How and When to Send Emails for the Best Results

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Email marketing is a powerful way to stay in touch with your audience, including both existing customers and new leads. Building a list gives the ability to reach out to your subscribers whenever you want. To get the best results from your email list, though, you have to follow certain guidelines. You have to identify the best times to send your messages, the ideal frequency and other details, such as topics and subject lines. Let's look at some tips to help you send out emails that bring you great results.

When is the Best Time to Send Emails?

If you want to increase your open and response rates, it's important to identify the best time to send emails. If you send your messages at the wrong time, they're likely to get ignored. Most people get lots of email so if they haven't checked their email in a while, they'll see a long, overwhelming list of messages. The natural inclination is to delete most of these. So when is the best time to send your messages?

Most research indicates that the best time to send emails is in the morning between 9 AM and noon. The day of the week also matters. Some studies suggest that the best days to send emails are Tuesdays and Thursdays. The ideal timing for you, however, depends on your customers. For example, the advice to send emails weekday mornings is especially relevant for B2B emails. On the other hand, if you're targeting consumers for leisure products, it's not a bad idea to send emails on weekends. The best approach is to test different days and times and find out what works best for you.

How Frequently Should You Email Your List?

Another crucial factor is the frequency that you email your subscribers. This can have profound implications for your success. If you contact them too often, you risk annoying people and increasing your unsubscribe rate. On the other hand, if you don't email them frequently enough, your brand recognition suffers. So how do you identify the ideal frequency?

According to the National Client Email Report, most marketers send messages to their lists 4 to 5 times per week. Does this mean that this is ideal for your business? Not necessarily. The answer depends a great deal on the nature of your business and how relevant your emails are to your subscribers. For example, if you're selling retail products where sales and price fluctuations occur frequently, daily emails might be welcome by your audience. On the other hand, if you're publishing a more general newsletter, once per week may be more appropriate.

You can test different schedules to find the right balance between sending too many and too few emails. This balance is not exactly the same for every business. If you find that many people are unsubscribing, try decreasing the frequency and see if this helps you retain more readers. 

Subject Lines

If you want to get more people to open and respond to your emails, the topic is obviously very important. When it comes to getting people to notice and open your emails, the subject line is at least as important as the actual message. Recipients see your subject line and make a split second decision whether to open your email, delete it, or save it for later (which often never arrives). That's why it's worth giving plenty of thought to your subject lines. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

  • Keep subject lines short, preferably under 50 characters. One reason for this is that longer subject lines are harder to read on mobile devices.
  • Personalize the message. Aside from using the recipient's name, try segmenting lists by geography and mention specific cities or regions.
  • Use action words. Some examples include "play," "make," "eat," "enjoy," "buy," and "travel."
  • Create urgency or scarcity. Terms such as "today only," "ends in 24 hours," or "only 20 remaining" suggest that time or supply is limited.
  • Be honest. Don't make false promises just to get people to open your message. This will only make people want to unsubscribe.
  • Ask provocative questions. This makes people want to learn answers. 
  • Avoid spam filters. While you want to provoke interest, don't go overboard with hype. Certain tactics, such as using all caps or exclamation points not only make your messages look spammy but they actually set off spam filters.
  • Conduct A/B tests on subject lines to find out which ones provide you with the best results. 

These are some of the guidelines to keep in mind when sending emails. One common denominator with all of these tips is to always do your own testing. General rules are worth studying, but you'll do even better by finding out what your own subscribers prefer. 

To find out how Act! can help you get better results from your email marketing, get started today!