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Email Campaigns: Should You Focus on Reach or Frequency?

Updated On March 26, 2021

By Matthew Barton

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In an ideal scenario, marketing managers want to reach a broad target audience while maintaining consistent engagement. However, this doesn’t apply to real-world scenarios. Like any critical business decision, there will be tradeoffs in opportunity costs with hard-to-define pros and cons. For email marketing campaigns, this limitation tends to be on its frequency and reach.

Working with a limited budget

Running a company requires you to oversee different aspects of your business, from logistics options to branding efforts. Although it’s a business owner’s dream to avoid thinking about expenses, it’s a natural part of running an operation. This is why it’s vital to make the proper choices with the best returns at the right price.

Frequency and reach are general values that appear in your marketing campaign’s metrics. Besides being a measure for success, these two also contribute to your advertising costs. However, it’s not always a choice between one or the other. This is because utilizing a balance of both is the best way to execute your marketing strategies.

Interpreting the value of frequency and reach

There are more immediate methods of engaging with consumers, like cold calling or PPC campaigns through social media ad placements. However, these aren’t as compelling as the tried and tested method of direct mail marketing.

In direct mail marketing, your reach is the total number of addresses that have opted in your mailing list. Generally, 5,000 addresses are the maximum reach you’re capable of. On the other hand, frequency is the number of times you expose the people in your marketing list through different email marketing campaigns.

Understanding the value of frequency

Although you can have an impressive list of 50,000 or more addresses, it won’t readily translate to higher sales figures. This is why many marketing experts advise against prioritizing your reach. You’re actively wasting your time and budget if you can’t maintain engagement through repetition in your marketing strategy. It’s better to focus on several messages on the same contacts over time instead of taking your chances of getting a response on your first inquiry. Don’t treat your marketing efforts as a high-risk gamble. Remember that it’s unlikely to receive returns from one-off marketing campaigns.

Reach without frequency won’t lead to growth, especially if you want to maintain a stable source of revenue from repeat customers. For this reason, it’s necessary to integrate reach but prioritize frequency when executing direct mail marketing.

Finding the optimal frequency

Direct mail marketing doesn’t always produce immediate results. However, you shouldn’t let this fact prevent you from committing to your campaign. After all, your efforts’ effectiveness will depend on the frequency you can commit to when looking for leads.

It takes at least three exposures before an advertising message compels consumers to take action. However, this number can vary depending on your industry. The only way to figure out the magic number that works for your business is through rigorous trial and error. If you’re persistent enough, you’ll eventually gain your prospective clients’ interests.


Executing direct mail marketing campaigns can be a time-consuming process, especially if you have a small team. Since consistency is the key to getting the right leads, it’s important to continuously look for prospective leads within and beyond your mailing list. Unfortunately, you can’t give your full attention to one marketing strategy. Otherwise, you’ll lose focus on running your business. For this reason, it’s necessary to outsource your marketing experts to reliable marketing agencies.

As business owners, we know the struggles our clients feel in handling their business. This is why we provide immediate and direct solutions through our marketing growth package! If you need a full-service direct marketing agency, contact us today!

Matthew Barton

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