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Jan 22, 2007
Blog Post

Huge Impact of Timing & Email -- Relevancy Doubles Open Rates

SUMMARY: No summary available.
By Anne Holland, President

If you've read more than a few articles (or heard speeches) about what lifts email campaign response rates, you've probably noticed they all boil down to the same word: relevancy.

Now, it's all very well for experts to proclaim, "Be more relevant," from the podium. But how do you actually put relevancy into action?

I was just blown away by a real-life example based on data from our own programs and wanted to share the results with you.

Last month, we did a complimentary teleseminar to review our latest Benchmark Study data for MarketingSherpa readers. We asked folks to sign up in advance, and then we emailed them hotlinks to the presentation and the special telephone number to call at the appointed hour.

Everyone who registered received the same three emails over 48 hours. So these went to the same list, same general topic and the same "From." Only the time and subject line varied:

Email #1. Sent Dec. 18th
[Sherpa] Your Access Info for Tomorrow's Teleseminar
Measured open: 18.6%

Email #2. Sent Dec. 19th
[Sherpa] Just 1 Hour Until the Email Marketing Teleseminar
Measured open: 50.5%

Email #3. Sent Dec. 20th
[Sherpa] Thanks + "Email Marketing Benchmark Guide 2007"
Measured open: 48.7%

Wow, huh? The difference is striking. I don't know about you, but this data inspires me on two fronts:

o Time-of-day-triggered campaigns

Auction and last-minute-discount sites already know this. But the rest of us, including B-to-B marketers, can probably create more time-driven campaigns.

Check with your email service beforehand though -- sometimes sends don't go out precisely when you think they will due to backlogged servers. Plus, some system resend messages to 'soft bounces' for up to 24 hours after the initial send to get more mail through, which could make your "one hour left" message look pretty silly.

o Post-transactional thank-you campaigns

Have you added an offer -- even just to evergreen best-of content-- in your new opt-in Welcome letter yet? How about testing special links in other transactional messages, such as shipping notes? Our research team is conducting studies on this right now; we should have some more data to present at Sherpa's Email Summit in March. I'd love to hear your data, too.

Speaking of relevancy, here are three relevant links for you:

If you missed the teleseminar discussed above, you can get a transcript, MP3 file and, yes, the PowerPoints -- they're complimentary for Sherpa readers:

Have you done any email campaigns (or newsletters) recently that got great results? Consider entering MarketingSherpa's annual Email Awards. Ten categories (including B-to-B) to choose from:

Finally, here's a link to info about Sherpa's Email Summit; it's nearly 70% sold out already, so quick ticket reservations are recommended:

See Also:

Comments about this Blog Entry

Jan 22, 2007 - Micheal of VQ Interactive Solutions says:
Interesting statistics. What was the overall attendance percentage of those who pre-registered for the teleseminar?

Jan 23, 2007 - Tad Clarke of Mar says:
We tend to get a 35%-40% attendance rate the day of. However, many more “attend” the canned version of the event, which we post for a year afterward in the Free Stuff section of our site. We also track attendance rates for B-to-B webinars for the entire IT industry in our annual Business Technology Benchmark Guide and have noted year over year that live events have seen a slight reduction in attendance.

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