The Science of Email Marketing

Have you ever wondered how often you should be sending out your email campaigns to customers? have you heard the rumors of that Wednesday was the best day to send, and after 1pm? Oh, No! Someone else tells you it’s Thursday, in the morning. Does it really matter?

email marketingToday Dan Zarrella of Hubspot dispelled many of the myths around email marketing. Based on over 1 BILLION emails sent by MailChimp, and on surveys and focus groups, Dan revealed scientific data that tells us what’s really effective with email (and what’s NOT).

The greatest email open rates

For years I’ve heard rumors that Tues, or Wednesday or Thursday were the best times to send email. But, today Dan revealed that the greatest number of open rates actually happens on Saturday and Sunday. Tuesday has the greatest unsubscribe rate and Thursday has the lowest. Most email is actually read in the morning. So 6-7 AM EST is the best time to send with the greatest click through rates. Unsubscribe rates are lowest in the afternoon. So the best time to send is very early in the morning and go ahead and send away on the weekends.

And oh, by the way, it doesn’t matter if you are marketing to a consumer or a business as most people use the same account for both.

Smart phones have changed email as 80% read their email on mobile devices. So optimize you email for ease of reading on mobile phones.

How many links can you put in an email without driving your reader to unsubscribe? Well, it turns out that the more links you have, the better. The highest unsubscribe rates happen when you only put one link in the email. The unsubscribe rate drops as you increase the number of links.

Email Reader Behavior and Open Rates

It turns out that people now use their email as an archive. They tend to save things that they consider to be reference information. So when your email contains content such as “how to” articles, data, statistics, cheat sheets, etc. they will be more likely to open and keep it.

Email readers use the subject lines and the senders name to filter their email. Who is sending the email impacts the open rate. So send your email from a name your audience will recognize and it will build trust. Or, send from a “celebrity”, someone well-known, liked and trusted by your audience.

The Most Clicked Email Subject Lines

Emails with these words in the subject lines have the highest open rates: survey, weekly, e-newsleter, series, posts, job. These are emails that are perceived to be part of a series. So serialized and label your emails whenever it makes sense.

The subject lines that are most reported as spam or abuse include words like: confirm, features, upgrade, magic, rewards, Christ, follow up, 10%, coupon, 15%, discount, savings, and offer.

Your readers are concerned about “What’s in it for me?” Give them exclusivity and make them feel special.

Email Frequency

the science of email marketingHow often should you send email? Is too often going to drive them away? You will be thrilled and relieved to know that it makes NO DIFFERENCE how often you send email! While once a month has the highest click through rate, anything over that it makes no difference on how frequently you send, the same percentage will open it. the frequency rate outweighs the significance of the open rate so SEND, SEND AWAY!

The unsubscribe rates is highest when you only send once or twice a month and goes down the more you send. Unsubscribes rates are highest in the first couple of days after subscribing. These new customers also click more than the older ones. So send your new subscribers the most email and email them frequently.

Do you fear that no one is reading? The data shows that 70% of people read most of their email. While they may not be responding, most are reading. You are leaving an impression with them.

Beware the Junk Email Box

People want real email from a real person. If they fear that there is a risk of getting junk from you, they will use their junk email box. 58% of people have a “junk” email box that they use to subscribe to lists. 42% send to their regular address. So to get them to give you their regular address help them to believe they will receive something valuable, something that makes them feel special, something they won’t want to miss.

28% of people don’t believe the unsubscribe links in the emails work, but these tend to be techies and marketers (like me). So if you are marketing to them, you will particularly need to overcome these fears and build trust.

And finally, on a social media note, most people will not forward or tweet your emails. You are far better off asking people to follow you or friend you than you are to ask them to share your emails.

If you’d like to watch the whole webinar you can do so here: http://www.hubspot.com/the-science-of-email-marketing/

About Debra Zimmer

After 25 years of growing entrepreneurial businesses at companies such as Microsoft, where she attracted 700,000 members into an online community in 18 months and then grew a second one to 250,000 members in 10 months, Debra Zimmer then struck out on her own to grow an online retail store to 6-figures of income and put it on AUTOPILOT for 3 years. With an engineering degree and an MBA from Columbia Business School, Debra is the undisputed expert in helping experts, entrepreneurs and executives to focus their brilliance and magnify their impact using social media and internet marketing tactics.

Comments

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Debra Zimmer, Debra Zimmer. Debra Zimmer said: On my blog: The Science of Email Marketing http://ow.ly/1bhbRA […]

  2. Hi Debra — I was on that same call! And boy was I surprised with their current research on email open rates. It’s completely different from what we learned just two or so years ago, when the best email open rates were Tues-Wed-Thurs mid-day. Makes total sense that with the now common use of Smart phones, more are reading email “on the fly” and for many, that means on the weekends.

    This morning I tested this by sending a client email to her list at 7am. The open rate (and registrations for the promoted call) was swift and impressive. I’m a believer.

    Now, if I can just get over my hesitancy about sending emails on the weekend, I’ll give that a try as well.

    Great post and summary of the call.

    -Geri

  3. KC Donovna says:

    Hi Debra
    Thanks so much for compiling this – I try to listen in to as many Hub Spot webinars as I can – but I missed this one…and what an eye opener! When I compare Dan’s research against my own email activity and usage – it really does mirrow many of my traits…its weird in a way and certainly breaks many myths we had assumed…

    We are just beginning to incorporate more email into our inbound marketing mix (and just getting underway as a biz in general) so this is beyond helpful – thanks!!!

    1. Debra Zimmer says:

      Yes, Dan’s research was excellent and game changing.

  4. KC Donovan says:

    Last Name is “Donovan” (you’d think I could spell my own name…)

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