Last week, on Thursday, February 10th, I was fortunate enough to attend Hubspot‘s the Science of Email Marketing Webinar hosted by Social Media Scientist, Dan Zarrella. I have come to the conclusion, that as a marketer, it is necessary to educate oneself on the latest marketing trends. As someone who incorporates email marketing into my company’s marketing efforts while seeking continuous improvement, attendance for this webinar was a must. Other marketers felt the same way as indicated by the attendance of over 20,000 registrants for this webinar. Through engagement during the presentation, this became a trending topic on Twitter.
There were some very interesting discoveries from this presentation, which I would have initially thought the opposite of. One of the first points which Dan made, was that from a survey which HubSpot conducted, 88% of the respondents stated that they do not use a separate work and personal email inbox. This alone is a sign that our business and personal lives are becoming intertwined with one another. This proves that businesses are consumers. The entire presentation was filled with key takeaways, which I am about to outline within this post.
Some of the supporting data from Dan’s presentation was from MailChimp, an email service provider based on 9,536,510,424 email sends. In addition, HubSpot conducted a number of focus groups to use qualitative data based on of the quantitative data. Lastly, HubSpot used a survey to round out the quantitative and qualitative data for this presentation.
Dan touched on timing, content, sending, multiple inboxes, and metrics related to email marketing throughout his presentation. I’ve listed his 12 key takeaways below and in italics next to the takeaways, I’ve provided additional thoughts and comments on these points.
- Try sending email on the weekends. Click through rates are higher on Saturdays and Sundays, so try experimenting and send emails on the weekends. Since business and personal inboxes are becoming one in the same, we may be more likely to read emails on the weekend when our lives are less hectic. While Thursday has the lowest unsubscribe rate, Friday and Saturday are the next lowest unsubscribe rate days.
- Send very early in the morning. Between 6:00 and 7:00 AM, the click through rates are the highest, at approximately 10.5%. The lowest click through rates are at 4:00 PM, with just under 4%. The earlier you send your email, the more of a chance there is that your readers will read it as it will be there waiting for them when they check their email each day.
- Optimize your emails for mobile. 80.8% of individuals surveyed stated that they read emails on their mobile devices. Smart phones are becoming more popular and will eventually outsell featured phones. Therefore, most users have changed the way that they communicate as they are constantly connected to their email all day long.
- Use lots of links in your emails. The higher the number of links that are included in an email attribute to a higher click through rate, as you have more chances to persuade your reader that you’re providing them with more valuable content. Subsequently, the more links that are included within an email attribute to a lower unsubscribe rate.
- Include reference information in your emails. You need to ask yourself how to make your email archive worthy. The more referential information which you include, such as data, charts, and numbers, the more valuable your readers will consider your email.
- Serialize and label your emails. In this day and age, we’re all inundated with emails. The better job you do at labeling your subject lines, your reader will be able to better identify what your email is about. For example, if you include the words weekly, digest, or updates, they’ll become aware of the frequency of your emails.
- Give your subscribers special access. Reminding your subscribers that there’s a sense of exclusivity will make them feel special. Make sure to explain to them what they’re receiving and inform them of why it’s valuable. Hopefully they subscribe and will remain a reader.
- Send emails from someone they’ve heard of. The sender name is very important and if the recipient identifies who this is, they’ll probably open it. Make sure you use a sender name that they’ll recognize. This may be the company name, a key staff member in your company, or a celebrity sender.
- Don’t be afraid to send too much email. Sending 3, 4, or 5 emails a month has roughly the same unsubscribe rate as 30. Being that they’ve subscribed to your emails, assuming you send out on a weekly basis or more, chances are that they’ll want to receive this. Unsubscribe rates are the highest when you only send once or twice a month. The more you send, as long as it’s good email you’ll probably get more clicks and activity.
- Your newest subscribers are your best. The effect of recency on unsubscribe rate shows that the older your subscribers become the lower the click through rates will be. The best performing clickers are the newest subscribers.
- Make them want to get your emails. 58% of those surveyed have another junk email inbox, but this isn’t a separate work or personal inbox. They’ll use a separate junk email inbox, so you need to make sure that your email is making it to their real email inbox.
- Ask people to follow you, not share your emails. There is a very low number of individuals who are forwarding emails, so it’s better to have “following” links rather than sharing links.
As his closing point, Dan stated that you need to make sure that you’re measuring dollars based off of email marketing campaigns. Email marketing can be extremely effective, but you need to measure your results to determine which campaigns are more effective and to make continuous improvements. You can track and see where your customers are coming from and how you’re generating leads by linking to landing pages; as a result, you’ll be able to increase and grow your business.
Were you able to attend Dan’s presentation? If not, go ahead and follow this link to view a live recording and the slides for the Science of Email Marketing Webinar. Thanks and happy email marketing!