to hear from you at least once a week. I would bet, that’s significantly more than you were thinking. On the other hand, if you email them too much, they hate you. What’s a brand to do?

The easiest thing to do is ask. Include the ability for a subscriber to select email frequency when subscribing to an email list. Make sure you follow their wishes with subsequent emails or you risk being labeled as a spammer or unsubscribes.

If you can’t ask or don’t want to, start with a small segment of your list to see how they react to the change in frequency. The four most common ways an email subscriber will react to changes in email frequency are:

  1. They unsubscribe or mark you as spam.
  2. Your opens and click throughs start dropping off a cliff
  3. Nothing changes. You’re doing twice the work for the same amount of gain, not good.
  4. You achieve more of your goals. It’s the outcome everyone wants.

Overall Adobe’s report is a fascinating look at how people interact with email and should be high on your reading list this week.



  1. Paul Prosser on

    Thanks a lot for this, particularly the suggestion of letting us choose the frequency of messages. I am a “frequent flyer” on a lot of outdoor product websites. On occasion I have elected to receive emails from certain companies/brands, and for the most part, I am satisfied with the frequency their messages. I definitely use this information to stay informed on trends and product development.

    However, I have also unsubscribed to several of these sites, as I felt the volume of mail was too much and the quality of the information suffered. Once a day or every other day…way too much for me. Unfortunately, many of these sites do not offer a chance to let them know why I am unsubscribing. Perhaps they should..

    As your article states, frequency of messages vary by brand, and how many is too many varies with each recipient. It’s certainly a moving target. I would encourage all companies to err on the side of restraint…don’t immediately abuse this relationship by flooding my inbox with “news I can use” right off the bat.

    Ask us how often we want to be contacted by your brand. If you don’t, you’re just operating in the dark.


    BTW, although I worked in a fly shop – with a top-notch website and social media outreach – I am now retired and just a consumer.

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