To make sure that your email campaign is effective, constant vigilance and maintenance is key. Below is a list of what is recommended to accomplish this, as well as a few ideas to get the highest engagement possible through email marketing.
Why Send Emails?
- To communicate with current customers.
- Build brand awareness and brand loyalty.
- To communicate with new prospects.
- Generate revenue, increase sales, increase repeat business.
- Remind customers of your business.
- Announce new promotions, products, etc.
When is the Best Time to Send Emails?
Best Day of the Week to Send Emails
In an examination of email open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates in 2020, it was found that:
- Best day with highest email open rates: Friday (18.9%)
- Best days with highest click-through rates: Friday (2.7%)
- Best days with highest click-to-open rates: Wednesday and Friday (14.4%)
- Email unsubscribe rates were virtually identical throughout the week (0.1%)
Conversely, the days below - on average - tend to be the worst-performing days for sending email:
- Worst day with lowest email open rates: Saturday (17.3%)
- Worst days with lowest click-through rates: Saturday (2.4%)
- Worst day with lowest click-to-open rates: Tuesday (13.5%)
However, you should carefully consider your own audience when deciding when to send emails. Be sure to test your emails' performance on different days before you finalize your calendar.
Best Time of Day to Send Emails
If you are looking for engagement with your emails (activity beyond simply "opening" the emails), the best time to send is between 6am - 8am or 8pm - midnight.
If you want to simply focus on email "opens", then the best time to send emails is in the late afternoon between 12pm - 4pm.
The time of day also influences which devices are used to open emails. During normal business hours, more email opens occur on desktop devices. During early morning and evening hours, more emails are viewed and opened on mobile devices.
A Few Things to Note
- Retail e-commerce and hobby related emails tend to be opened/engaged with more on Thursday, or at the end of the week.
- B2B emails tend to perform the best at the beginning of the week.
- Marketing/service base emails tend to perform the best mid-week.
- Sales focused emails are best to send on Thursday or Tuesday.
- Weekends tend to have the highest click through rate overall.
Tips for Email Content
- It’s best to keep content between 150 - 250 words.
- The best performing emails are under 150 words.
- Make your subject lines clear and short. Subject lines should be no longer than 50 characters. Try to keep the subject lines around 4 words for optimal success.
- Ask compelling questions. Think of something that will inspire your contacts (similar to a blog title) to get them thinking. This is your first call to action to your customers; use "action" verbs.
- Add an element of intrigue. While it’s important to make your subject line clear, don’t forget to add a bit of mystery to engage your readers. This way, they’ll definitely want to open your email and learn more.
- Avoid using all caps. Your subject line should stand our in your recipients' inbox, but it should be professional-looking and grammatically correct.
- A/B test your subject lines. They be effective since each client’s demographic will be different.
Preheader text is a "snippet" of text that appears under the subject line on an email. Preheader text is a great way to give a short summary of your email, as well as invite your clients to open and read. Paired with short, compelling subject lines, these little snippets can help you be more creative and bring your audience on board.
Keep it short and sweet. When your email is opened, the next step is to fulfill the promise you make in the subject line, and that’s what the body text is for.
The body of your email should be concise, informative, compelling, and actionable. In fact, emails with 75-100 words have the highest response rate, at 51%.
To make the most of the body copy of your email, consider the tips below:
- Create a hierarchy of information: Put the most important information in the first lines of your text and, if needed, go into a bit more detail later on.
- Make your text scannable: Use short paragraphs, headers, and bullet points to make your body copy clear and easy to read.
- Describe the value of your offer: Remember, the purpose of your email is to inform your clients and to get them to act (e.g. clicking through to learn more). Describe the juiciest part of your offer so they become engaged and are motivated to click your CTA.
- Address your clients’ pain: Knowing what keeps your audience awake at night allows you to understand what problems they need to solve. They’ll appreciate that you’re ready to answer their questions and offer them a real solution for the challenges they face.
Understanding Open Rates, Click-Through Rates, and Click-to-Open Rates
An email open rate is the percentage of the total number of subscribers who opened an email campaign. These rates can vary depending on the subject line and the relevancy of the subject matter for subscribers. A strong email open rate is around 11% - 15%.
How to improve your email open rate:
- Improve your subject lines
- Test subject line length, tone and content
- Optimize for previews with preheader text
- Test sender name and email address (ex. company name vs. CEO’s name)
- Test send day, send time, and send cadence (ex. daily vs. weekly)
- Ensure relevant content through personalization and segmentation
The email click-through rate is the number of subscribers who click on a link or image in your email out of all the total emails you’ve sent, regardless of whether or not the subscriber opened the campaign. Your click-through rate will be smaller than your click-to-open rate since it’s calculated using the larger number of total emails (versus just those who have opened).
Your click-through rate offers insight into how many of your total subscribers are visiting your website and ultimately converting from email. Comparing your open rates, click-to-open rates, and your click-through rates can reveal where your email marketing campaign is weakest.
Your click-through rate can vary, but it is best to be between 6% - 10%. Here are some tips for how to improve your click-through rate:
- Create stronger segments so you always send the most relevant content
- Maintain your brand voice throughout your messaging
- Improve your calls-to-action through clear copy and better design
- Offer strong incentives to capture subscribers’ attention
- Ensure your subject line accurately reflects the content of your emails
The Click-to-open-rate (CTOR) refers to the number of people who clicked compared to those who opened the email. The typical click-to-open rate is 20% - 30% (this number is higher because it is calculated based on the number of people who open the email, not the % based on total emails sent)
- For example, if you had a 40% click-through rate, it would mean that for every 10 people who opened your email, four people went on to click a link within that campaign
How to improve your email click-to-open rate:
- Make sure your email renders well across devices
- Collect the right data to segment and personalize
- Optimize your email design and copy
- Include an irresistible, easy-to-click call to action
- A/B test each email element individually
- Automate your emails to scale what works
Understanding Bounce Rates
- You should strive to have your bounce rate below 8%, and your unsubscribe rate between 2% - 3%.
- Too many hard bounces is a sign of an old, stale list. Make sure you email your subscribers regularly (at least once a quarter) so that your list stays up to date.
- Soft bounces usually mean the recipient is “temporarily unavailable”. Maybe they’re on vacation, or their mailbox is full. You can keep those emails and try them again later.
- Hard bounces mean an email address failed. Maybe it no longer exists, or maybe someone made a typo when they subscribed to a list. Hard bounces might also occur if an email hits a spam filter. If you see an abnormally high number of bounces after a campaign, read your bounceback records for any messages or clues from spam filters
Things to Avoid
- Never send to a list of contacts that did not opt in
- Never send to a list of contacts that you have not emails within the last 6 months