7 min
read •
May 14, 2024

How many emails should you be sending?

Josh @ Hoppy Copy
3x founder, CMO, loves email marketing
Published in

I used to be scared of sending too many emails to my customers.

It's such an intimate and direct form of communication, and the last thing I wanted to do was bombard them with so many messages, risk them unsubscribing, devalue my brand, and lose their business.

But looking back, I think I was more just lazy than scared.

Because since then, after sending millions of emails and growing multiple brands to millions in revenue, I've learned that doing email marketing the right way actually requires sending a ton of email. Probably 5-10x the number of emails you might be thinking about.

And in fact, by doing email the right way, it actually builds your brand. It increases your deliverability. And it can grow your revenue immensely, taking a business from six to 7-8 figures and beyond.

Now I'm going to explain how to do this.

A disclaimer though: if 30%+ of your sales are already coming from email, you can probably stop reading. But if not, and you want to scale, then this is for you.

Ok, so how many emails exactly should you be sending?

Firstly, it largely depends on your revenue today and your email list size. Because in general, the more revenue and more customers you have, the more emails you should be sending.

So let's assume you're a 5 to 6 figure business. You've probably done a basic setup. And it probably isn't working very hard for you.

You've probably got a handful of simple flows:

  • 1-3 email welcome or onboarding series
  • (for saas) A trial reminder or extension email, 2 re-engagement emails, and basic lead nurture series
  • (for ecomm) A 2 email browse abandonment series, a 3 email cart abandonment series, and a post purchase customer thank you email
  • A monthly or weekly email to customers about a new product, update, or seasonal campaign

Now, while these are critical and will likely land you an extra 10% of sales (hint: do this now if you haven't yet as you are missing out ), it's not nearly enough to get you to the next level.

If you want to grow your revenue to the next level, email needs to become a much bigger part of your strategy. A much larger portion of your revenue should come from your email programs. And you need to take it super seriously.

For example, if you're a small brand making 5-6 figures, you can probably get away with sending out a single product launch email to your entire list, which can work OK. But if you work with a larger brand and send out a general campaign to everyone, you'll hurt your email deliverability and start seeing unsubscribe rates ramp up because of lack of personalization and relevance.

Therefore, as you grow, you need to develop more timely, targeted emails, to different customer segments. And by doing this, you'll be able to send a lot more emails.

For example, a single product launch should have 6 emails:

  1. prelaunch notice
  2. testimonial / hype email
  3. launch email
  4. launch follow up w/ discount
  5. product review
  6. post launch last chance discount

Once your engagement starts dropping, or unsubscribe rates start growing beyond the pace of revenue your campaigns are generating, then you can start backing off.

But until then, you've likely got lots of work to do.

So what emails do I need to start creating today?

First, make sure your email capture is working for you. This means testing different style pop ups, content upgrades, and other email collection methods until you get opt in rates at 10%, 15%, or even 20%.

Next, improve all your email automation sequences with both more emails, and with better, persuasive, benefit-oriented copy.

Your welcome email sequence

The welcome sequence should beat out all your other email flows. It's the first interaction with your brand, and people really open these. So start here.

If you're a SaaS business offering a Trial, focus your first couple welcome emails on building your brand and credibility, and add a few emails that make it easy for customers to onboard and use your product immediately (i.e. step by step instructions to tasks that lead to 'wow' moments, and answer common questions). Then, send emails encouraging them to upgrade before their trail runs out (you'll need multiple reminders). And then, once their trial does run out, extend their trial! Keep nurturing them and providing value with 2-3 other emails explaining how customers can get more value from your product and really inspire them. Then, for those that still haven't signed up and have ended their trial, give them a discount and ask for payment… And then one more ‘last chance’ reminder.

If you're in Ecommerce, after you've obtained a new subscriber from your popup, hit up your customer with a discount, and a reminder, and then another reminder for anyone who hasn't opened. Meanwhile, continue to build your brand (offer credible, unique thought leadership, showcase testimonials and social proof) while explaining to your customer why your product is better or different that the competition. Then, give them another last chance discount offer. At some point, they will take action.

Abandoned Cart / Browse Abandonment Sequence

This is a huge one for ecomm stores. Instead of a generic sequence, make a totally custom abandoned cart sequence for your top selling products (at least 3 emails). Think about a product launch - you need to educate them about the product, show reviews, photos, video, reduce resistance by answering questions about shipping or even offering a specific discount or bundle for this product.

Reactivation / Re-engagement or Replenishment Sequence

If you're selling a product with a repeat purchase opportunity, you should already have a reminder flow. Send it exactly when your customer might be looking to buy from you again. i.e. if you sell contact lenses that last 6 months, create a reminder flow just before the 6 month mark.

For customers subscribed to your service who stop ordering or using your product altogether, you should have them on an un-engaged customer list, and ideally, you know why they've unengaged by collecting this data on your website when they choose to cancel/pause their account (i.e. price, features, going on holiday or taking a beak). If you know why they stop using your service, then you know the best message to re-engage them with.

Thank you emails

It's far easier and cheaper to retain and build your brand with a current customer than obtain a new customer, and a small thank you can go a long way. Where deals are endless and competition is fierce online, someone did choose your product. So make them feel special with a personalized thank you. And they will tell their friends and come back.

Rule of thumb, the more people buy, the more you should thank them. Change up your message each time they buy again. Gift them on their birthday. Make them a VIP and reward them. These are your very best customers now. So survey them so you can learn what makes them keep buying, or even invite them to join your customer advisory board.

Cross Promotion Sequence

Here's where you can really leverage more advanced personalization and segmentation. When customers buy one product, sell them on another relevant product down the road that work together with the original product they bought. But for your top cross sells, don't use a generic cross sell message. Instead, just like the abandoned cart email, make a custom sequence for your flagship cross sells, and send an irresistible 3 email series.

Campaign Emails

Once you've got these core automated email sequences ready to go, start ramping up your one-off Campaign emails. These are your product launches, product updates, seasonal collections, contests, events, newsletters etc. Again, just launching a single product could require 6 emails. And you might be launching a new product every month.

Beyond this list, there are many more types of emails you can send, and what you do will be unique to your business. This includes Referral emails, Customer Review emails, Surveys, Back in stock notifications, and more. And something to remember is that anyone who's unengaged hurts your deliverability, so you'll need automations to identify these people so they can be removed from your lists. i.e. A sunset flow is designed to phase out customers who are no longer engaging with your brand. You can use this flow as a last-ditch effort to see if you can get them engaged, and is critical if you have over 25-40k emails in your email list.

Lastly, segmentation & testing

As I mentioned, if you're sending out one email to everyone, you're probably hurting your deliverability rate. So you want start segmenting your users in ways that improve relevance.

Some basic ways you might already doing this i.e. if you sell products designed for vastly different age groups, you'll need to separate your campaigns so each group only sees your relevant product launches for that age group.

Or, another easy one is separating active users and inactive users. Or customers who've purchased, and non-purchasers. Then, when you're ready you can use advanced software (i.e. ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, Gist, or Klaviyo etc) to segment people, you can make more targeted campaigns based on actual user behaviour with your store or app.

Lastly, when you've got all this setup. Start testing every email within each flow. Every month, identify your worst performers (bad open rates, low revenue, and low CTRs), and think about the big changes you can make to subject lines and overall messages. Prioritize these changes by potential revenue, and keep testing.

I know it sounds lIke a lot of work, but it's easy to get started with at least some basic flows. And it's well worth it.

Email is one of the best marketing channels to invest serious time in:

  • “The ROI for email marketing can be as high as 4400%. That's $44 for every dollar spent on an email marketing campaign.” — CampaignMonitor
  • 29% of marketers rate email marketing as the most effective marketing channel (25% for social media, 22% for SEO, and 25% for content marketing). — GetResponse
  • In a study made by McKinsey & Co on how US companies generate new customers, they found that email marketing acquired 40 times more customers than Facebook and Twitter combined.
  • 61% of subscribers/ customers would like to receive promotional emails every week, 38% more frequently. — Kinsta

I like to think of email marketing like building a fire. You start small, build your foundation, and carefully add more layers. And the beauty - you only build it once, and it keeps growing and growing along with your revenue.

The key is to just get it started!

Josh @ Hoppy Copy
3x founder, CMO, loves email marketing

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