Many email recipients, mainly in B2C, don’t access the personal mailboxes they use to receive marketing offers anywhere close to as frequently as they check their work accounts.
In other words: in B2C there can be quite some delay between the time that people get their email (or better, the time you send it) and when recipients actually see your mail. B2C email marketers should take this into account when drawing up their emails and ensure that the content is still relevant (think of promotions) when consumers check their inbox.
Timing matters. I think many email marketers will agree on that.
Furthermore, according to Pivotal Veracity, in business-to-consumer email marketing there is a shift in the average time between the moment that email marketers send their emails and the time recipients actually see them.
Let’s look at some data. The company found, in its “Email Engagement Index Q1 – Q3 2009” (that also contains vertical market benchmarks and trends) that, during the 8 months it tracked a bunch of emails, it saw “that the average elapsed time between when messages are first sent to when they are first seen grew from 23.2 hours in January to 25.9 in August”.
In email marketing it is generally assumed that most emails are opened within 24 hours. Is it time to review that assumption and will the shift, that Pivotal Veracity noticed, continue?
Another sign to get started with social email marketing?
What does this trend mean? And is it a trend or is there another explanation? This is what Pivotal Veracity thinks: “this may reflect the additional competition for attention that email marketers are facing online as consumer participation on social networking sites and reliance on mobile phones has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year”.
It is not the first time that studies show that social media, especially Twitter, affect the use of email (surely in B2C) but I think it’s the first time that an effect is found in terms of the average response time.
For email marketers it might be a warning to handle the content and timing of their emails with even more care than before.
It’s also a sign that they will need to begin to examine how to combine social media marketing and email marketing effectively, especially (but not only) in business-to-consumer communications.
So, email marketers, maybe you should have a good look at the report that you find here (in PDF).
I found this in today’s MarketingCharts newsletter where the headline of the story was “Email Timing as Important as Message; Considered Less Often”. I have a problem with the first part and the conclusion it contains.
I mean: sure, timing matters but is it really as important as the message? Let me know.
Subscribe to my email newsletterJoin me in the Social Marketing Forum