I recall talking to a friend a few months ago who runs a large social group here in Washington, D.C. called Professionals in the City. His email list is something like 300,000. But he said the majority of people who come to his weekly events are relatively new to the list. So getting new leads is essential for him.
Recent research from Mail Chimp supports my friend’s findings. The open rate for the first month of new people signed up to an email list is 24% and the click-thru rate almost 5%. That decreases to 19%/4% in the second month, 16%/3% in the third month, and 14%/2.5% in the fourth. Funny that in the fifth month, it goes down to about 5%/1% but then the sixth month was back up to 11%/2%.
Here are more of their latest observations.
- Try varying the times you send out email. Their study says the biggest open times are between 2-5 pm. The lowest time was between 5-6 a.m.
- The most email opens occur on Wednesday and Thursday. Tuesday sees a higher volume of emails sent, so it may not be the best day to send. Friday email opens are more than Monday and actually not too far behind the top days.
- Placing a particular link in your content more than once will increase the number of clicks for that link.
- Your subject line should describe the subject of your email. Sounds simple but it’s easy to overthink.
- Always set your subscribers’ expectations during the opt-in process about what kinds of emails they’re going to receive. Don’t confuse newsletters with promotions. If your email is a newsletter, put the name and issue of the newsletter in your subject line. Because that’s what’s inside. If your email is a special promotion, say so in the subject line. Either way, just don’t write your subject lines like advertisements.
- When it comes to email marketing, the best subject lines tell what’s inside, and the worst subject lines sell what’s inside. For length of subject line, they recommend 50 characters or less. “The exception was for highly targeted audiences, where the reader apparently appreciated the additional information in the subject line.”
Two more tips from other sources:
- Tell a story. From Bethesda Emedia Marketing: “Whenever possible, approach your subject line as a story. In other words, pique your reader’s curiosity in your email and get their emotions (fear, humor, curiosity, anger, joy, gain, logic) involved; anything that suggests there is more to be read gets readers to open your email…Sometimes a statement-type subject line is necessary, but do try to ping emotions in the subject line when possible.”
- “Click here” works best. According to a HubSpot blog post, your Call to Action in emails will do better with certain words. “Click Here” received the most clicks (32%) followed by “Go” (24%), “Submit” (20%), “Download” (15%) and “Register” (10%). They also found that conversion rates were three percentage points higher without the word “Submit” than with. Perhaps submit, download and register all represent too strong a commitment, whereas click here and go come off a bit more friendly and allow us more time to assess.
Subject lines, headlines and any other lines that help your audience to decide if they want to read something are hugely important—not breaking news. But the point is that if you’re like me, sometimes you take a lot of time to craft the story/profile/marketing copy/renewal plea/ webinar invitation, etc.—and then are anxious to get it out, so you don’t put that same energy into the subject line and headline. Take the extra few minutes.