Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Perfect Time to Launch an Email Campaign

When is the perfect time to launch an email campaign?

Throughout my sales career I have always had an interest on how to get the biggest bang for my buck when it comes to running email campaigns. And believe me, I've tried it all. I have tried tweaking the message and subject line. I have tried sending it during different times of the day, and during different times of the year. I have also learned how to avoid those pesky SPAM filters.

Although I consider myself somewhat of an expert, I do get a surprise from time to time. The latest surprise I got involved a massive email campaign I did on July 4th week. I didn't actually choose that week on purpose, but was assigned the week as part of a marketing queue. Now to be honest, the campaign was targeting companies in Canada, so Monday was not a holiday. They did have their Canada Day the previous Friday, and I assume that it was still a popular vacation week.

Here is the surprise, we sent approximately 4000 emails, and we got a 18% open rate!! Better yet we included a video in the email, which was watched by 8%, and the click-through rate was 11%. Most email campaigns are happy with a 1-3% open rate, and as far as click-throughs go, it's usually only a portion of the 1-3%. I really had to scratch my head on this one. I started by doing a little research and here is what I discovered:

1. I had less competition, because fewer companies are sending emails during this time.
2. My audience, if they were at work, had more time to read my email.
3. You can benefit from all of the “out of office” emails, which contain useful information.

So throw away some of your pre-conceived notions and try to keep an open mind. I did forget to mention that I did rely on some proven email tips and tricks, such as:

1. Keep the subject line short and direct, mention their company name if possible.
2. Keep the message short and simple. Make sure they can read it all in the preview pane.
3. Use links to multi-media presentations that will increase retention rates.
4. Build in a way to track who has opened the email and what they have clicked on.

I will warn you to be prepared for this type of surprise, and make sure that you have all the resources you need to follow up on all the new leads.

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