Press commentary on direct-to-consumer brand’s email marketing strategies. Read the article.

“It can feel pretty thirsty,” said Richie Siegel, founder of Loose Threads, referring to when brands send too many emails.

DTC startups didn’t invent the practice of bombarding customers multiple times a week with emails. Email is a lucrative marketing channel for retailers, because it’s essentially free — companies don’t have to pay to email customers, only for an email software provider or other marketing software. There is of course a hidden cost — too much emailing can often mean more unsubscribes, which in turn means spending more money on customer acquisition.

Another challenge is figuring out what metrics to track to determine whether or not an email campaign is successful, that won’t unfairly tip the scales in favor of sending out more emails promoting discounts. “Unsurprisingly, [our] best performing emails [are] tied to sale announcements and giveaways in terms of open rate,” Zamora said, though she declined to share a specific rate.

If a company sends too many emails in a given time period, they also run the risk of irritating customers who will unsubscribe if they feel like it’s no longer worth it to stay subscribed to a company mailing list. Siegel said that while there’s no one unsubscribe rate that companies don’t want to cross, but that “you should be growing your email list net positive week-over-week or month-over-month.”

While many brands will say they believe they aren’t emailing customers too often, the question is will they continue to swear off sending more emails as their revenue goals get more aggressive.

“I think a lot of [email strategies] are just driven unfortunately by internal schedules of how much they have to sell,” Siegel said. Amatori also said that a lot of companies rely on email to bring their blended customer acquisition costs down.

“Email is the best marketing channel because it is free,” she said.