3 Things You Need to Know Before Hitting ‘Send’

The following post is a guest post by Christian Schappel, senior marketing editor, and Editor-in-Chief of the Internet Marketing Report newsletter. 

For your email to achieve the best response rates possible, there are things you need to know about email recipients as a whole.

In a recent study of 21 million emails sent in the U.S. this past year, three truths were discovered by marketing firm GetResponse:

1. Recipients are very specific about when they want to look at email

The most important finding to come out of the study is when people engage with email the most. It found that during weekdays, click-through rates spike between:

  • 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., and
  • 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The average click-through rate during those hours topped out at nearly 7%. But that doesn’t mean you should hit “send” at any point as long as it’s prior to the stroke of 8 a.m. or 3 p.m. To maximize engagement rates, you should schedule email to hit recipients’ inboxes in the hour before top engagement times. That’ll ensure your chances of getting noticed will be at their peak (more on that later).

Other things you need to account for:

  • Time zone differences
  • Your subscribers’ daily routines (if target prospects spend a lot of time on the road or work odd hours you may have to adjust send times), and
  • The practices of other marketers in the area.

2. Emails are dead after 5 hours

Get Response

By now you know email response rates drop the longer they sit in an inbox. But you may not know the extent of the decay:

  • 23.63% of all email opens occur within the first hour after delivery
  • within the second hour, opens drop by half
  • by the fifth hour, results drop more than 90%, and
  • 24 hours after delivery, the chance of generating an open is almost nil.

This is the reason you don’t want to hit “send” several hours before the top engagement times. The longer it sits in the inbox, getting pushed down by more recent mail, the more likely it is to get caught up in inbox clutter.

And that leads us to the next truth …

3. They’re more likely to pay attention to afternoon email

As you know, humans hate clutter. Although we tend to let it build, we also tend to ignore it – which is why you haven’t cleaned the garage in five years. And even though the study found the top engagement times are 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., we think it’s best to focus on the latter.

Why? The GetResponse study found 38.7% of all email was sent between 6 a.m. and noon – while just 25.8% of email is sent between noon and 6 p.m. So if you’re sending in the afternoon, your email will have a lot less competition – and therefore is less likely to get buried in the junk pile.

About the Author: Christian Schappel writes for Progressive Business Publications as Editor-in-Chief of The Internet Marketing Report newsletter, providing marketers with the latest news, research, and best practices to help them increase revenue. Find out more about PBP’s publications by visiting Progressive Business Publications Newsletters.

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