How to Optimise your email marketing

Optimise your email marketing

Even though the focus is shifting heavily to social media, we shouldn’t forget the impact of targeted email marketing. According to Mark the Marketer, email marketing delivers the highest ROI at $44.25 for every dollar spent (SEO ranked second at $22.24 and banner ads yielded the lowest ROI).  It sounds compelling, doesn’t it! Email is still a very effective form of marketing. In fact, you are probably reading this blog due to an email that you received.  So the purpose of this blog is to provide you with some information based on statistics to help you optimise your email marketing.

Let’s begin with some interesting email marketing facts and statistics:

  • 77% of readers prefer being marketed to via email than any other channel. (ExactTarget)
  • According to Mashable, in 2012, over 144 billion emails were sent
  • 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an e-mail marketing message.
  • Over 70% of mobile purchasing decisions are influenced by promotional e-mails. (Mark the Marketer)
  • 64% of people say they open an e-mail because of the subject line. (Mark the Marketer)
  • Emails with social sharing buttons increase click-through rates by 158%.(Social Fresh)
  • Personalisation of email content yielded the highest average open rate for all email campaigns, with 17.6 percent of all personalised emails being opened. (MailerMailer)

Best Times to Send Email Campaigns

So when should we press that send button? As with everything there is no best time for everyone.  However, Constant Contact summarised some general trends by industry in the table below:

Wordstream recommends Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as traditional favourite days to send email campaigns. They say email marketers seek to avoid the Monday angst and Friday’s itchy­feet.

MailChimp confirms that Tuesday and Thursday are the two most popular days to send email newsletters:

Best days to send emails

source: MailChimp

MailChimp suggests 2 pm as the optimal send time based on their data

Vision 6’s data is Australia specific:

Australian Email best time to send

source: Vision 6

It is also important to consider that the time span of emails is very short. That is, the time it takes from delivery to opening.

Getresponse ran a study and found lifespan of an email (the time it takes from delivery to open) is surprisingly short. Therefore it’s important to understand the right time to send your emails to your audience.

Email lifespan

source: Getresponse

How Often to Send Email Campaigns?

What about frequency of sending emails? Trying to find a balance between keeping top of mind of your audience whilst not irritating them to the point that they unsubscribe can be tricky.

Act-On believes the optimal frequency of an email campaign is directly related to the buying cycle. The shorter the cycle, the more acceptable a greater frequency will be to your prospect.

HubSpot believe that the optimal number of campaigns to send each month is 16-30. That’s a lot of email! They measured both open rates and click rates. See the results below:

Frequency of emailing vs open rate

source: HubSpot

Frequency of emailing vs click rate

source: HubSpot

HubSpot also reviewed how this changed by company size. That is the size of the company that the sender works for.

Email Open Rate by company size

source: HubSpot

Email click rate by company size

source: HubSpot

ReturnPath also did an analysis on optimum frequency:

“In simple terms, we found that engaged, Primary accounts (Primary accounts are the most active as well as the most sensitive
) will tolerate up to about five emails per week from a given sender. Beyond that, the ensuing complaints increase dramatically, and read rates drop significantly.”

GetResponse did average out some statistics that you might find interesting and enable you to benchmark:

  • Average Open Rate 18.58% (GetResponse)
  • Average CTR 4.51% (GetResponse)
  • Tuesday is the most popular day for sending emails (GetResponse)
  • Tuesday campaigns also have the highest Open Rate and CTR (GetResponse)
  • Most email Opens occur during the first hour after delivery; after 24 hours an email’s chance of being opened drops below 1% (GetResponse)
  • Automated emails have 24% higher Open Rate and 47% higher CTR (GetResponse)
  • Welcome messages and confirmation emails can reach an amazing 67% Open Rate and 33% CTR (GetResponse)
  • Autoresponder cycles with 2-10 messages have the best results, so optimizing the length of email cycles is an important factor driving customer engagement (GetResponse)

General Email Marketing Tips

Act-On have published some email tips to get better deliverability:

  • Send content subscribers expect and appreciate 
Segmenting your lists and mailing high quality content in specific areas of known interest is always a good strategy.
  • Give people who opt into your subscriptions lists choices of how often they’ll receive emails from you 
(Act-On)
  • Let people know when they sign up that they’ll receive a welcome email so they’ll be expecting it. 

(Act-On)
  • Keep your list clean – as your lists age, weed out bounces and unengaged subscribers. 
One best practice is to purge disengaged addresses before too many accumulate. Determining how long a contact should stay on your list without engagement, and defining a process to manage inactive contacts, requires an understanding of your particular market and demographics 
(Act-On)

Hubspot’s tips

  • make sure your email doesn’t inadvertently get caught by a spam trap. Hubspot wrote a blog article that includes a full list of spam trigger words (HubSpot)
  • Hubspot found that 39% of email marketers who practice list segmentation see better open rates, while 28% have reduced opt- out and unsubscribe rates (HubSpot)
  • Litmus found that email opens rates on smartphones and tablets have increased 80% over the last six months. Check out this blog for more details on optimising your email messaging for mobile devices. (HubSpot)
  • companies who tested and optimised their value propositions saw a 15% increase in their marketing ROI, according to MarketingSherpa 
(HubSpot)
  • According to Hubspot Science of Email research, personalised emails improve click-through rates by 14%. (HubSpot)

What about mobile responsive emails? Is designing for mobile that important? Litmus thinks so,

More email is read on Mobile than on desktop email clients. Stats say 49% of email is now opened on a mobile device Litmus –”Email Analytics” (June 2015)

However, over the past year or so, email reading on mobile devices seems to have plateaued right around the 50% mark (Litmus)

According to more than 1 billion email opens tracked by Litmus’ Email Analytics in June 2015, the percentage of email opens on each platform are as following:

  • 48% Mobile
  • 30% Webmail
  • 22% Desktop

The diagram below shows statistics for Australia from Vision 6

Australian Email by device

source: Vision 6

Vision 6 also say:

“Over the last five years we have seen mobile opens increase from a mere 10% compared to 48% in March 2015”

Email engagement rates

 

I often hear people say is my open rate good or bad, is my click rate good or bad? In this section, we have compiled some statistics for you to benchmark against

The statistics below come from MailChimp and typically represent SMB companies and were updated on August 3, 2015.

Email engagement statistics
Email engagement statistics

source: MailChimp

If you use MailChimp as your email campaign platform and setup your industry type at setup, they will benchmark market engagement rates for you in your campaign reports. A very handy feature!

Silverpop’s clients are typically larger customers. The 2015 Email Marketing’s Benchmark Study revealed the following.

Email opens by industry

source: Silverpop

Email Click Through Rate By Industry

source: Silverpop

Email click to open rate by industry

source: Silverpop

Vision 6 has segmented Australian data and they say:

“Overall average Click Through Rates (CTR) have been steady for some time now and is tracking around 7%. There was a slight seasonal dip in December due to the holiday period in Australia”

“The overall average Open Rate has been steady for some time now and is tracking in the mid 30’s. There is much more variation within industries. It’s always best to look at your own performance and not just look at the overall average alone as a goal to reach. Open Rates are dependent on many things including the health of your database, from name and subject lines.”

“There has been a consistent trend of Bounce Rates gradually decreasing over the last few years. It’s currently sitting around 3% overall. Bounce rates are often used as a key measure of deliverability and include permanent and temporary bounces.”

source: Vision 6

Summary

Every business is different because everyone has different goals, different target audiences, varying company sizes and market position. Therefore the best approach is to use the tools and processes available to you. The good news is that your email marketing software will probably keep track of open, click through rates and most of the information you need to optimise your sending times and frequency, so its easy to review once you have sent a few campaigns. Hopefully this blog has provided you a good head start and a benchmark to compare against.

However, if you continue to get bad open rates it might also have something to do with your value proposition, your subject line or ease of reading your email. There are many factors to the perfect email. I hope this blog has helped.

If you would like more information, tips, techniques and templates on digital marketing please sign-up with Results 2Day 

About Us

Results 2Day’s aim is to help you maximise your digital marketing potential. With the ultimate objective being a serious positive impact to the business’ bottom line. We create or update digital marketing strategy plans for you. We strongly believe a good digital marketing strategy can transform a business and we look forward to assisting you with yours.  We also provide social media listening tools and services for either in-house use or we can create the reports for you. Please contact us on (02) 8354 1554 to see how we can assist you.

You might also be interested in reading our recently published blogs:

Please feel free to share!

Why don’t you follow Results 2Day  on LinkedIn?

Comments are closed.