Enough Is Enough – How To Tell You Are Sending Too Many Emails to Your Subscribers – Email Thursday

TOPICSEmail Marketing

You’ll always wonder if you’re over-sending emails until you read this post…

Email is a significant undertaking, and as an investment you want your return. But when you are oversending email campaigns to your subscribers, you risk annoying your readers while your email overhead costs climb higher and higher.

Stop the insanity!

I will present three tell-tale signs that indicate that you are sending too many emails to your readers. If you heed these signs, you will maintain or increase retention rates and reduce your costs associated with email marketing.

Sign #1: High Unsubscribe Rate

Are you experiencing increasing unsubscribe rates with each campaign? Do you feel as if your subscribers are rushing for the exits?

As a basic rule of thumb, your unsubscribe (loss) rates should be on a consistent downward trend from campaign to campaign. There may be outliers and exceptions to the rule, but you should be concerned if your unsubscribe rate increases over three campaigns (as a sample).

I would suggest a reevaluation of your email program if your unsubscription rate is consistently higher than 3.0%. Not only are you losing subscribers at a high rate, but you may be decreasing your deliverability.

Major email platforms, such as gmail, take the number of unsubscribes into account when assessing whether or not your emails should be flagged as spam. A high number of unsubscribes will cause email platforms to mark any and all email communications that you send as malicious email.

One potential contributor to a high unsubscribe rate is oversending emails. More specifically, you may be sending too many emails that are irrelevant to your core readership.

Sign #2: Low Return On Investment

The second sign is slightly controversial. Low Return On Investment (ROI) from a campaign can be attributed to oversending emails. It can also be tied to many other factors, such as weak calls-to-action or poor product mix.

On the same token, low ROI may be a result of simply sending too many emails in a short span of time.

If you are experiencing low ROI from campaign to campaign, you should assess your email broadcast schedule and consider decreasing the number of sends.

This has two immediate impacts:

  1. You will have more time to develop more impactful campaigns. Take time to review your sales messages and finetune your promotions. Think about what you say and how you say it.
  2. Your readers will get some much-needed breathing room and they can receive your promotions and messages without feeling suffocated.

Sign #3: Fatigue

Thanks for sticking with me through two important indicators of oversending email. I saved the best one for last!

The third sign is fatigue. By “fatigue,” I’m referring to the lack of creative passion and vision that your staff infuse into each email campaign.

The issue of fatigue is often overlooked because it has a strong qualitative component. But the results are very tangible – bland email campaigns that simply do not resonate with readers and fail to strike a chord or inspire action (i.e. purchases). Worst of all, your campaigns start to look the same (and not in a good way!).

As with physical fatigue, you need to re-energize your campaigns!

Shake up your creative energies by looking at email campaigns that you love. Consider why you like those particular campaigns, and transplant those energies into your email operation.

Take the time to step away from your email processes and see the forest from the trees. Celebrate what you are doing well, but also be honest in the areas that could use some improvement.


In conclusion, there are many negative results that stem from the simple factor of oversending emails.

This is an issue that can be easily addressed by not only sending fewer emails but knowing the right message to send at the right time to the right person.

I hope that this post has been helpful to you. May your email program be ever optimized!