MailChimp recently released their research on what is working and what is not working in the world of email based on over 9.5 billion emails. Nine. Point. Five. Billion.
Takeaway: B2B and B2C behavior is converging. Because people have their personal and work lives connected through email, they will see commercial emails even on the weekends. So you no longer need to be so concerned about sending commercial emails during regular working hours or consumer emails outside of regular working hours.
On a separate note: this is shocking to me. We tell everyone at Synotac to keep their personal emails in a separate account. If your job every comes to an end for whatever reason, you don’t own those emails. In many cases you won’t even get the opportunity to forward emails on to your personal account if you are let go, and all of the contents of your work emails can be used in unemployment hearings.
Takeaway: People are reading their work email on the weekends, and this means that the lesser number of emails coming in on those days is resulting in much higher clickthrough rates for both B2B and B2C businesses. Test sending your emails on the weekends.
Takeaway: People are much more likely to unsubscribe on Monday or Tuesday when they are getting back in the office and have a deluge of emails to deal with.
Takeaway: Most people are reading their email as the first thing they do in the morning and then their usage is decreasing throughout the day.
Takeaway: People have time carved out for email in the mornings, resulting in the highest clickthrough rates between 6 and 7am. Test sending your emails early in the morning.
Takeaway: People are most likely to clickthrough and unsubscribe early in the morning. Make sure that your emails have relevant content and the readers know why they are getting the email to lower unsubscribe rates.
Takeaway: Make sure to test your emails in mobile browsers, because most of your subscribers are using a mobile device to read your email some of the time. A great tool to quickly validate your email display in multiple browsers (including mobile) is www.litmus.com.
Takeaway: Include as many different links to your target landing pages as possible to increase your clickthrough rate. Do this by including multiple links to your target landing page (the header, in text links, a big call to action) rather than including a bunch of links to random pages.
Takeaway: Similar to the previous set of data, more links is better as long as you still keep your email focused.
Takeaway: This is an interesting set of data, but basically what it is saying is that your subscribers are okay with receiving more email if you send more frequently with valuable content.
Takeaway: Email is a ritual, and if you are added to someone’s ritual they are much less likely to unsubscribe than if you send emails very infrequently and your subscribers are forced to ask who you are and how they got on your list. Similar to the previous set of data about sending frequency and clickthrough rates, this suggests that you should test sending your emails more often.
Takeaway: Your subscribers are most likely to unsubscribe on your first email, so make sure that your emails are relevant and meet the expectations you set when you captured their email.
Takeaway: Your newest subscribers are also your best subscribers. People are most likely to want to engage with you when you are a new part of their life.
Takeaway: Most people still read all or most of their email. Marketers and techies are most likely to not do this, however.
Takeaway: The big risk with email capture is not getting a work email instead of a personal email (or vice versa), but getting someone’s junk email address that will not be checked. To avoid this, work on your calls to action and value offered to people who add themselves to your list.
Takeaway: Make sure to have clear and simple unsubscribe links so that your maintain your subscribers’ trust that you are an ethical email marketer.
Takeaway: Don’t spend time trying to get get your subscribers to tweet about or forward your emails, instead focus on having social media connect buttons so that you can engage more deeply with your audience.