When to Email for Best Results
Invariably we get this question whenever we’re working with new clients on their marketing follow-up sequences:
“Is there a best time of day to send an email – and which day of the week gets the most opens?”
If there was one “best” answer, we’d all be inundated with emails on the same day and time … and most likely we’d throw up our hands and delete every one out of pure email overload.
A the risk of sounding like a broken record, “It depends on who your audience is.”
Just like there isn’t a perfect email, there isn’t a perfect time to send an email. If you’re a travel planner, there’s a good chance your audience waits until the end of the week when they are more in “vacation” mode.
If you link out to videos a lot in your emails, sending your emails out during the day probably isn’t a good idea – no one wants a video on auto-play to all of a sudden start while at work. You’re busted!
Timing Is Everything
1. DAY OF THE WEEK
Each year MarketingSherpa publishes a massive report on email trends, stats, etc. The masses read this report and immediately start mailing according to what the report suggests. So, if MarketingSherpa publishes the fact that email open rates are better on Tuesday and Thursday, watch out! Everyone else is going to start sending on those days.
In an earlier post, I shared that Wednesday and Friday were getting the highest click-through rates. That would certainly make sense if let’s say you owned a ski resort … most people, unless they’re on vacation, head out to the slopes on the weekend. So sending an email on a Friday about a 2-for-1 special you’re running could be just the “ticket.”
Every market is different. You need to test what’s best for your list, for your audience.
2. TIME OF DAY
Similarly, the time of day matters. A lot. For me, I know from testing, that when I send emails to my list for my real estate investment business on a Friday at about 5:30pm ET, the open rate is far better than any other time. I’ve also seen emails perform very well on weekends.
For our Barron Bullet subscribers, we’ve found that emailing weekly marketing tips does well when sent around 1pm. You got it…lunch time breaks. You need to track and figure out what works for you.
Test which day and time results in the most opens and clicks for your emails. When you combine both pieces of information, you’ll have a matrix of awesome times (and not so awesome times) to send your emails. That’s some pretty useful info right there.
What’s In a Name?
1. FIRST NAME VS. NO NAME IN SUBJECT LINE
Through the magic of dynamic content, you can make your email marketing personal … even in the subject lines of your emails. Sounds awesome, right?
Well-known marketers Perry Belcher and Ryan Deiss actually just showed data that proves that adding someone’s first name in an email subject line does NOT increase opens. Think about it…do you put your best friend’s name in the subject line when you email him/her?
No! It’s not natural. Yet, people continue to teach these myths as gospel.
2. FIRST NAME VS. NO NAME IN EMAIL
You can also test name personalization in the body content of your email. Again, some people might view it as a little old school, some might like it, and some might fall somewhere in between.
When I write email, I naturally include people’s names in my email because that’s how I talk. See where your audience sits on that spectrum.
3. COMPANY NAME VS. NO COMPANY NAME IN SUBJECT LINE
You can have more fun in the subject line of your emails, particularly if you’re a B2B marketer. Perhaps recipients would like to see their organization’s name in the subject line of an email. You won’t know for sure until you run a quick test.
4. SOCIAL MEDIA INFORMATION
If you’ve captured a lead’s social media information, you can use that to send social media specific emails to prospects – like content just for Twitter followers. Or exclusive tips for Facebook fans. There’s power in exclusivity. But only if your contacts appreciate it.
Hopefully, this is getting you to think how valuable testing is. And if anything, variety is what fuels engagement. Anything done the exact same way all the time gets old fast … which leads to an unresponsive list.
And that is the KISS of death.
Seize the day!