In the final part of our email marketing series (Read Part 1 | Read Part 2) we dissect four final myths about email campaigns and what the best practice should be.
Conquering the Myths of Email Marketing Part 3
11. Morning is the best time to send emails.
While this may have been true in the past, this trend is starting to shift depending on the industry. The previous school of thought was that people would be checking their email first thing when they got to work in the morning, therefore coming across yours right away. While this might be true for getting it in front of them for brand awareness, the most effective time to send for any purchasable service or product is starting to be later in the day (after 1:00pm) when people have time to digest the content and, more importantly, have time to make a make an educated purchase. Mailchimp found that:
Following the pattern of an average workday, emails are opened between 9am and 12pm, with 1pm to 5pm coming in just behind. After 9pm, open rates make a steep decline.
12. Testing a small portion of your subscriber list is enough to show the success of an email.
Not to get overly scientific (although there is certainly a combination of social sciences at play here), but when doing any testing, middle school science classes taught us to:
- Ask a Question
- Do Background Research
- Construct a Hypothesis
- Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
- Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
- Communicate Your Results
Like any testable hypothesis (and really, that’s what you’re doing), you need to have an adequate sample size to get a proven result. Do some statistical modeling to find the right sample size so that you’re representing your entire email list. There are even some great resources out there for building a sample size:
- Sample Size Calculator for Market Research Surveys from MACORR
- Sample Size Calculator from Creative Research Systems
13. If my emails are completely CAN-SPAM compliant, my emails will always go through.
While CAN-SPAM requirements are very important, there are a lot of factors that go into sender reputation – volume, complaint rates, hard bounce rate, soft bounce rate, spam traps, authentication, hosting reputation, and so on. Additionally, a full inbox, a tabbed inbox (gmail, for example), invalid email address, ISP issues… even the domain it’s tied to can also lead to emails not making it to the subscriber. If you’re using a third party for email marketing distribution, be sure that they’re reputable and won’t hurt your marketing efforts more than assist them.
14. People will engage even after 24 hours.
Unfortunately, while it’s nice to hold out hope that a subscriber will get your email the next day and follow through on an action, the chances are incredibly limited. According to Yesware and Hubspot, 90% of emails that ever even get responses only get them that same day. Past that, most users will look at the date and assume that whatever offer/promotion has passed or is outdated.
A lot of this is going to depend on where you’re sending your email and what the rules for promoting discounts are in the industry. If you’re running a store, this might be a little bit different since many brick and mortar stores offer their deals at specific times with strict deadlines. However, if you’re just sending regular promotional emails (even if it’s all about holidays), it’s probably best to skip any mention of expiration dates.