No results...


Email cadence: How many emails should you send per week, month?

· 13 min read · Email marketing · September 3, 2021

Sending too many emails might annoy your subscribers. But sending too few might be a missed opportunity. What’s the best email cadence to generate the highest engagement?

Conventional wisdom usually tells us that less is more, but common sense isn’t always the way to go in the wacky world of email marketing. In fact, sending emails less than once per month can cause email deliverability issues. 


People are less likely to remember you and might unsubscribe. And some of those email addresses will no longer be valid, resulting in hard bounces and possible spam traps. On the flip side, it seems a bit much to send an email every day. 

To get to the bottom of this million-dollar question, we analyzed our data to figure out the optimal email cadence. 

Drum roll, please!

The best email marketing frequency that generates the most engagement is… it depends.

It depends on your subscribers and what you have to offer.

Sorry, we were hoping for a neat and tidy answer too. But the good news is that we have the email marketing data to share with you, coupled with best practices to determine what the right cadence is for you. 

Email cadence is the frequency and timing of emails optimized to receive the highest level of engagement. 

It also includes the types of emails you send in relation to where a subscriber is in the customer journey, and how you can send the right emails at the right time

For example, an online educational business might send emails to their students multiple times per week but send their promotional newsletters once per month.

Every business has a unique set of subscribers and might offer a variety of newsletters. Your email cadence takes into account these factors to determine the email marketing frequency that works best for you. 

How do you find your sweet spot? Let’s start by looking at our data and then we’ll get into some ways you can optimize your email cadence.

Our data analysis did not magically reveal the perfect email marketing frequency. But we did learn a few important things that will help you, including:

  • How the entire email marketing sending landscape looks

  • How engagement rates look for an every day mailer to a monthly mailer

  • The email frequency benchmarks by industry

In the chart below, we looked at all MailerLite accounts and broke out the percentage of accounts for each mailing frequency.

email sending frequency data compared chart - MailerLite

The interesting takeaway in this chart is that while there is a very small percentage that sends emails every day, 18.52% of total accounts send multiple emails per week.

median open rate based on email sending frequency chart - MailerLite

In general, emails sent multiple times per week have slightly less opens than emails sent monthly. This data set also tells us that the best open rates are not tied exclusively to email cadence. 

email sending frequency click through rate blue chart - MailerLite

Surprisingly, the click-through rate was higher for emails sent the most frequently. One theory is that these types of emails tend to deliver timely news or offers that must be clicked immediately, such as daily deals. However, this is followed by 1 per week and 1 per 2 weeks, which suggests that, generally speaking, a lower sending frequency has better CTR. 

Email frequency by industry

Let’s take a look at email frequency by industry. We analyzed the rate at which our customers send email campaigns to their subscribers. The chart below shows the median number of days between emails for different industries.

This will give you a better idea of what your email sending benchmark should look like, but it’s not going to be exact. Each business within a particular industry is unique and will provide different services and messaging that affect the number of emails.

Industry Number of days between emails (median)
Agriculture and food services 11.65
Arts and artists 17.39
Author 12.73
Beauty and personal care 12.53
Blogger 9.80
Business and finance 11.88
Consulting 9.83
Creative services/agency 11.73
E-commerce 10.08
Education and training 10.62
Educational institution 8.85
Entertainment and events 12.76
Health and fitness 9.73
Hobbies 11.21
Home and garden 11.42
Marketing and advertising 8.45
Media and publishing 14.38
Medical, dental and healthcare 14.06
Non-profit 11.47
Publishing company 9.90
Real estate 11.71
Religion 7.00
Retail 12.15
Software and web apps 10.73
Travel and transportation 12.50

The best way to develop your own email cadence is to monitor your performance metrics and industry benchmarks while experimenting with different sending frequencies. When your opens or clicks start to slow, it’s time to pull back.

You can also conduct your own A/B testing by sending to half your list at one time and the other half at another time and compare results.

In addition to the frequency of emails, it’s important to consider how much content or special offers you plan to share. You don’t want to send emails that don’t deliver value. 

In email marketing, there’s a point of diminishing returns where the time and resources of creating and sending emails start to have less and less return on investment.

point of diminishing returns in email marketing chart - MailerLite

The goal of these 7 email cadence best practices is to give you the tools and tricks to figure out your optimal email cadence. A good starting point is to understand your email marketing goals and the metrics that matter to you. Then through experimentation and testing, you’ll narrow down which sending frequencies work best with your different types of emails.  

1. Start with your email marketing goals

When we talk about email cadence, we have to take into consideration the type of emails you send. This starts with your goals. What are you trying to accomplish with your email marketing campaign? 

If your goal is to provide information that is needed on a daily basis, then you need to send emails every day. But here’s the catch. People will only tolerate daily emails if they bring value every time. If you start seeing an increase in your unsubscribe rate or a drop in your email open rate, you’ll know something is not working.

Want to learn how to create email marketing content that your readers will love?

2. Align email frequency with customer behavior

If you know your customers’ buying behaviors, you can map your email cadence to align with their customer journey. This works especially well when you use email marketing automation workflows to deliver emails based on a subscriber’s action.

For example, when a subscriber reads a blog post on a certain topic, you can automatically send them a related follow-up email at the perfect time. Instead of guessing your email frequency, automation allows you to let the subscriber dictate the best timing for their emails. 

Here are some examples of automation workflows to get you started.

Automate segmentation

You can also combine email segmentation with automation to create different groups within your email list based on their behaviors. When a subscriber engages with certain content, they can be put in a group that focuses on that interest.

3. Set expectations in your welcome email

Speaking of automation, do you have an automated welcome email? When you create a welcome email for new subscribers, it’s the perfect opportunity to set clear expectations about the frequency of your newsletter. 

If you plan to offer email frequency options, you can add a link that allows subscribers to choose their preferences. This level of personalization will empower them to feel in control. Check out this welcome email example from No-Code Coffee.

no-code coffee newsletter example made in MailerLite

4. Create subscriber segments using frequency options

Traditionally, email marketing segmentation is used to send targeted emails to smaller groups of subscribers. This boosts engagement because your emails can be tailored for each specific audience. 

You can also create segments based on your subscribers’ preferred email frequency like in the No-Code Coffee email example above. When you empower your readers with options, you no longer have to guess about email cadence.

In MailerLite, you can also use the custom unsubscribe builder to give people options before they unsubscribe.

Subscriber list tips

To learn more about all the ways to optimize your subscriber list, check out this article: Subscriber email list management explained.

5.  Add a survey to your newsletter

If you don’t offer different sending options where subscribers can select their preferences, another way you can involve them is to use embedded email surveys.  

You can easily include a quick survey in your newsletter and ask people if they like the current frequency or if they prefer receiving emails more or less frequently.

Who else to better advise you on how often to send out emails than the people reading them? 

Once your survey results are in, you can use them to segment your list according to the frequency with which they want to receive your emails.

Unsubscribe surveys

Why are readers leaving? You can use unsubscribe surveys to find out. One of the survey options is The emails are too frequent. If this reason keeps coming up, you’ll know that you need to change your email frequency.

6. Use A/B testing to find what subscribers prefer

For a more analytical look at how your subscribers respond to different frequencies and timing, A/B tests can give you deeper insights based on real actions. 

For example, you could split your subscribers into two groups and send Group A weekly newsletters, and Group B bi-weekly newsletters—and see which one results in higher open-rates and CTR. 

Go a step further and test out different times during the day, days of the week, and content based on when the email is being sent or where the subscriber is in their journey. 

Once you have your results, don’t stop there! Keep testing until you whittle down the most successful email cadence for your audience.

7. Communicate with other departments

Be careful that your organization is not sending too many emails at the same time. People don’t always make the distinction between a sales email, product update and a marketing newsletter. Most likely, they’ll just see that XYZ company has sent them multiple emails.

So it’s important that you align your sending frequency and timing with that of other departments. This will avoid overwhelming subscribers’ inboxes with too many emails at the same time.

What’s more, you can use your insights on what works best to inform other teams on how they might optimize their sending frequency. Are the sales reps sending too many webinar invitations? Is there a particular time of day that works best?

Create a cross-department email strategy and timetable so that there are no clashes—and stick to it. This way, you’ll avoid unsubscribes and keep your colleagues happy too!

Email cadence is only one part of it

The one-size-fits-all email cadence doesn’t exist, but you can find what works best for you and run with it. The truth is that the success of your email marketing strategy can rarely be distilled to 1 aspect like sending frequency or subject line. Better open rates and more clicks come when the right email elements align to meet your subscriber’s needs.

If subscribers need you every week, then you’ll want to send them emails every week. If they need you less often, then find what works best.

Ready to learn more about email marketing best practices? Sign up to the MailerLite Academy to get certified! Sign up free

Editor's note: This article was originally published in August 2020, but has been updated with fresh ideas and examples.

Jonas Fischer
I'm Jonas, Content Manager at MailerLite. I’m not the 4th Jonas Brother, but I do write content (which is similar to being a teen heartthrob). After writing for a bunch of companies over the years, I discovered my professional passion—helping add some humanity to B2B marketing. Email is the perfect place to start!
Stop War! Help Ukraine! See what you can do