Email Best Practice

The most effective times to send email marketing messages are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, just before lunch, but it can also be very effective and profitable to email offers for items that shoppers abandoned in shopping carts, Pinny Gniwisch, vice president of, said at the eTail 2005 conference last week.

Consumers tend to be most receptive to email on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, after they’ve had a chance to clean out their weekend email, Gniwisch said. And because many consumers shop at work during their lunch break, it’s best to reach them late in the morning, he added. has had success with monitoring items that registered shoppers abandon in their shopping carts, then emailing them discounted offers for the same products.“That’s worked exceptionally well for us,” Gniwisch noted.

Keep It Brief, Keep It Simple and enjoy higher email open rates (the percentage of recipients who open your emails). One exception to the trend towards simplicity: messages can run longer if they carry an unusually interesting and timely offer.

Are You Being Read?
While no one can conclusively prove inbox delivery on a mass broadcast, the million dollar question has been, “Are email subscribers receiving and reading your email or not?”Without knowing exactly what’s going on at the other end, we’re obliged to ask a new question, “Who ISN’T reading the email?”

It’s been estimated that up to 30% of active email lists are bogged down with inactive subscribers that could easily be deleted without negative consequences.

They’re the subscribers who haven’t opened or clicked on anything over a period of time and they’re typically ignored if you’re running a house list. They don’t unsubscribe, nor do they bounce. They grow like weeds in the list for different reasons.

  • Those marketers who have sophisticated tracking data aren’t focusing or acting on the lack of activity over time.
  • Many low-cost email solutions come with only basic “per campaign:” reporting and do nothing to connect subscribers’ Open Rates and Click Throughs from one campaign to the next. The reporting data isn’t made part of the subscriber’s record, it just displays the email address associated with the activity, so no ongoing monitoring exists across multiple campaigns.
  • Emailers are afraid to delete an email address from their list (although many subscribers have resubscribed their new email address).
  • Emailers think sending the email is a branding opportunity even if the person isn’t opening. While that may be true, what isn’t being considered is if the branding is positive or negative. Do you want to be thought of as the “spammer who won’t leave me alone?” Remember, they’ve not opened and not clicked on anything you’ve sent them!

Prune and grow rich!

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