Friday Best Day For Email Newsletter Open Rates?
By Christopher Knight
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This week, ExactTarget released their 2005 Response Rate Study that summarized open, click-through and unsubscribe rates.
The results of their study?
Even though Tuesdays are the highest volume of sending emails day, Friday is the day with the highest OPEN RATES...even though SUNDAY is the best day for CLICK-THROUGH RATES (CTR).
First, does this matter?
Their reasoning is that there is less competition for your emails on Fridays...thus, the highest open rate of any day... but, if you read into the study further, you'll find Friday was the highest open rate day by only .6% with Thursdays being the #2 day for email open rates. This is not a statistically significant difference to make any conclusions.
WHAT IS OPEN RATE? Open Rate is the number of people who open your email in a given time period divided by how many people you have on your list who receive HTML emails. Open rate tracking requires the email member to load an image that is used to track open rates, and thus are often very misleading due to image blocking in many email clients.
One mistake to avoid when doing your own email response rate analysis: Don't measure click through rate (CTR) against open rate. Measure CTR against your successful number of recipients sent rate.
Example: If I send 12,000 emails today to the Ezine-Tips list, and 50 of them hard bounce and 50 of them soft bounce, that means 11,900 emails were successfully delivered. If I had one link in the article and it received 1000 clicks, that would make my CTR rate (1,000/11,900) = 8.4% CTR
A mistake I've seen many clients do is they will look at 1,000 clicks tracked against 2,500 OPENS (open rate on a 12k list size for example) and then come to the false conclusion that their CTR is (1,000/2,500) = 40% CTR. NOT.
My Philosophy On Send Day Choices:
Yes, I like to track my own response rates, but I would rather send emails only on days when I know I can generate the most action from my members. Friday emails might get the best open rates due to lower competition for the inbox, but for me they are not the best days to get members to take the actions I want them to take.
Therefore, drive your emails hard on days when you know from past results that your members will take the most desired action you are seeking them to do as a result of your email.
Example: My ad revenue fluctuates with the ebb and flow of the PPC (PayPerClick) ad market, but there is no coincidence that when the ad revenue flow really starts to let loose and happen --> that my emails increase *and* on the hottest days I know my members will take action.
"Hit the SWEET SPOT in your email list member market on the days when you know your members will be prepared to take the action you want them to do."
It may be true that my members today will open this Friday Ezine-Tips issue, but based on past results, few will take action, buy the recommended product or click to read the full article because I know Saturday and Sunday's are the highest CTR days, regardless as to the fact that they are not the highest open rate days.
Are You Following My Sweet Spot Send Day Logic?
Send and increase your email frequency (I already assume your emails are highly relevant and you have permission to send them) on the sweet spot for your list when you know they will take the most action you want them to do.
As your list size increases, increase the level of segmentation campaigns that you do to further win the game.
Who cares if your open rate sky rockets if your most desired action does not occur by your email members?
The ExactTarget 2005 Response Rate Study analyzed 12-months of data that included 4,000 organizations, 230k email campaigns and 2.7 billion emails. It's available for free at: http://email.exacttarget.com/lp/2006_BestDay_Whitepaper.asp
This Ezine-Tip was submitted By Christopher Knight -- Email List Marketing Expert, author and entrepreneur.
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