Technology

Want to Make a Bigger Impact With Email? Send Less Often

By / Sep 3, 2019 (subman/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images Plus)

An analysis from the marketing firm GetResponse found open and click rates surged when just one message was sent per week. The report also found that the first hour after an email is sent is key.

Naturally, you might be inclined to send a whole bunch of messages to your members, but if your goal is engagement, all those messages might actually be counterproductive to your primary goal.

So says the email marketing firm GetResponse, which reports in its latest benchmarking survey a sharp decline in open rate and click-through rate when a marketer increases the number of emails it sends per week from one to two. Marketers that send one newsletter have an average open rate of 33.4 percent, whereas the rate falls to 26.9 percent when a second email is added. Further declines are seen when message numbers increase, falling to below 20 percent after the fifth email.

“Your audience will reward you with higher open and click rates if you don’t send more than five newsletters a week,” writes GetResponse Senior Account Manager Przemysław Depka Prondzinski.

The report also notes that the timing of a message matters significantly, in part because the message loses its exposure after a while. According to the company’s analysis of 4 billion emails between January and June 2019, roughly a fifth of email opens happen within the first hour it hits an inbox, and 73 percent within the first day.

There are also global considerations to keep in mind. In North America, the average email is opened by 19 percent of recipients, compared with 26.9 percent in Europe, 25.6 percent in Oceania, and 23.1 percent in South America.

(Consider yourself lucky, by the way, if Germany is part of your audience: The country has an average open rate of 40.7 percent and a click-through rate of around 7 percent, both double or more of those of other major countries, including the U.S., Canada, India, and the United Kingdom.)

Other points highlighted in the report include the necessity of expressing value in subject lines. The most successful emails often include terminology that explains what the email is, with terms like “newsletter,” “PDF,” and “ebook” drawing the most opens.

On top of that, the GDPR era is helping increase the use of double opt-in approvals, which both decrease the potential of spam issues and increase overall engagement. Notably, nonprofits were the most likely industry to use double opt-in and, at 21.3 percent, the only industry with more than a fifth of senders relying on the additional layer of approval.

“What’s interesting—but not surprising—is that the industries with a bigger share of confirmed lists also observed the highest average results in terms of opens and clicks,” GetResponse Product Manager Mateusz Ruzik said in the survey. “This once again proves that email list quality trumps quantity.”

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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