Break These 5 Outdated Email Rules

Break-Email-rules_LI-1 Break These 5 Outdated Email Rules

Mobile devices have moved email marketing back to the forefront of every marketers marketing plan. Because of this, there are many outdated email rules that should be reconsidered in your marketing strategy.

5 Email Rules to Break

  1. Always send email in the middle of the week.
  2. Never send an email at the end of the day.
  3. Never have fun with email content.
  4. Never send an email with one large image.
  5. Keep the subject line between 30 – 50 characters

Here’s Why

1. Always send email in the middle of the week. It seems to make sense, but think about your week. When are you most busy and focused? The middle right? Get into the habit of scheduling emails to arrive early in the day or later in the day to maximize client’s attention to them. According to Social Media Today and Sales Force:

  • 85% of opens happen two days after receiving an email, but
  • Only 21% of purchases happen within 2 days of receiving an email.
  • 32% of purchases take place 2 weeks after!
  • Monday emails had the highest revenue per email.

2. Never send an email at the end of the day. What if your business is on the east coast, but you have clients on the west coast and east coast? Are you going to send all emails in the Noon – 2:00 p.m. timeframe all the time? Use common sense, but also use your data to see when customers are opening emails. You can do this with website analytics and email open rates.

3. Never have fun with email. Even if you have a conservative brand, engaging in a little fun now and again can help increase engagement with customers.  Avoid poking fun at someone or something. Rather think of ways to engage with customers on social media via your email communication. For example, it’s “red carpet” season. Ask customers what movies they hope win the big awards this year. Then use those statistics to share in another post.

Toms_Shoes Break These 5 Outdated Email Rules 4. Never send an email with one large image. In the past, graphic-centric emails may not have rendered correctly in an email ISP. However, that has changed. Using image-centric emails often engages users via mobile faster than text-centric emails.

Example – Tom’s Shoes

Here you can see in the Tom’s Shoes example, both the desktop and mobile version use the same image to get attention. If I were to open the email on a smart phone, with a graphics-enabled email service provider, the image gets my attention. Not only does the graphic appeal to me (hello…Penheel Marketing!), it’s also colorful and has a great tag line, “Life’s Dance”.

5. Keep the subject line between 30 – 50 characters. In some instances in the past, long subject lines caused email services to count the email as spam. However, good marketers know to put the most engaging adjectives at the beginning of the email subject.

According to Exact Target, “64% of people say they open an email because of the subject line.” Also, Email Audience says this, “In B2B emails, longer subject lines work better than shorter subject lines.”

Tip: Think of email subject lines like a Tweet. Though a tweet has 140 characters, it’s recommended to use fewer characters to allow for ReTweeting. The same goes for subject lines. Consider the forward feature and adjust accordingly.

Your Turn

What traditional email marketing rules do you feel are no longer applicable in 2014?

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