Today we'd like to give you some quick statistics regarding email marketing, and how they relate to your jewelry store.
At the bottom of this email, you will find the links for the web pages we're getting our data from. Feel free to look over it all yourself.
First, let's talk about the time of day to send emails. A few years ago our own research showed that the best time of day to send emails was 1PM local time. That statistic is no longer true. Now that users are able to read emails in a wide variety of ways, we are not constrained to post-lunch time email reading.
Naturally you can send your emails at any time of the day, but what time will have the best chance for someone to read it?
It turns out there are 3 different times, and each has a different audience. You could have as much as a 20% chance of someone reading your email if you send it out between 1AM and 3AM. 20% open rate is flabbergasting, but that's what MailerMailer is reporting.
The second most popular time to send emails is around 6:30PM local time. Open rates are about 15% around 7PM each night. This would account for people finishing up their dinner and checking their personal emails before continuing with their evening activities.
The third most popular time to send emails is about 6AM local time. With the advent of smartphones, more and more people are reading their emails as their first action every morning. (alarm buzzes... stretch... sit up... grab smartphone and read emails)
Looking over all the statistics, it is not surprising to see 20.08% of retail customers reading emails on their smartphones. BlackBerry users were leading this technology curve a few years ago and now that's been completely usurped by iPhones, iPads and Androids.
While we're on the topic of mobile devices and emails, let's talk about HTML email formatting. Mobile usage is on the rise and cell phone carriers are struggling to keep up with the 3G and 4G bandwidth demands. If you expect your customers to read email on their phones then you should be sensitive to the limitations and readability of the small cell phone screen.
To get the best open rates during the 6AM email time slot, you should send your emails out as text only and not as HTML with images. Unfortunately you can't track your open rates with text only emails so put a URL in there that's short and traceable. The email companies would try to slap a long URL in your message, but that will look very sloppy in a text format. Instead, you should take your URL and shorten it using the Bit.ly service then include the Bit.ly URL in the email. Bit.ly has its own click-through reporting service.
According to Constant Contact, the average open rate for all emails sent by retail stores is 17.7%. In other words, according to them, if you just blindly send emails without targeting the time of day and the format type, you should have an average of 88 out of your 500 customers list reading your email.
MailerMailer is much more conservative in their data by saying the open rate for email sent from a retail store is only 12.1%.
So what should you do with all this information? We can't give you an exact answer without our own testing, but if certainly seems like you should be sending your emails out at the end of the work day right before you head home. The next morning you can count your open rates. Try this a few times and compare the results to previous emails you've sent.
We also suggest testing a few overnight emails sent at midnight and then at 4AM. You will have to use a scheduling feature in your email program. Send these emails as text only, but make sure to use those Bit.ly links to track your clicks.
Let us know how it works out!
Reference research links: