Email marketing is more art than science

Statisticians have been bent double over data about email marketing and have come up with an answer to a question that is pretty pointless. Every year various people try to analyse what is the best day of the week to send out a marketing email. The notion is that if you know which day of the week most people open their emails, then you stand a greater chance of being seen if you hit the inbox on the appropriate day.

Back in 2005 we were told it’s definitely Friday, well by a short margin anyway. That was a significant change, because up until 2005 we were all told it’s Wednesday. But no, Friday was confirmed as the best day – “open day” – by analysts in 2006. New research, though suggests marketers have turned their back on Friday’s because most email is now sent out on a Monday or Tuesday.

Who cares? Well email marketing “experts” – there’s tons of debate throughout the web on when is the best time to send an email, which day, from which country, which city….aaargh enough…! Let’s face facts – it doesn’t matter much.

Most people open emails every day – including at weekends. Most people pay little attention to which country the email came from, or what time of day it was sent. The one thing we all pay attention to is the subject line. Yet, this appears to be the area that is given least attention by many marketers. According to Epsilon, who analysed over 1 billion emails – honest – companies spend more time on creating the contents of the email than they do on the subject line.

Plus, with the amount of chatter there is about which day to send the emails is it any wonder that open rates are lower than desired by most marketers. Here’s a trick you can learn from the world of tabloid newspapers – such as The Sun. They sell in their millions, largely because the headlines grab the attention of people who are then prepared to fork out some cash and buy the paper. Newspapers like The Sun often devote more time and effort to the headline itself than they do the story that goes underneath it. And that’s why they succeed in their version of “open rates” – people buying from newsagents.

So, rather than worry about all the statistical data on email open rates, days to get a better chance of being opened and all that stuff, simply spend more time and effort on your subject lines. And if you want to see if your subject line is likely to appeal, get it tested at the Headline Analyzer.


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Graham Jones
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+
Graham Jones


Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist, professional speaker and author of 32 books who helps businesses understand the online behaviour of their customers
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