• April 1, 2004
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

BPO News & Insight: Email Tuesdays

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Is your third-party email marketer sending out emails on the best day of the week? The most popular day to send an email marketing blast is Tuesday, with Wednesday being the top day for recipients to open emails, according to the recent "Delivery Trends Report" from EmailLabs. But there may be a significant reason to switch email delivery days. EmailLabs, a provider of email marketing solutions, started the quarterly "Delivery Trends Report" in January 2003. It focuses on email relevance and deliverability issues for email marketers. The results of the report are based on tracked email practices of EmailLabs' more than 500 customer companies. For the second consecutive quarter the report finds that more companies (25.4 percent) deliver their email messages on Tuesday, followed by Wednesday at 23.3 percent, and Thursday at 18.3 percent. Saturday and Sunday are the least popular delivery days, at 0.9 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively. Industry pundits are noticing similar results. According to Chris Selland, managing director at Reservoir Partners, email recipients tend to be more receptive to emails in the middle of the week, because they are inundated with work when they come back into the office on Monday, and often leave early on Friday. This bodes well for marketers, as their production cycles tend to end on Friday for an early email delivery by Tuesday, according to Loren McDonald, vice president of marketing at EmailLabs. There may be, however, instances when it is more appropriate to deliver emails on a Monday or Friday. In fact, nearly a third of EmailLabs' customers are sending emails on these two days. If the content aims to educate readers on upcoming programs, such as television and radio shows, it may make more sense to deliver the email on Monday morning, McDonald suggests. Friday could serve the same purpose for weekend announcements or as a week-in-review for email newsletters. Another reason to send emails on Monday and Friday is to compete with fewer emails. "The average consumer only makes room in their mind for 15 to 16 regular email messages. So if you're not relevant and you don't get into that group of 15 to 16 emails, you're not going to get opened very often. Using our statistics that would say that 12 out of 15 to 16 are coming in between Tuesday through Thursday, so if you could get in that Monday spot you might only be competing with one of those 15 to 16 emails," McDonald says. In another compelling report finding, unsubscribe rates have been declining since this past January. Marketers may view this as positive news, but it gives marketers a false sense of success, according to McDonald. Instead of unsubscribing from unwanted emails, recipients are more likely to simply delete them. This is partly due to the general mistrust of a company's unsubscribe capabilities, Selland says: "There's some truth to it that when people unsubscribe the process actually validates an email address. There are a lot of disreputable marketers out there that will use that to increase your spam." Recipients are getting so much spam, according to McDonald, that it has become part of their regular morning ritual to delete spam emails. At this point, he says, it's easy for recipients to simply lump a weekly newsletter into a group of unwanted spam emails and press the delete button. As a result, many email marketers are eliminating names of subscribers who do not open a specified number of emails in a row, or are asking those subscribers to opt in again.
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