Email marketing is a powerful content marketing tool to have as part of your integrated marketing strategy. When handled correctly, email marketing can:
- Reach new audiences who may be outside of your sales funnel
- Nurture existing customers
- Upsell or cross sell current customers
But when the average adult receives roughly 120 emails per day, can email marketing be effective?
There is a nuance to sending the right number of emails, at the right time of day, with the right subject line, with the right content and material included. We’ll walk you through the right email cadence for email marketing that achieves higher click through rates and yields higher return.
Understanding Cadence for Email Marketing
Cadence when it comes to email marketing is defined as the pacing in which marketing emails are deployed. A strategic email marketing cadence will define the trigger that sets the emails in motion, as well as the day of the week, time of day, and space in between emails. All of those factors weigh in on the success of an email marketing campaign and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Choosing the Right Day of the Week to Send Emails
The day of the week plays a big role in whether or not your email will be opened, or if it will be shoved to the bottom of an already-full inbox. There are some tricks to the trade, however, and some rules of thumb to keep in mind as you’re scheduling your email marketing cadence.
- Avoid Mondays – Unless you have a specific sale or promotion attached to a Monday, it’s best to avoid sending marketing emails on a Monday. Think about your own email habits on Monday morning. You likely open your email to a full inbox after emails have collected over a few days. You’re more likely to delete anything that feels “promotional” and only save the emails that are relevant to your work, personal life, or have a task attached to them.
- Avoid Weekends – Similarly, weekends are best avoided unless you have a specific reason (like a sale or promotion). Statistically, open rates are the lowest on a weekend as folks aren’t as tied to their phones or computers.
- Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the best days to send emails – On Mondays, consumers are working through their weekend slog of emails, and on Fridays they are itching for the weekend. That leaves Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for marketing emails, and those are the days of the week that we have seen the most email open rate success with.
Choosing the Right Time of Day to Send Emails
The time of day matters just as much as the day of the week when it comes to choosing the right email marketing cadence. Emails are statistically opened within the first 60 minutes of receipt, so keep that window in mind as you’re scheduling deployments.
- Always Send During the Day – Emails sent during the day as opposed to evening hours statistically receive higher open rates. Consumers are a more captive audience during the day, as most always have their email readily available or already open.
- Midday Emails Are the Most Successful – Emails sent between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. statistically have the highest open rate. In fact, MailChimp’s data points to 2 p.m. as the optimal deployment time for an email. We’ve also seen success with the 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. window, though afternoon does yield slightly higher results.
- Off-Hours Are Ideal for Press Releases – While press releases are a bit off-topic in terms of email marketing and the right email marketing cadence, it’s worth noting! If you have a press release prepared to send to the media, between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the off-hour (i.e. 9:15, 10:35) are the ideal times. This ensures that your email falls in between the traditional TV news and reporter cycles.
Choosing the Right Pace Between Emails
Finding the right pace for your email marketing cadence takes time and careful consideration of the data available to you. It is always best to start off slow—with fewer emails than you may prefer—and slowly work your way into a higher frequency. When you start seeing a higher unsubscribe rate or getting email frequency feedback from your audience, that is when you will know you’ve hit your limit and need to scale back.
- Send an Email 3-5 Days Before an Event – Despite most consumers opening an email within 60 minutes of receipt, there are still some who will let an email sit in their inbox for a few days before opening. So, if you have a specific event or sale starting on a particular day, it’s best to announce it 3 to 5 days in advance for best results.
- Start Monthly – If you don’t have an email marketing plan in place, begin with monthly, or even bi-monthly emails. Your audience isn’t used to hearing from you often, so too much at once will be a turn-off and could yield a high unsubscribe rate. Start slow and focus on content that is valuable—educational material, reviews, product launches.
- Work Your Way Up to Weekly – Weekly emails are the most effective email marketing cadence for most businesses. However, it’s important that you work into that pace slowly, and keep an eye on your email data. Any sudden shifts in open rates or unsubscribes will tell you if you’ve done too much too quickly. If you see that, scale back to bi-weekly and see how your emails perform.
Plan an Email Marketing Cadence that WORKS
The right email marketing cadence will be very specific to your audience, and it should reflect customer feedback and consumer data. The right email marketing cadence will also work in conjunction with a larger content marketing plan where your brand is reaching your customer’s line-of-sight via multiple mediums and channels.
We’re here to help. We can take a content marketing plan from the highest level and focus that plan into individual touchpoints that are strategic, smart, and successful. Ready to get started? Contact us today.