3 Factors That Make or Break Email Campaigns

Is your business always looking for better ways to reach out to customers old and new? Does your team strive to keep up to date with all the latest methods available to us? The answer to each of these questions should be yes.

An important question, though, is whether your team is abandoning seemingly outdated technologies on the assumption that they’re obsolete.

Adults in the U.S. spend an average of 11 hours looking at a screen daily. Over one-fifth of those people are self-admittedly online “almost constantly”, according to data from Pew Research, and it is no surprise that this group tends to correlate with the younger demographics. 36% of 18-29 year olds spend more than double the amount of time online as those over 65.

Email Marketing

But what are these people doing online, and how can your business reach out to them?

Email is the answer. An overall 58% of web users check their email as the first online task of the day, followed by using a search engine (20%) and checking Facebook (11%). There are over 215 billion emails sent around the globe daily; there’s a reason why email marketing provides an ROI of 3800%, essentially generating $38 for every $1 spent.

How should you go about optimizing your brand’s email marketing campaigns? Here are three key trends to consider when developing your next email marketing plan.

Be Prepared for Q4

The final quarter of the year is always the most email-intensive. It always dwarfs the number of emails sent in the other three quarters of the year, often nearing double the number of emails sent in Q3.

It’s obvious that this surge late in the year is due to all the holiday shopping emails. What’s particularly interesting to note, however, is that open rates in Q4 average at 6%, the second highest rate of the year. That’s right, your consumers are actually reading your promotional holiday emails.

Days of the Week

If you analyze your own behaviour, it is obvious that particular days of the week influence your activities, and holidays can be completely disrupive to habits.

For example, in October the number of emails sent peaks on Thursday and Fridays. In November, however, the day of highest email traffic is always Monday, largely influenced by Cyber Monday.

Email Marketing Holiday Season

The number of emails sent peaks in Q4.

In December, most emails are sent on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with, unsurprisingly, the highest traffic numbers in the final two weeks before Christmas as retailers push for last-minute sales.

Throughout the entire final quarter of the year, Saturday and Sunday were the least popular days for sending emails. Email marketers are out shopping and enjoying themselves, and they know their audience is too.

Time of Day

We already established that the most popular days of the week for sending emails vary based on holidays and seasons, but it turns out that time of day is a much more consistent indicator of email traffic levels.

It was found that between 11am and 3pm EST is the most popular time to send emails, followed by between 7am and 11am EST. These findings would lead to the reasonable conclusion that email marketing is most popular in the morning. However, you should not write off between 1pm and 5pm EST, the third most popular time for sending emails during the holiday months.

For obvious reasons, sending out emails during the night is not a very popular marketing practice. The number of emails sent drops to its lowest point between 11pm and 7am EST. However, don’t completely disregard this segment of the day. Studies have shown that night owls are actually more likely to open your emails, with open rates of 21.7% between 8pm and midnight, and 17.6% between midnight and 4am. In today’s working environment, the old advice not to send emails at night is no longer relevant.

Whether you’re attempting to optimize an annual marketing plan for 2017, or just looking for a way to make a few extra sales this holiday period, do not overlook email marketing. It might be the oldest form of online marketing communications, but it’s still the best.

3 Stats that Will Make You Re-Think Your Email Marketing Strategy

I’ve got some interesting statistics here that could lead you to reshape your marketing priorities. Econsultancy recently published their 10th Annual Email Marketing Industry Census, and things are looking positive. The report is probably longer than you want to read (over 80 pages of insights), so we’ve listed three key points for you take away with you.

1. Email Brings the Highest ROI

Platforms such as Facebook may have huge, growing user bases, but email marketing topped this list with 27 percent of marketers reporting excellent ROI and 46 reporting good ROI from their campaigns. Together, that makes up a sizeable majority of happy marketers.

Twenty-two percent reported average results and just 5 percent were unhappy with their campaigns. All in all, that’s 95 percent satisfied in their campaign performance.

This figure gains weight in comparison to paid search campaigns; only 59 percent of marketers were happy with the outcome of their marketing efforts. Online display performed even worse, with only 34 percent satisfied with results.

2.  Marketers still invest the least of their budget on email

For years, email marketing has proved to be among the most useful weapons in an online marketer’s arsenal. However, most marketers still do not make effective use of it. This year, average marketing budget allocated for email is just 15 percent, even though email makes up 23 percent of sales.

Email marketing budget

The average marketer spends just 15 percent of their marketing budget on email.

The could be several reasons for this underuse of email marketing. One reason could be an increased focus on social media marketing to target the millennial market.  Another reason might be the relative time is takes to compose a marketing email when compared to a post on a social network. It can easily take 6-8 hours to set up an email campaign.

The time taken to put together a marketing email is becoming a less-important factor, thanks to the intuitive email marketing platforms that are available today.

3.  Marketers focussing on automation and personalization

When surveyed marketers were asked where they would be focussing their efforts within email marketing, the top five answers were what you might expect: automation, analytics, planning, personalization and segmentation. Of these areas, personalization and segmentation saw the largest year-on-year jump; both up five percent. Up from 22 percent last year, 34 percent of marketers said automation will take most of their focus, while 22 percent named personalization as their key area of focus, an increase from 17 percent in 2015.

Email Personalization

Personalization emails leads to increased open rates.

There’s no denying email campaigns have had huge success implementing automation, personalization and testing. Automation improves productivity and keeps the process free of errors, personalization helps to increase open rates, and A/B testing improves your campaign’s overall performance. Take care of these core ingredients and you can expect a successful campaign.

How does your email marketing campaign compare?

Over 1000 marketers contributed to the trends identified in the census report. How does your email campaign compare to these figures? Are you focussing on the same key areas? If you think you’re not doing enough in this area, you might want to consider increasing your email budget to allow for more time spent on personalization, automation and testing. Focus on each of them and you’ll achieve better results.