When talking with clients and prospects, I get asked many of the same questions about what works best for email marketing. What is the best day to send campaigns? Do people like to read their newsletters in the morning at work or at home during the evening? Do HTML emails get a better response than text emails? Well, those are good questions and ones that often get much attention during research studies, but I generally tend to discard the results. The reason: who cares if Friday gets the best open rate if your customers tend to open and respond to your emails on Monday and Tuesday?

I tend to often steer clients away from the non-specific industry metrics (to a certain degree) in order to focus on their own metrics and how to optimize them. Then you can use the industry stats as a benchmark to compare to but not live by. What works well for others may not work for you. That being said, I am inclined to think one general rule that can be applied for most email marketing campaigns. Keep your emails concise and to the point.

A relevant study from Email Labs confirms this. It reported users spend 15-20 seconds on each email they open. Therefore, if you have a high open rate but low clickthough or conversion rate then you may find this evidence pertinent to you. If the goal of your email is not immediately clear to the recipient and above the fold, you most likely will not receive the desired response from this user. Yes, your email may look great and include lots of branding and cross promotional efforts but most likely they will be lost on the majority of your audience.

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