Despite all the additions and advances made by social media, mobile, and other segments of the digital marketing business, email remains a staple for marketers. It’s direct, intimate, and, if done correctly, still highly effective.
To do things correctly, marketers need to constantly reevaluate their email marketing strategies according to measurements and industry trends. To help with that, marketing analytics firm TrackMaven has released new research on the topic in its “The Stagnant State of Email” report. Through analysis of 93,611 emails, TrackMaven sought to identify the real industry standards, and found that marketers could use some new tactics in the space. Here are five key takeaways from that report.
1. Try sending emails on weekends
One of the biggest challenges of email marketing is just cutting through the thousands of emails going out every day. According to the data from TrackMaven, there’s a huge drop off of emails sent from weekdays to weekends. Thursdays see the most action, with 18.8% of marketing emails being sent on that day. To surprise recipients and increase the chances your email will be seen, try sending on an off day like Saturday or Sunday. If you still want to send out emails during the typical workweek, Mondays have a slightly lower amount of emails going out. Sending out emails on the weekend doesn’t mean you have to work the weekend, either. Plenty of email management tools allow sending to be scheduled.
2. Ask a question in the subject line
Several studies, including one of over 200 million emails from Mail Chimp, show that emails with a question in the subject line perform better. Even though this information seems to be prevalent in the marketing community, few are employing the tactic. Of the emails studied by TrackMaven, less than 5% used a question mark in the subject line. That’s a huge missed opportunity.
3. Continue avoiding spam words
While email marketers may not be using the data on questions for subject lines enough, it seems the warnings of so-called “spam” words has caught their attention. Less than 1% of emails studied by TrackMaven included any of the bigger spam words, like “help,” “reminder,” or “percent off.” Track Maven also ran the emails through Apache's SpamAssassin software, which helps identify spam signatures and subject lines from emails. The ideal score for a marketing email should be under 5, and 99.3% of emails in the study were. It is clear that marketers understand which words often trigger recipients' spam filters.
4. Try a shorter, to-the-point email
When it comes to subject lines, email marketers have come to the understanding that shorter is better. TrackMaven’s data shows that 59% of email subject lines have 50 characters or less. However, when it comes to content, emails become a bit long-winded. The majority of emails studied has 400 words or more. Considering how many emails are sent, there’s a good chance all 400 or more of those words aren’t being read. Try out emails with fewer words by really narrowing the focus of the message. Identify what’s truly important and say it in as few words as possible, and recipients will be more likely to read the entire message.
5. Break the mold
The No. 1 takeaway from TrackMaven's report is that email marketers are all doing the same thing. All of the emails are full of words and images, avoid certain spam trigger words, and are being sent out on the same days, during the same peak hours. To stand out, email marketers need to break away from the mold and come up with some new strategies. That’s always been the key to stellar, strategic marketing of any kind.