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Never on Sunday? Rethink Your E-mail Schedule

  |  November 12, 2008   |  Comments

New reports show the best day to send your e-mail is Sunday.

Sunday-night anxiety. It's that nervous feeling that creeps up on you when you can picture all the work piled up on your desk for Monday morning. Fortunately or not, depending on how you look at it, people seem to be channeling that anxiety into action by using Sundays to check their e-mail before the official start to the work week.

The newest e-mail metrics report from MailerMailer confirms this new trend: e-mails sent on Sundays garner the highest open rates.

From looking in my own inbox, I can only guess that the higher Sunday open rates are due to the lower overall e-mail volume. Typically, I don't get a lot of work-related e-mail on Sundays (yet!). If I were to check my e-mail on Sundays, which I try to refrain from doing, I would probably have more time to do online shopping.

Capitalizing on this new trend could be a real boon to anyone trying to sell online in this tough economic environment. But you may have to rethink your internal processes to meet this new schedule.

Not ready to cross into the new frontier of Sunday e-mail broadcasts? Monday is the next best day to send an e-mail, with open rates declining the rest of the week. Seems like another case where the "early bird gets the worm."

The report reveals other interesting trends as well:

  • E-mails are getting opened faster. Nearly one-third of opens occur within the first two hours -- a 10 percent increase. This is likely because more people are using mobile e-mail readers, like the iPhone.

  • Short subject lines are still working better than longer ones in most tests. MailerMailer reports that open rates decrease as subject line length increases. Subject lines with less than 35 characters seem to have a marked advantage.

  • Subject lines with "hot button" messages work best of all. Take a look at the subject line test on page 13 of the report. I'm not surprised that "2008 Business Planning Guide" was the winner. I've seen that any subject line highlighting a report from the current or upcoming year tends to capture reader attention.

The best news for e-mail marketers is that click rates are holding steady and open rates are experiencing only a marginal decline after tanking last year. So while you may want to rethink your e-mail schedules, there's no need to cut your e-mail marketing.

An October report by the Direct Marketing Association revealed that e-mail's ROI (define) was $45.06 for every $1 spent, as opposed to a non-e-mail Internet marketing ROI of $19.94. E-mail provided more than double the effectiveness of other online marketing methods.

So if budgets are tight, go ahead and pare down your banner advertising or delay your Web site makeover. But keep your e-mail efforts going full steam ahead.

How is the economy changing your B2B e-mail marketing? Tell Karen.

Join us for a Consumers and the Influence of Blogs: What It Means for Your Marketing Mix on November 20 at 2 pm EST. Find out how online consumers discover blogs and navigate between them, what kind of opportunity blogs represent for advertisers, and much more!

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Karen Gedney

Karen Gedney, an award-winning creative director and copywriter, shared her insights as a ClickZ Experts contributor from 2000 through 2009. She was known for her successful track record of achieving high e-mail response rates for Fortune 1000 companies and leading organizations. She died Nov. 16, 2010.

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