The best time to send an email? 10 Studies summarized.

Co-schedule wrote a fantastic article that gives the details about ten studies done with regards to email marketing: the best time to get your email read, and the best time to get click-throughs.

Here’s a little summary all wrapped up in a bow for you.  Happy holidays!

The best day to send an email: Tuesday followed by Thursday, then Wednesday.

The best time to send an email: 10am.  Some of the studies cite 8pm, 2pm, and 6am, however from my personal experience I’ve always found 10am to get the highest open rates across several industries.

Why all of this information is controversial: Regardless of what studies say, you need to find what works best for your targeted audience.  Your content, industry, and email list makes all of the difference in the world.

How to figure out what works for you:  send emails based on the data from the article- try several different times and subject lines.  Analyze what worked for you and expand on that.

I’ve included a handy infographic from our friends at co-schedule that you can use for your own email campaigns for testing to see what works.

how-to-test-email-send-times

For more information on how to implement email marketing campaigns to help your business, or specific questions on how to make it work for you, please fill out the following form:

Newsletter Design: Change is Good

The first quarter of “Twenty-Eleven” is off to a great start here at Hart-Conklin Marketing.  We’ve survived a holiday shopping season filled with retail businesses cashing in (literally) using FourSquare.  We’ve also survived the first major Skype outage in a long while that actually ended up getting them into some hot water when their inner-workings were exposed during the down time.

Best business practice: Always do things the right way.  Sure, it might work the wrong way, but when something goes awry, all the defects are exposed and you’ll end up having to spend that much  more time making corrections.  Time is money, people.

In that same vein, you owe your audience the due dilligence of doing your newsletter the right way by giving them what they want.  This is a very exciting time for us as we help a client prepare all of their marketing, media, and press for their biggest event of the year.  A busy time, but never too busy to learn new things.  We designed an entirely new e-mail campaign to promote this event for them and saw record-breaking results from the exposure this tactic got them.  Newsletter design is tricky.  It’s just as important to put valuable content in your campaign, as it is to have aesthetically pleasing graphics/layout.

Sending a newsletter to your clients or customers can be tricky.  It’s a constant game of staying on the front of the information tidal wave- and keeping the content relevant to a fairly diverse audience.  It’s necessary to cater to what many people want in one marketing piece.  Here are some things I learned with this most recent e-mail newsletter campaign:

1) Change is good.  A new design periodically keeps your audience from growing tired of the same thing every time.  While it’s important to make sure your newsletter is cohesive with your branding strategy, it’s also important to keep the readers stimulated with a fresh look.

2) Pictures are good.  Make sure all of your pictures, when clicked, go to a relevant website.  People love clicking pictures so give them a place to do it!

3) Use “learn more” buttons with directs to your company e-mail.  I recommend setting up a catch-all e-mail address on your company’s server to collect the incoming e-mail and info requests from your newsletters.  People like using these because it’s convenient and just pops open your outlook right then and there.

4) We changed our clients subject heading to be a little more specific- and introduce a new product.  This client saw the highest open and click-through rates of any campaign yet.  Very exciting.  What’s good about this is you can then populate a list of e-mail addresses you need to follow-up with and strike while “iron is hot” so to speak.  This is a very good tool in sales and marketing: the ability to reach out to your customers and build the relationships by following up while you are still on the top of their minds.

5) Pay attention to your click map on newsletter interface- where are people clicking, and how many times?  If people are clicking on certain content blocks a lot, you  might want to consider putting more of what they like in the next newsletter.

6) Be patient.  This is not over night.  It takes time to see results, but in the process you will be establishing yourself as a master of your craft, and someone who always puts forth the gold standard of customer service.

All in all, this campaign was a huge success.  These strategies will help you improve how effective your marketing campaign is.  What other strategies do you implement to enhance the newsletter experience for your audience?  What have you found to not work?