With a Return on Investment of a staggering 4,300%, email marketing is about the most effective marketing tool small business owners and entrepreneurs can leverage on. But for it to work successfully, an effective email marketing strategy needs to be put in place.

Have you ever come across those junk emails that do nothing but to irritate you, and the next thing you do is to look for the ‘unsubscribe’ link? Well, the senders of those emails hardly have any email marketing strategy in place.

Gathering hundreds or thousands of emails, by whichever means, and sending sales pitches while hoping some customers will respond or purchase a product from you is by no means email marketing. If anything, using this method will guarantee you a spectacular failure regarding click-through and conversion rates.

So, you need to be more strategic and clinical in your email marketing campaigns. In other words, success in email marketing is not a function of trial and error or chance; it is as a result of precision in terms of content and timing. Here are three tactics you can use in your email marketing campaigns for higher ROI.

Timing is cardinal: Target the senses and consider the time you send your emails

Your customers don’t have all the time in the world to read every email that hits their inbox. It is estimated that the average number of emails that hit the inbox of an average busy person on a daily basis is 97. How many of these emails do you think can be read?

Well, if you are lucky, your email might be opened, but most likely your customers’ eyeballs won’t go beyond the headline or the first few lines of the email text. For an email campaign that is untargeted and/or sent at the wrong time, the most likely place it will end up is in the trash bin.

No matter how big your brand, most consumers will not spend more than a few seconds trying to figure out whether the email before them is worth opening and reading. You only have a small window of opportunity to seduce your subscribers to open your email.

Unfortunately, many marketers and small business owners squander this golden opportunity by sending their emails at the wrong time and using generic texts and images. Your success hinges on reaching and resonating with the recipient at the right time and delivering the right message.

When is the right time to send emails?

The long-standing advice to email marketers about the best time to send email has always been, “Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, between 8.am and 10 a.m.” the logic behind this notion is that people tend to open their inboxes in the mornings. However, that may not always work as much as you would like. As it turns out, there are other unconventional times to unleash your campaigns.

Let us look at some important email marketing trends and stats. This will give us an idea of when the best time to send email would be.

  • According to a 2012 Experian study, most emails are opened at night with unique open rates averaging 21.7% between 8 p.m. and 11.59 p.m. and 17.6% between 12. a.m and 4 a.m. Moreover, click through rates during these times are 4.2% and 3.2% respectively. Return on investment per email is also highest between 8.00 p.m and 11:59 p.m.
  • Experian quarterly email marketing benchmark release also showed that emails sent on Monday have the highest ROI even though emails sent on Fridays have a higher click through rates. Ironically, fewer emails are sent on Saturday and Sunday despite the fact that these days experience higher click-through and conversion rates. According to Experian, unique open rates for Saturday and Sunday is 17.8%, which is higher than any other day of the week.
  • Harland Clarke Digital examined over 1 Billion email campaigns sent between June 2012 and May 2013 to find out how today’s subscriber engages with email marketing messages. They discovered that Wednesday accounted for the highest percentage of emails sent but with the lowest open rates of 15.2%. Saturday, on the other hand, accounted for the lowest % of email sent but had the highest open rates of 32.5%. Therefore, weekends are likely to have the highest conversion rates.

Based on these findings, it is advisable that you send your emails at unconventional times such as on weekends and during late hours (between 8: p.m and 11:59 p.m). You can also capture the early birds by sending your emails between (12:00 a.m and 5: a.m).

While this is not a blanket ban on conventional email sending time, it would be a brilliant strategy to counter the competition and stand out of the crowd. In other words, try not to send your email campaigns when most others are sending. You risk being drowned in the sea. 

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