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This time last week I was at “Email World” — sitting in a room with hundreds of giggling adults. Doesn’t seem possible that the topic was email marketing.

Whether or not you’re using email in your own business, you ARE a subscriber to email, so you might be interested to see what they told us and whether it’s true of you.

Newsflash: 44-62% of subscribers are reading email on a mobile device.

OK, that’s not too surprising, but the debate over what to do about it was for me.

Mobile means what for email marketers?

  • If people open an email that looks funky, 80% will delete it and 30% will unsubscribe. A beautifully formatted email with links and pictures can flat-out crash an app on a cell phone.
  • 4 seconds. That’s how long the average person views an email before they delete it or “back out.” I took back out to mean what I do: mark it as unread, file it and then forget about it forever.
  • 72% of adults are never more than 5 feet away from their phones (guilty)!
  • No one has time or interest enough to thumb-scroll through long emails. Even top reps from the major email marketing companies preached to keep emails short.

What made a bunch of adults giggle?

A huge majority of adults read email first thing, and a lot of that seems to take place in the bathroom, I’m sorry to say.

What does that have to do with email marketing?

Well, an interesting thing happens first thing in the morning, when people are perusing the 225 emails they receive each day and taking care of business. It’s called the Morning Inbox Purge. You might do a similar mass-deletion yourself.

Oddly, though, around 9 am local time they check back in on their emails but this time they READ them. Maybe it’s delaying the start of their work day or taking a break if they’ve been going since 8 am.

Either way, here’s your big takeaway:

You do NOT want your email to be in the inbox during the morning purge. Studies show opens are best at 9 am local time.

Extra, extra: Subject lines are important!

mobile emailDuh, right? But just look at your inbox to see how many senders still do not get it.

  • 64% open an email based solely on the subject line (as opposed to who the sender is, the topic or the offer). If your subject lines are the same every month – or just dull – even your mom won’t open them.
  • About the same number use the subject line to determine whether to report spam or not.
  • The most effective subject lines tend to have fewer than 50 characters and not get too clever.
  • In one example famous retailer Harriet Carter sent an email on Monday. Then they sent the EXACT email on Thursday to people who hadn’t opened the first one, changing only the subject line. A 30% increase in opens!

This just in: Ignore everything you’ve just read. <== The tip to end all tips

The fact is: one business’s best practices may not work for another marketer. Or, as the car peeps say, YMMV. The only way to know is to test it for yourself.

Testing basically involves trying something one way, changing one element and trying it again. Then you compare your results.

Many email programs allow you to test things like: subject lines (same email goes out but two different titles), “from” name, best time of day to send, images, offers and more.

In one of my favorite examples, using buttons in the body of an email tested poorly for one audience but great for another. Proving that you don’t need to become an expert in Email Marketing; just in what your audience wants.

So, does this sound like you?

Or your subscribers? What’s your favorite tip here? Let me know in a comment below.

Old mailbox photo by gajman/Flickr; iPhone mailbox photo by, sadly, me