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Mailer Mailer recently came out with an infographic based on their recent Email Marketing Metrics report. With the data they compiled, you can see the success of what time scheduled emailed work best and how well subject lines perform based on the number of characters in it.

For instance: 

  • 70% of messages are opened within the first 16 hours.
  • Messages scheduled for Sunday had higher open and click rates as did ones that were scheduled for midnight.

How does this infographic match the results of your own personal testing? Are you sending your emails at the right time? Are you optimizing your email strategy? A well timed email can make a big difference for your integrated campaigns.

Heather Taylor

Published 27 August, 2012 by Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor is the Editorial Director for Econsultancy US. You can follow her on Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

236 more posts from this author

Comments (15)

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Scott Winterroth

Interesting about the subject lines. You would think longer would be better but I guess the old adage still applies. Less is more.

over 3 years ago

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Ron

It would have been interesting to see examples of the 4 - 15 character subject lines.

Subject lines as short as that haven't performed well for us.

over 3 years ago

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Tanielle Lobo

I agree a well timed email campaign can make such a big difference and result in valuable repeat business. It is interesting to know that Sunday and midnight have the highest open and click rates. We have in the past experimented with sending newsletters at peak times within our (UK) time zone and peak times within the receiver's times zone and the results have been very insightful.

over 3 years ago

Edward Armitage

Edward Armitage, Senior Consultant at Practicology

The subject length vs. open rate correlation is interesting.

Short subject lines have outperformed in almost every a/b test I've performed recently, but then again, I work with copywriters.

I find it hard to write a 140 character tweet, let alone distil a compelling message into 15 characters!

over 3 years ago

Simona Valuckaite

Simona Valuckaite, Business Development and Event Organising at Link Foundry

I agree - less is more.
Also - it is very important to know the right time to send emails and messages. Definitely not on a Friday night! Even if the receiver is not annoyed, the message will be forgotten by Monday morning. Aurevoir!

Simona
www.smarteyeproductions.com

over 3 years ago

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Optilead

Higher opening rates are on a Sunday? I never would have guessed.

@ Edward Armitage 'I find it hard to write a 140 character tweet, let alone distil a compelling message into 15 characters!' - I couldn't agree more. It's an art to get stuff that short and compelling!

Thanks for the article.

Rich @ Optilead

over 3 years ago

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Chris Winters

For us, it depends on the type of list. Product lists, with a larger mixture of female subscribers, typically do well on weekends, however blog-technical lists, have never done well on weekends.

over 3 years ago

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David Zweifler

I wonder if the midnight sends are getting higher open rates because they were global campaigns, and are reaching targets based in Asia during the middle of the business day.

over 3 years ago

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Josh Smith

I love a good infographic. There are some great statistics her but I would love to know the psychology behind it why 10-15 characters seems to be the optimum subject line length. I'll definitely give it a try on future email campaigns.

over 3 years ago

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Leon Klatt, Consultant at Alchemy Worx

Beware more opens can lead to less clicks!

The piece of research by MailerMailer that this is taken from also includes click data and it's puzzling that they chose to only focus on open rates in the Infographic. Surely the impact SL length has on clicks is as important arguably more important than the effect on the open rate.

According to the research http://bit.ly/O2fcFw SL’s in the 28 – 39 character range get a click rate that is 29% higher and Click to Open rate that is over 50% higher than SL’s in the 4 – 15 character range.

These findings are also replicated in some new research by Adestra http://bit.ly/MZaqM5 and prior to that Alchemy Worx http://bit.ly/xJZ2co

All 3 studies show that optimising your SL’s for opens may leave you with fewer clicks

over 3 years ago

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Mark

I agree with Ron. What subject line can you really communicate in 4 characters, but then the trend line is relatively flat for the rest of the Open Rate regardless of the character length

over 3 years ago

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Alan Ferguson

Mmmm interesting stuff. Just did a quick analysis of our emails this year. Never reaslised we had such LONG subject lines - average is 42 characters. On average, those with 43 characters and above had an open rate of 26% whilst those under 42 characters had an open rate of 30%. So, proof in the pudding...though I don't know how I am going to achieve <15 characters. Time for some A/B testing....

Alan

over 3 years ago

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Gianni

Am I missing something about the 4-15 character subject lines? Four characters is basically just one word, without any context, and I can't think of many that would entice recipients to open ("News", maybe?).

Should this actually be 4-15 *word* subject lines?

I'd definitely like to see some examples of (succesful) subject lines with so few characters.

over 3 years ago

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Flournoy

Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Thanks for supplying this info.

over 3 years ago

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Gavin Parkinson, Marketing and Sales Manager at Hitch Marketing Ltd

I assume the data is based on business to customer emails. I run a Business to business service and have found Tuesday afternoon to be the optimum time to send. I guess it takes a day and half of a working week for workers to readily enterntain checking out emails that don't directly relate to their role/tasks.

over 3 years ago

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