Estimates from the Radicati Group set the number of emails sent per day around 205 billion—or 2.4 million emails sent every second—and this number is expected to increase to 246 billion by the end of 2019. So, while email clearly remains a highly universal method of communication, marketers should still look to refine their email marketing strategies to provide the most personal, relevant and timely experiences for its customers.
Below are some of the most common email marketing myths that marketers should be aware of, and the real best practices that they should look to follow instead:
Tuesday is the best day to send emails
It’s been drilled into marketers’ minds that Tuesdays are the golden day for sending customer emails. To take it one step further, Tuesday at 10AM is best, so it’s in customers’ inboxes when they get to work and sign online. Ironically, Tuesday might actually be the worst day to send customer emails since it is when most other brands are “following best practices” and sending emails. According to research from Propellor CRM, the success of an email marketing campaign depends on the audience you’re trying to reach, and it found that for certain consumer audiences, emails actually get opened most on Saturdays.
Best practices aside, brand marketers should test, measure and identify the specific days and times that work for their own unique customers. After sending and analyzing the data from test emails, brands could determine that a specific audience, e.g. females ages 40-50, might be opening the most emails on a Saturday morning, not a Wednesday afternoon. It is important to customize the timing of emails for what works for your customers instead of following the path of what you did last year and what other brands are doing. While it will require some adjustments and patience in the beginning, timing emails to reach customers at the most opportune moment will increase engagement and positively impact the brand.
Keep emails short and sweet
While there is truth to keeping emails concise and on-point, marketers should not forego including meaningful and relevant content within emails to keep the word count down. Constant Contact found that 20 lines of text, or about 200 words, results in the highest email click-through rate for most industries, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Rather than focusing on the length of the email, marketers should make sure an email contains information or products that are most relevant to each unique customer. When the right content is in front of the right people, marketers will experience higher customer engagement. In fact, when it comes to the length of the email itself, Email on Acid found that after analyzing eight different email campaigns, the email that had the highest read rate (the reader kept the email open for eight seconds or more) was their longest email.
Marketers need to focus on the quality of the content itself within each customer email. Make sure it answers all the questions a customer might have, provides content that is relevant and personalized to them, and is formatted in an easy-to-read and digestible way.
Email marketing is dying
This seems to be a constant headline when you search “email marketing” on the Internet. While, yes, there are other tactics and channels to reach today’s consumers, email marketing is still alive and well, and thriving. In fact, according to a study from Email on Acid, more than 86% of businesses surveyed stated that they plan to increase their upcoming email marketing budgets. Additionally, WBR Digital found that according to 80% of professionals, email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention.
While methods of communication are changing, and social media is hyped more and more as the “it” channel, email remains a top method for customer engagement and retention for brands, offering the highest ROI of all the digital channels. In fact, according to a survey of U.S. marketers conducted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Demand Metric, email had a median ROI of 122%, which is more than four times higher than other marketing formats examined, including social media, direct mail and paid search. With the number of daily emails set to increase year-over-year, brand marketers should focus more heavily on their email marketing strategies since this method of communication is successful and here to stay.
Email automation means no personalization
Sticking to a customer-centric approach is key when it comes to email today. According to Statista, the open rate for emails with a personalized message was over 18%, as compared to 13% for those without any personalization. But just because a brand marketer might have their emails created and distributed through an automated process does not mean it isn’t unique and can’t achieve the same open rate compared to an email drafted manually.
Technology today can now assist brand marketers in automating emails so that they are targeted to the appropriate customer segment, offer relevant content or services and take into account relevant demographics. Take our solution for example – with an automated, data-driven system, marketers can take a scientific approach to their emails, with customized content and themes, targeting the right customer segment at the right time. Automation should not be viewed negatively with the machine learning capabilities and amount of data available today. It allows marketers to take a one-to-one instead of a one-to-many approach with customers, creating specific and unique messages based on their preferences.
As customers’ preferences and technology evolves, so will email marketing tactics. Brands should constantly look to adapt and stay up-to-date on current trends on how to best reach their target audience. While some myths may have stemmed from actual truths years ago, it is important to keep an eye on this ever-changing environment so every customer engagement provides value.
Also published on Medium.