From the Customer Retention NOW! Newsletter – May 2013
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If you’ve ever contemplated a strategy for increasing email open rates, you’ve probably asked yourself that question. Or maybe you asked a consultant, marketing expert, or some other resource.
I’ll bet you didn’t get the answer you were hoping for. Or you may have gotten several different answers. There are so many variables to consider, any day of the week might be regarded as the ideal emailing day for your organization to achieve the best response. But even then, the day won’t always be consistent.
The email response rate is dependent upon a lot more than just the delivery day. The topics covered, the subject line, the sender address, the reputation you have in the marketplace, the relevance of previous messages you may have sent, the call to action, and a score of other attributes and circumstances all contribute. You can drive yourself crazy trying to figure it all out.
In my opinion, that’s an unproductive use of time – at least for smaller organizations that do not have marketing analysts on staff. At my company, and for our B2B newsletter customers, we try to use a little common sense, put together the best messages we can, and then just go for it.
For many small and medium-sized businesses, attempting to dial in the delivery more precisely is akin to crystal ball gazing (not recommended as a best practice).
Identifying the Best Day
I can’t share a magical formula that would tell you to send all your emails on Tuesdays. But I do happen to know the best day to send an email that has the greatest chance of positive outcome. It is the day the recipient has a need or interest that is satisfied by your content.
“Gee thanks,” you might be saying, “That’s no help. How will we know when a contact has a need or interest?”
Unless prospects self-proclaim their interest, there isn’t a way to be positive of the optimum contact times. But if you are paying attention and have thought ahead, your contacts leave some breadcrumb-like clues. Acting upon those clues can improve your odds.
Using What You Know
Has a prospect opened all the newsletters you sent over the last six months? Have they clicked through to landing pages, downloaded white papers, viewed demos or videos? Did they visit the pricing page of your web site? These are all indications that they are more engaged with your brand than the rest of your contacts that did not do these things.
Your next email to these targeted individuals might be some more in-depth material based on the topics in which they have showed interest. Calls to action in these targeted messages should encourage scheduling a personalized demonstration or some other action that generally occurs before a successful sale for your company is consummated. These emails that are delivered during a period of high interest may be the most productive you can send.
Use your best guess about when to send out bulk emails like newsletters. Try some different days and times to see if you notice a difference in open rates. This may help to achieve your brand awareness objectives. But by all means, build in the mechanisms that allow you to track and monitor actions of the contacts on your list. Spending more of your time following up with prospects already engaged with your brand has a better chance of producing results than simply blasting the same messages to everyone at the same time – regardless of the day you do it.
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