Touch point Governance: Establishing an Approach to Managing Email Frequency

September 1, 2018 Brandi Starr

When was the last time you reviewed your Email Frequency Report? The frequency of email marketing plays a significant role in building a quality customer base. Maintaining consistent communication with your Contacts will allow you to remain top-of-mind with potential clients. However, sending too many emails can easily result in either a negative view of your brand or an unnecessary unsubscribe rate.

Oracle conducted a survey that included over 6.3 billion emails sent and found that the lower the email frequency, the higher the clickthroughs, but there were fewer responses. Other studies show that more than 50% of people feel they receive too many emails. An effective strategy ensures communication frequency is high enough, but not too high. This article focuses on establishing governance to prevent excessive communication with Contacts.


Email frequency is systematically controlled by “touch point governance,” the process of managing the number of communications sent to an individual during a specific time period. Touch point governance should not be dictated by internal matters such as cost or internal politics. Rather, the customer experience should drive governance rules.

Governance rules should not be rigid, nor should the same rules be used across all Campaigns. As each Campaign differs, so should the rules. An acceptable communication frequency should be set for the top-of-the-funnel (or unsolicited communications). Your customer’s behavior should dictate the frequency of emails. If a Contact is highly engaged, you want to maintain their attention towards your brand. However, if a Contact is unengaged, you should aim to increase the gap between communications.


While there are many options available for implementing touch point governance, here are three common approaches:

1. One Campaign at a Time: Limit Contacts to one Campaign at a time. This approach focuses communications to one specific message for a period of time. If the Contact is engaged, they continue down that Campaign path and if they are not engaged, they can be removed and added to another Campaign. The challenge with this solution is that if the audience for different Campaigns overlap, those that are in both segments will not go into the next Campaign until they exit the first. If you regularly have overlapping segments, this is not the solution for you.

2. One Email Per Week: Limit email sends to one per week. With this method, Contacts can only begin a Campaign seven days after the last Email they received. This technique limits the start of a Campaign and user engagement controls the future flow of the Campaign. Unlike the first approach, the Contact can be engaged in multiple Campaigns because their behavior can shape future communications.

3. Stoplight Approach:  A stoplight program is used to set a Contact’s status to red, yellow, or green based on the number of communications they have received. Each Campaign type will have an acceptable layer of communication frequency. For example, nurture Campaigns may only be sent on green but event invitations can be sent to Contacts who are green or yellow. Like the other two approaches, the Contact’s engagement with Emails controls the cadence of future communications that they receive. 


A properly executed approach will be tailored to your needs. Marketing strategy, database size, and your company’s structure (do you have one or multiple marketing teams?) are all variables that will factor into touch point governance design. Tegrita can help you with this – first, we will work with you to determine if you’re either under- or over- communicating with your Contacts by running a diagnostic to overlay your Email frequency with unsubscribe rates and inbound activity. This report will help you understand how your frequency is impacting your marketing performance. Following this initial assessment, we will work with you to craft a touch point governance solution to effectively manage your Email frequency. Contact us today to find out how our team can help you get the most out of your company’s email marketing efforts.

Up next: Give your recipients more control over their inbox. Learn how to set up Email Snooze Functionality in Eloqua to control email frequency. 

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