When do most people check their e-mail? First thing after meetings and before they finish for the day. In my experience, e-mails sent around 11:00 a.m. midweek have the best open rates, as my target audience has cleared their spam, started their day and is ready to consider something new.
Promotional e-mails sent at lunchtime can work well, as people may take the time to complete a short survey whilst eating their lunch if the incentive is strong enough and the questions few and easy to answer.
Looking at unsubscribe rates, if you get your audience and your messaging right, this rate should be low and is typically lower still at the start of the week. At the end of the week, with people fighting e-mails to get done for the day, you might find an increase in unsubscribe rates, especially if you have misjudged your frequency of e-mails, audience and content.
Hints and tips
Personalised e-mails tend to have higher engagement rates if you get the right content to the right person at the right time. Not just ‘Dear [name]’ but really personalised content by job title, industry or key challenge.
Key measures for success in e-mail marketing are delivery rates, open rates, clickthrough rates and responses. Typically 98% delivery rates and 20%–50% open rates are considered good, and clickthrough rates and responses can vary dramatically in the holiday months.
Messages sent via platforms such as LinkedIn have their own rules and best practices. Much of our target audience check LinkedIn during their free time, so sending messages between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. has worked well for us. Be mindful of the time and day of the week, as you may be happy working Sunday afternoons but your target audience may not be.