Many times when we start working with clients, their expectations of how their emails will be perceived are a bit unrealistic. People get excited when they purchase a new marketing automation solution and want to immediately start blasting everyone in their database as often as possible. We often hear statements like – “our audience is different; if we send it they’ll open it.” Sorry to break it to you, but your prospects are just like you, and how often do you honestly open unexpected emails from companies you aren’t really familiar with? Rarely, and that’s how often your prospects will open your emails if you don’t go about your email campaigns in a well thought out and considerate way.
It’s All in the Timing
Imagine that you just got home from a long day at work and you’re scrolling through your phone. You get an email from your favorite store, hooray 50% off! Or, you get a baby picture from an old college friend, aww. Then you get a random email from some tech firm whose trade show booth you breezed into for a free t-shirt, DELETE. It’s all in the timing.
Business emails are best saved for business hours, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM. We could say 9-5, but at EBQ, we like to give our prospects time to start and finish their day without our emails being a distraction and possibly turning them off from our services. It’s also preferable to send these types of emails Tuesday through Thursday. Not to say that Monday and Friday emails can’t work, but they are tricky. If you absolutely have to send an email on a Monday, avoid sending it first thing in the morning. When your prospects are catching up on their emails from over the weekend, sales emails probably aren’t going to be their top priority. Same thing with Friday afternoon email, your email is just another roadblock between your prospect and their weekend and most likely will get deleted. For the most effective email sends, aim for that Tuesday-Thursday, 10:00 AM -3:00 PM, block of time when your prospects are most likely in business mode.
Target the Right Messages to the Right Contacts
Yes, you can blast your entire database at once with generic messaging and hope for the best but you run the risk of losing some valuable potential leads. Once a prospect is unsubscribed from your emails, they’re unsubscribed. Figure out the most effective way to break down your list and target the correct messaging to the correct titles. Are you reaching out to product influencers or the people who write the checks for new tools? Messaging to a prospect who will actually be using your solution on a day-to-day basis is probably going to be much different than the messaging for a C-level prospect whose sole role is purchasing. Segmenting your lists properly and targeting people with messaging that is actually geared directly to their roles will help your email efforts greatly.
There is, unfortunately, no magic number for the perfect amount of emails to send or how often to send them. That being said, it’s easy to appear too aggressive to your prospects by bombarding them with emails. Too many emails could lead to a high number of opt-outs and unsubscribes. Step out of the sales and marketing mode and think about how often you’d like to hear from a company via email. If you don’t want to hear from the same company three times in a week, neither do your prospects. We know you want to make the most of your marketing automation software and that’s where having well-segmented lists can really help. Maybe you can send an email targeted to your prospective users and then let that those prospects rest for a week. In the interim, you could target your current customers about a new product feature or reach out to C-level prospects with messaging about cutting down costs.
It’s also helpful to pay attention to your opt-out and click through rates. Pardot offers really detailed reports in regards to click-throughs, opt-outs, and bounces. We at EBQ find this information very valuable in optimizing our email sends. If there is a higher amount of email opt-outs than usual or a particular link gets a lot of positive attention; it’s definitely worth the time to dig deeper into those reports to see if you can figure out why. With common sense and consideration, you’ll find the rhythm that works best for you and your prospects.
Sending emails can be a very effective way to keep your brand on your prospects’ minds. Be considerate with your timing, strategic with your list segmentation, and you’ll start to get into a rhythm of sending emails that truly have an impact on your business’s web presence. When you’re planning your next email send, remember that your prospects are people with busy lives and ask yourself “what time would I like to see an email like this?”