Is there a wrong time to send that new promotional email? A new study from GetResponse, an email marketing and automation vendor specializing in the small and midsized businesses (SMBs) space recently decided to find out.
The company analyzed nearly 2 billion emails sent by its customers, who hail from 126 countries and operate across 19 industries for its Email Marketing Benchmarks report. The exhaustive study produced a wealth of data to pore over and no shortage of actionable insights.
For example, small business marketers may want to rethink their strategies after discovering that Thursday may be the best day of the week to share an email.
Emails sent on a Thursday have both the highest open rate (23.13 percent) and the click-through rate (3.52 percent), according to the GetResponse's findings. Strangely, most emails are sent on Wednesdays.
What are open and click-through rates? Open rate describes the total number of recipients who open an email while click-through rate represents how many people clicked on a link contained in an email.
There's apparently an ideal time to send an email, too. Open rates and click-through rates are highest for emails sent at 4:00 p.m., at 25.13 percent and 3.82 percent, respectively.
Thinking of sharing an engaging video with your subscribers? It may be best to forgo the de facto standard in web video. In emails, YouTube takes a back seat to Vimeo in terms of open rates (31.9 percent versus 47.35 percent) and click-through rates (5.56 percent versus 12.5 percent).
Emails with emojis in the subject line may not be common (7.69 percent), but they have a slightly higher open rate than those without the expressive little icons (26.67 percent versus 24.07 percent). Similarly, personalized email subject lines are relatively rare (9.73 percent), but they outperform emails lacking personalization in their subject lines by a considerable margin (28.46 percent versus 23.82 percent).
It may seem that sending emails that contain a Vimeo video and an emoji in the subject line at 4:00 p.m. on a Thursday is the way to go, but Michal Leszczynski, content marketing manager at GetResponse believes marketers have some leeway when it comes to fostering engagement.
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"According to our study, if you send your messages from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., you'll get the highest open and click-through rates," said Leszczynski. "This makes sense, as people usually read their emails just as they walk in and before they leave their office. There's also one more peak later in the evening, around 7:00 p.m., so around the time most of us have just returned home and finished dinner."
Ultimately, email lists and the people contained in them are as individual as your businesses. "Don't forget, every audience is different," stressed Leszczynski.
And don't mistake a modestly-sized email list for an ineffective one.
"Email marketers have long preached that the quality of a list beats the quantity. Now is that true? Without the information about overall conversions, it's hard to say for sure," Leszczynski acknowledged. "What we can see clearly, however, is that marketers with smaller lists are better at engaging their audience, and their messages tend to get higher open and click-through rates."
Approach growing your email list like you would your own business: by winning one customer at a time.
"When you're growing your lists, don't lose touch with your customers," he said. "Build relationships just like you would if you were running a store just around the corner. Your audience will appreciate it and pay you back with interest."