Users who receive too many promotional messages may develop a negative opinion of your brand and disengage from your content. To prevent this from happening, Iterable provides Frequency Management. With this project setting, you can set a frequency cap that specifies how many email, SMS, and/or push notifications your users can receive in a given period of time.
In addition to frequency capping, Iterable offers Frequency Optimization (beta) as part of the Frequency Management suite. This feature uses Iterable AI to maximize engagement by adjusting how many email, SMS, and/or push notifications each user receives in a given period of time, based on their historical engagement data. For more information about beta testing this feature, talk to your Iterable customer success manager.
In this article
- Getting started
- How it works
- Enable Frequency Management
- Override Frequency Management
When you set your first frequency cap on a project, take a conservative approach. Start with a high limit such as seven messages per day, and monitor results. Adjust your settings to change message cadence slowly over time. This helps reduce the potential impact of an abrupt drop in messaging volume.
How it works
Frequency Management allows marketing messages for email, SMS, and push notifications to send until the user reaches their limit for that channel. Until then, messages send chronologically by send time.
You can set a frequency cap with daily, weekly, or monthly limits, and you can ignore the cap for a campaign, message type, or journey.
After a user has received the maximum allowed messages, Iterable skips messages
for that user, in that channel, until the period resets. Iterable records this
as a send skip event
Frequency caps reset based on the project’s time zone.
- Daily - Every night at 12:00 AM
- Weekly - Every Sunday at 12:00 AM
- Monthly - Every first of the month at 12:00 AM
How messages count
Messages that count towards frequency cap limits include:
- Sent marketing messages
- Bounced marketing messages
Messages that do not count:
- Transactional messages
- Any message that ignores frequency capping
- Proofs, send skips, and silent pushes
Frequency caps apply on each channel independently (email, SMS, and push notifications), and don’t combine to an overall limit.
For SMS, a campaign with multiple segments is a single message for frequency capping. SMS segments aren't counted separately.
If there is more than one user with the same
- One user receives a campaign message, and that message counts towards their limit.
- The other user would have a send skip event with reason
DuplicateMarketingMessage. The unsent message doesn't count towards that user's limit.
For push notifications, the frequency cap applies per device. When a user has multiple devices registered, each device receives messages up to the set limit.
For a daily limit of three push notifications, a user with two devices registered can receive a cumulative total of up to six daily push notifications sent—three to each device.
For userID-based projects, frequency caps apply per
userId. Keep this in mind
if your project allows non-unique email addresses and some users share an
email. A certain email address can receive up to the message limit for
Frequency Management and journeys
Frequency caps don't delay journeys or hold users in send tiles. Users who've received their maximum messages get a send skip event for the journey message and then progress to the next tile based on the journey's conditions.
Frequency Management and other delivery controls
Frequency Management is an eligibility check just prior to when a message sends.
Iterable applies delivery controls like Send Time Optimization, campaign rate limiting, and Quiet Hours, before considering a frequency cap.
Example with Quiet Hours
Features such as Quiet Hours can push a message's send time into a new frequency cap period, causing it to send when it otherwise wouldn't have.
Let's say that you send a campaign at 8:00 PM to a user who has received their daily limit of three messages per day.
- When Quiet Hours are off, Iterable send skips the campaign for the user because they've reached their limit for the day.
- When Quiet Hours are on, Iterable holds the campaign based on Quiet Hours rules. When the campaign sends at 9:00 AM the next morning, the user receives the message because the daily frequency cap reset overnight.
Enable Frequency Management
By default, Frequency Management is off. Members with the Manage Settings project permission may make changes.
To turn it on:
- Go to Settings > Project Settings.
- Scroll down to find Frequency Management.
- Change the dropdown menu from Off to Set Cap.
- Maximum number of marketing messages — between 1 and 99
- Period that the frequency cap applies — Day, Week, or Month
- Save your changes. The Project Settings page doesn't auto-save.
In this example, Iterable sends a maximum of three SMS marketing messages per week to each user.
Override Frequency Management
While ignoring the frequency cap, Iterable doesn't count any of the campaign's messages towards each user's frequency cap limit.
These options only appear when the message is subject to frequency capping. Override controls don't show for transactional messages because caps do not apply to them.
Ignore frequency cap for a message type
To ignore the frequency cap for a message type:
- Go to Settings > Message Channels and Types.
- Go to the page for the channel (email, SMS, or push) and find the message type to override.
- Open the overflow menu for that message type and select Ignore Frequency Cap.
- Check the box for Ignore Frequency Cap to confirm, and then click Save Changes.
Ignore frequency cap for a campaign
To ignore the frequency cap for a campaign, turn on Ignore Frequency Cap in the campaign delivery settings.
Ignore frequency cap in a journey
To ignore the frequency cap for a message in a journey, turn on Ignore Frequency Cap in the message tile settings.