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The Difference Between Email Frequency and Cadence

Frequency and cadence in email marketing are often used interchangeably. They mean different things, and here's what that means for your email timing and strategy.

The needle moving on a wooden metronome

What is the difference between email frequency and cadence?

There's something that eludes many email senders...

Finding the exact right number of emails to send to your audience. 💎

Achieving that "sweet spot" in email is a pretty important driver of your email success.

But, it can be tricky, can't it?

It begins with an understanding of what email your email cadence looks like, and how you adjust your email frequency at strategic times.

Often frequency and cadence are used interchangeably, however, they do differ when you consider your email strategy.

So what's the difference between email frequency and cadence? Allow us to explain.

Email Frequency

Email frequency is essentially the number of emails sent in
a given period.

It could be the number of emails sent per week, month, or quarter. Think of it as the volume of emails sent over the timeline of your email strategy.

A common example that many email senders follow is setting a frequency to their weekly or monthly newsletter (our Email Advice in Your Inbox Newsletter follows a twice-monthly newsletter, for example).

Your frequency will often depend on the type of content you send, the type of company you are and in which industries you operate.

Many "deal-a-day" e-commerce businesses thrive off a frequency of daily emails, while creators offer daily, weekly or bi-monthly email frequencies. On the other hand, in many B2B industries, emails sent once monthly or even quarterly work well for their intended purposes.

You can select a frequency that makes sense for you, but it's also how you structure the environment supporting your emails, and everything done between your regular emails.

That's where email cadence comes in.

Email Cadence

Email cadence, in contrast, goes beyond just the number of emails. It's the strategic orchestration of that frequency, encompassing.

This encompasses:


When you send those emails.

Are they daily blasts, or spread out thoughtfully across a week?


The sequence of your emails.

Is it a one-time welcome email, or a series of nurturing messages spread over weeks?


Tailoring cadence to different audiences.

New leads might get a more frequent automated sequence, while established customers receive a monthly newsletter.


The type of emails you send within the cadence.

These are generally related to how campaign volumes are increased or decreased during promotional or seasonal periods.

In short, frequency is the "how many," while cadence is the strategic "when," "how often," "to whom," and "with what message."

The choreography of your email marketing efforts if you will.

3 wood cuckoo clocks all displaying different times

How to get timing and frequency right in your email strategy

There are a few ways to nail this! Try these:

Use your preference centre!

This allows your audience to decide on the frequency and timing of emails they get from you, and the types of content that interest them.

Offer an opt-down instead of just an opt-out. 

This could include reducing email frequency or the choice only to receive certain types of emails

Segment based on selected frequency and cadence. 

Not everyone wants to receive emails in the same way. Let your audience choose.

Adjust your frequency by where your audience is in their lifecycle. 

If you send campaigns based on where in the customer or product lifecycle your audience is, you'll keep them more relevant.

Work on your timing to keep that sweet spot

Email timing can often be the difference between a good email sender and a great one.

The trick is to keep learning from your audience, keep them at the top of your mind when planning, and give them the power to choose how they want to hear from you, and when it suits them best.

Your results will improve and your email audience will stay engaged and keep coming back for more.

No one wants an audience that's ghosting them, after all.

Before you go! You'll need an audience to send emails to before you begin. Learn the fastest ways to grow your email list today by using the tried and tested Email Database Growth Playbook.

Click here or on the image below to get your FREE copy👇

Preview of The Ultimate Database Growth Guide for Email Marketing by Email Expert Africa

Want to become an email expert? Get our expert email guide today! Click here to find out more

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