There’s no doubt that email has become the core of business communication. In the PR industry, where we often get upwards of 200 emails a day, I couldn’t even imagine having to physically mail out press releases, sort incoming snail mail, or pick up the phone for every minute query. Email has no doubt made the lives of PR and other industry professionals infinitely simpler and faster. But, without the presence of a physical piece of mail and with the ease of the delete button, how can you ensure your emails get opened and read?
This is especially a struggle for sales and marketing teams that rely on email to help generate leads and drive business, but PR execs know all too well the hassle of the “follow up.” Wouldn’t it be simpler if you didn’t have to send response requests two, three, or even four times in a week? Luckily, recent findings have been published with tips on making sure your email gets opened on the first try.
According to the July 2011 Email Marketing Metrics Report, here are some guidelines to follow in order to get your emails opened:
- Keep subject lines short – Subject lines of 4-15 characters generated a 14.1% open rate, whereas those containing 51 or more characters had the least amount of opened emails (9.9%).
- Timing matters – Most people tend to open email between 7:00 – 10:00 AM local time and, in terms of day of the week, emails sent on Sundays received the highest average open rate at 12.2%.
- Give emails a personal touch – Emails containing personalization in the actual message registered open rates of 12.6% on average, compared with those containing personalized subject lines only (4.1%).
- Industry matters – Transportation (17.6%), non-profit (15.2%) and consulting (14.9%) were the top performers, whereas media (8%), restaurant (8%) and medical (7.1%) recorded the lowest email open rates.
Thanks to the growing pervasiveness of smartphones and the ability to open emails from on the go, perhaps numbers will continue to improve in coming years. But, for now, these tips should help keep your emails from being deleted and help them be opened (and hopefully read)! What have you found from your emailing experiences? Are mornings really better or do you have luck during the lunch hour as well?
This post was first published by Meredith L. Eaton on March Communication’s blog, PR Nonsense, and may be viewed here.