Frequency has become an increasingly hot topic for email marketers. A recent article in The New York Times, for instance, reports research results from marketing firm Responsys that show large retailers sent an average of 152 messages per subscriber in 2010—a 15-percent boost in email volume from 2009.

Sounds like a good argument for you, too, to send more promos out, right? Well, hold on a minute.

Megan Feltes, writing at the Emma blog, warns against the knee-jerk reaction of sending even more emails in the hopes of making even more profit after successful results from an increase in frequency. “While email marketing remains the most cost-effective, most trackable direct marketing method and is still the champ when it comes to marketing ROI, those juicy returns only come with forethought to strategy and smart implementation,” she cautions.

To help you gain the benefits of increased frequency without alienating your audience, Feltes offers pointers like these:

Be sure your audience knows what to expect. A sudden switch from once-a-week mailings to two or three times a week, for instance, might feel like an ambush. “Encourage your recipients to update their preferences or answer a survey prior to increasing your volume,” she advises.

Segment your audience and target appropriately. “Gone are the days of the mass e-blast (or as I call it, the e-bludgeon),” she says. Your best customers might love the additional access to offers and content; those who make one purchase a year might, however, resent the intrusion.

Consider non-holiday opportunities for extra messages. Subscribers are more receptive to increased frequency when content is tied to a special event or product launch, she notes.

The Po!nt: More isn’t always better. If you increase frequency without laying the right groundwork, you might find yourself sending more and more emails to fewer and fewer recipients.

Source: Emma.