Optimal iQ Blog

B2B - What is the Right Amount to Send?

Posted by: Jason Smith on 7/22/2011
Shelley Galbraith leads email marketing for our Optimal iQ clients.  She has put the following guidelines together to answer the question of how much email is enough.  It has been very helpful internally so we wanted to share it with the world.  

B2B Email:  How Much Is Too Much?

Email Is the Most Effective Tool…

Email is the most effective communications channel in a B2B sale other than direct contact with a sales representative.  With an email address from a potential customer, you get more chances at the sale—as many as you choose to take.

…Crucial to Big Purchase Decisions

In a business-to-business situation—the considered purchase, in which a decision will be made over a period of weeks or months—email is incredibly valuable.  If it is executed with respect, it is a friend to those working on the decision, designed to support prospects when they are carefully considering what to purchase.

Customers Trust You.  Send Them Email.

A strong conversion-oriented house list email strategy is built on permission, frequency, non-promotional content and testing.   Send as much email as the content and relevance of the content allows and to match the buy cycle.  So, can you produce an adequate volume of content that can meet the needs of the sales process, yet not be pushy?  Customers will accept commercial business-to-business email that complements the buy cycle even if they are not interested in the subject matter of every single email they receive from that business.  And, even though they may not open every email, usually they will not unsubscribe.   

Support Email with a Website to Match.

The home page is for those just learning about your brand or offering. For everything else, build a landing page. Focused landing pages—a separate page on your website specifically addressing your offer—are designed to get a visitor to take action—join, download, register, call, and/or read.  Promote offers (and landing pages) on the home page.

Then, Test Their Response.

With some simple analytics in place, you can pretty easily establish the ideal frequency of your email campaigns.  With experimentation, many companies have confirmed that they should be sending email more frequently.  Planning is important to make sure you don’t over send where segmented email lists overlap.

Keep The Content Relevant, Then Plan, Test, and Measure Again.

The key to keeping email relevant is planning for content and frequency where possible.  Additionally, it is important to regularly measure the effectiveness of email over time.  Content should include a non-promotional subject line, “light” educational copy, a link to relevant online content, and at least one offer.


1.  Albee, Ardath.  Marketing Interactions Blog.  “Considerations for B2B Email Frequency.”  http://marketinginteractions.typepad.com/marketing_interactions/


2.  www.searchengineland.com

3.  Massey, Brian.  Conversion Science.  “Extreme Email Experiment:  How Much is Too Much?  http://emailresourcecenter.net/blog/2011/01/13/extreme-email-experiment-how-much-is-too-much/

4.  www.marketingsherpa.com

5.  Massey, Brian.  Conversion Science.  “The Considered Purchase:  Core Conversion Marketing Strategies.”  http://searchengineland.com/the-considered-purchase-core-conversion-marketing-strategies-39259

6.  www.emailresourcecenter.net

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