Posts Tagged ‘open rate’

Email Marketing: What is the best day to send an email?

August 12th, 2014

For this MarketingSherpa Blog post, I thought I would examine some email research. This chart from the MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report focuses on the effectiveness of sending emails on different days of the week:



Looking at the results of this survey, you can see a wide range of effectiveness, along with a few clear patterns. Tuesday and Wednesday look pretty good, but Sunday looks to be the least effective.

What’s left off of this highly aggregated data is the fact there is no “best” day – or time of day – to send emails that works across the board for all email marketers.

The reality? Testing your email sends is paramount to effective email marketing. What might work for one industry, or business category, or maybe even your direct competitor might not – no, make that probably won’t – work for you.

Your email list is unique to your business (unless you’ve bought the entire list, and if so, shame on you). Only by testing your sends and tracking open rates, clickthroughs and other engagement metrics will you learn what works best for your list.

Read more…

Email Marketing: Factors that influence open rate

December 14th, 2012

Most email marketing campaigns (but not all) focus on three goals:

  • Getting the recipient to open the email
  • Taking the next step by following the call-to-action in the email
  • Clicking through to the final destination, which is often a specific landing page on the website with an action to be taken, such as filling out a registration form

The key performance indicators for email marketing are often open rate and clickthrough rate, and then that final conversion on the website, which can take a number of different forms. A consumer marketing email effort might seek out an immediate purchase, where as a B2B campaign might look for additional information on the email subscriber to more fully populate a database record.

Of course, the key to any email marketing program is getting the recipient to take that first action – opening the email. Without an open, there can be no clickthrough and certainly no final conversion on the website.

With that in mind, improving email open rates should be a priority for email marketers. Based on tweets as a very loose metric, MarketingSherpa Blog posts like “Infographic: Email open rates by time of day,” published at the end of October, and “Email Personalization: 137% increase in open rate from personal note approach,” from a couple of weeks ago, show email open rate is a popular topic with our audience.

To offer our blog readers more on email open rates, I had the chance to speak with Justin Gray, CEO of LeadMD and Software Advice Advisory Board MemberRead more…

Reader Mail: Understanding differences in clickthrough rates and open rates

August 12th, 2011

Recently, my colleague Brad Bortone forwarded me an inquiry from one of our readers, who asked the following:

Can you provide any insight into why my newsletter emails would receive a 10% unique CTR and a 3% open rate? Aren’t open rates generally the larger number?

We use XXXXXXXX as our email service provider. Could this be related to how our newsletter renders in the preview pane of email clients?

In thinking about this, I realized that many email marketers may be asking the same questions, and could benefit from an extensive reply. Besides, I don’t get much mail around here, so I was excited to help out.

Here is what I wrote in my initial reply: Read more…

Email Summit Case Study: National Education Association’s Member Benefits Corporation

January 26th, 2011

MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2011Email marketing strategy independent consultant and MarketingSherpa email marketing trainer, Jeanne Jennings, wrapped up MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2011 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas with a great presentation that offered some quick hit advice illustrated by several case studies.

Make it so

Jeanne opened the session by outlining the four challenges of email marketing:

  1. Strategy
  2. Relevance
  3. Deliverability
  4. Return on investment

And she immediately went into the differences between strategy and tactics. In fact, Jeanne admitted when she starts working on an email campaign and starts blocking out the strategy, doing the big picture works gets her so excited she starts getting into tactics too quickly and has to draw back.

Her main definition of strategy is, “A plan of action to achieve a specific goal,” and her description of tactics was to quote Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise — “Make it so.” Strategy is the plan, or blueprint, of your email marketing campaign, and tactics are the steps or stages you take to turn that strategy into reality.

The case study

The first study she presented was an email campaign for the National Education Association’s Member Benefits Corporation conducted this past holiday season. The NEAMB provides programs and services to the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association. This particular case study is focused on two of the seven steps of efficient email strategy — performing a SWOT analysis and developing a content strategy.

The control for this case study was a catalog list email that often ran several pages, making holiday offers hard to find. The test against the control took a page from the Groupon handbook with a clear offer, and content that based on Jeanne’s description I call “Groupon-lite.”

SWOT analysis

  • Strengths — members have highly favorable impression of association, great holiday offers for members, recipients historically responded to discounts, new CMO encourages new idea
  • Weaknesses — email had been catalog of offers, limited internal resources and budget for content, limited budget for content freelancers, concern that members are being overrun with mail decreasing response rates, no explicit opt-in; opt-out email permission
  • Opportunities — Groupon and other deal emails are popular, people are actively looking to save money in this economy, busy professionals (teachers) are looking for ways to reduce holiday stress, shopping online is becoming more and more popular
  • Threats — all the other holiday offer emails, differentiate from those; general inbox clutter makes members look for mail messages, some deals offered by retailers aren’t exclusive to organization

Here are the parameters Jeanne set up for the test email: weekly send; 100% opt-in; content strategy — engaging quotes,  gift ideas; single discount offer; low -resource content marketing;  quotes and tips from staff; differentiation from National Education Association’s Member Benefits Corporation control and other retail messages.

The quantifiable results

“Holiday cheer” test v. control

  • Open rate up 214%
  • Clickthrough rate up 105%
  • Decrease of 34% in click-to-open because the click rate was so much higher than control

“Holiday cheer” v. internal benchmarks

  • Open rate up 185%
  • Clickthrough rate up 337%
  • Click-to-open up 49%

Jeanne mentioned that conversion data is not available yet for this study.

Roll your sleeves up and get a full day of email training with Jeanne through MarketingSherpa’s Email Marketing Essentials Workshop Training. The next dates include Chicago on Tuesday, April 21, and San Francisco on Thursday, March 10.

Related resources

Ten Numbers Every Email Marketer Should Commit to Memory

Email Marketing: “I am not dead yet”

Welcome Messages: Are You Making a Good First Impression on New Opt-ins?

How a 6 Email Series Increased Unique Key Clickthrough Reach by Nearly 400% Over a Single Email

Debate on Email Open Rate Rages On

July 28th, 2008

Even after about a decade, the jury is still out on email open rates. Some marketers disregard them as pointless. Others check them daily to guide subject line and content decisions. Personally, I think there is value in measuring open rates — even if it is limited.

Read more…