October 11th, 2012
Email marketing is still one of the most effective channels for building community and generating direct sales. While the layer of social adds to, and enhances, our communities, email still works.
One of the common questions I get from clients about email marketing is when to actually send – what’s the best time for the best open, click thru and share rates. First, before an answer is offered, I list off these three pre-email tips:
1. Create a marketing calendar. Even if it’s a sketch, your business will benefit by outlining the simple activities – email, social, events, mail, product launches, key months, etc. – in a calendar format. It saves you from the inevitable “what should we share this week?” It also ensures you can cross-promote your marketing and community activities across channels.
2. Consistency is more important than frequency. You don’t have to email your customers every week, but set up a consistent level of communication ahead of time. For example, you might decide to send an email every other week on Tuesday morning. The consistency creates an expectation of outreach and connection. The opposite of having a consistent plan is random emails that confuse both you and the customer.
3. Smart marketers use A/B testing in email marketing. A/B simply refers to the same message written two different ways to determine which way of writing it, which language/timing/image, is more effective. Most email marketing providers like MailChimp, Constant Contact and Bronto offer tips on improving your email response rate with A/B testing. Take advantage of those tips and test every single email getting better and higher open rates as you progress.
Now, when to send? Well the team over at GetResponse created this great infographic to help you easily understand the best times and days to send emails. This is an overall idea of what works for most people. But always keep your target audience in mind. If you’re reaching night-shift workers who frequently access email via mobile, you might have a different success at a different time.
As always, with any marketing, measure the results to see what’s working. If it’s not working, make changes.