Email Marketing Success
Email Marketing is by far, the best tool for brand building and marketing online. If you are selling a product or service or using email to stay in touch with your audience, email by far has the potential to deliver a strong ROI for your business. You need to effectively begin building and growing your list, and then you need to understand your audience by understanding their behavior with your emails. Because the space is crowded you need to work to understand your analytics very carefully.
The precise response rates of emails when sent out to your list depend on a number of factors including the subject line, type of offers and the time of day the email is sent.
The primary way of accurately finding the optimal time to send your emails is to run tests. You also need to take into account fluctuations around certain events such as Christmas and the Superbowl, and holidays.
There is even a way of running tests using Google Analytics to help you get a better understanding of how your emails are impacting your list.
Daytime vs. Nighttime. While this one may be obvious, it’s usually better to send out your email campaigns during the daytime. You know, when people are awake. Not asleep.
Start of the Week (Monday).The general consensus is that should avoid sending out email blasts on Mondays. Why? People are already bummed out about the end of the weekend. They march into the office and are flooded with emails they’ve collected over the past few days. What’s the first thing they do? Delete those emails of course!
Tuesday-Thursday. MailChimp conducted researched across almost 1 billion emails and found that these 3 days are best for emailing newsletters. You can see the chart below.
Wednesday around 12pm. The most popular and traditional approach of sending out email campaigns during the middle of the week, mid-day, produces very good results. General knowledge suggests sending emails between 1-3pm as well as 9am-11am is a safe bet. You can bet that during this time period the response rates will be very reliable and predictable. MailChimp recommends 2pm as an optimal time based on their research and data, but of course, your own test may prove different based on how you are engaging with your audience.
Most of these tips are general at best, but sound advice for email marketing will only come through your understanding and analyzing your audience. However, there are many situations which quickly challenge the suggestions above.
Best Time to Send Emails: Thursday 8 – 9 am
My emails typically are sent between the hours of 8am and 9am, but I’ve also sent emails out at 6am. I find that my audience is an audience that is on the go, work or school, and they typically read my emails from their desk at work on on their way to work with a mobile device.
Worst Time to Send Emails: Tuesday & Wednesday 8 – 10 am
A lot of marketing experts would claim that Tuesday and Wednesday mornings should be great times to send emails, but I’ve found that Tuesday mornings result in under 5% open rates, while Wednesday mornings have below 5% click to open ratios.
It’s worth noting that although activity on mobile devices is plentiful on nights and weekends, a Brafton study shows that 55% of consumers still open emails on desktops, while only 25% open emails on mobile devices. However, this study was done in 2013, and with users growing more reliant on mobile everyday, this data can and will change. I also suspect that as businesses learn to craft more mobile-friendly emails and blog posts, we will see greater email open rates on mobile devices.
Understand Your Audience
Understanding your audience, or your demographic, is the single most important thing you can do for email marketing success or any marketing success for that matter. They’re your audience – you should know their habits and cater to them by sending them what they want, when they want it, and how they want it.
Below are some examples of how understanding demographics can trump the “best time to send” general advice:
If you’re targeting the young, tech-obsessed crowd, you may want to ignore the general tip about not sending emails in the evening. Evening emails could work just fine for younger audiences because most are normally always online at any given time of night.
Friday could be a great choice if you’re in the entertainment industry. With folks looking for fun things to do over the weekend you will see a spike in traffic, or emails openings that cater to this type of niche.
Weekends work well also. What if you’re interested in reaching tech-savvy audiences in cold-weather climates? I bet they spend plenty of time checking emails on Saturday and Sunday since they are probably confined in doors.
Most times conventional thinking can trump research or “data”. Sometimes understanding the numbers is not the only way to understand your audience.
To your email marketing success!