If you are reading this post you are probably like many of our clients who wonder aloud “Am I sending (enough/too much) email?” Email frequency is a topic that is much debated simply because there is no answer that suits every business. Optimizing frequency requires testing, and lots of it.

That’s right, testing is the only way to truly optimize frequency and anyone who tells you different is presenting you an uneducated guess. Your recipient may feel that two emails a week is far too few if you run a site that keeps track of dining hotspots, while for a site focused on air conditioning repair two emails per month might be overdoing it.

Here are a few of the key items to keep in mind as you test frequency.

Length of Content: It doesn’t much matter how frequently you send your emails if there is far more information than your recipient can digest. Keep in mind that even your most loyal customer is not likely to curl up in a Snuggie and read your email. Be sure that the key point of your message is readily apparent in both your subject line and the email body so that as your recipient is skimming it is not missed.

Timing: There are many schools of thought on the best time or day to send an email, but it varies based on your vertical and your audience. If you are promoting a sale on school supplies, an email sent at 10 am on a weekday may reach affluent families where one parent is at home during the day, whereas in a neighborhood highly populated with families where both parents work the campaign may fall flat. Many say that late in the week is bad timing for email, but I have seen auto dealer have great success mailing on Thursday and Friday promoting their weekend sales.

Value: If your communication is not truly presenting value to the recipient, they are likely to become quickly frustrated with more emails. Remember they are reading your email thinking “what is in this for me?” The value may come in the way of discounts on your products and services, but it can also be in the form of useful information. Fashion advice from a clothing boutique, tips on auto maintenance from an auto dealer and nutritional information from a restaurant or grocer, are all ways to stay top of mind with your client in between the hard sell emails you send them.

Keeping these keys in mind and structuring your communications to inform and build loyalty while selling, will help grow your subscriber base and your profits.