Email Review: Frequency Caps

On Saturday, I wrote about the issues I’ve seen in the Democratic Party’s email campaign recently.

The other day, I got this email:

It was one of 6 emails I got that day. 3 of the others had this same basic message, 2 did not.

And I had an idea, one that could be applied by those in charge of the Dem’s emails, but also to any high frequency email sender.

Create frequency caps, or lists with varying levels of frequency, and offer each subscriber a choice.

An example for an ecommerce site might be:

  1. Receive emails daily with items on sale that day
  2. Receive email weekly with upcoming sale items
  3. Receive emails every time a new item goes on sale

Marketers would argue that sending more leads to more sales. It’s true in many cases. They might be able to prove it.

But is a lost subscriber due to the frequency of emails worth not offering this choice?

Here’s a bonus idea for the marketer who doesn’t like my idea: The option to lower frequencies might be presented on the unsubscribe screen. So only when you’re about to lose someone will you have to cut back on your frequency. Sound good?