The latest statistics shared by Statista suggest that in 2017, there are around 3.7 billion email users worldwide, and the population is likely to grow into a massive number of 4.1 billion by 2021. That explains why businesses are investing so much in their email marketing campaigns, even though a considerable portion of the population claims that email is dead.
Interestingly, the US has invested around 2.07 billion USD in email marketing in 2014, which is expected to grow by another billion dollars by 2019, as reported by Statista. And now that the average ROI for email marketing is ticking at astonishing 3800 percent ($38 return for each dollar invested), the business owners require no other excuse to invest in email marketing campaigns.
Challenges in the Field of Email Marketing
Despite all those enticing details, one cannot deny the fact that it is getting harder with time to engage more customers using the traditional way of email marketing. Just think about it. An average person receives over 100 emails a day, and most of them check their inboxes only 4-5 times in the entire day. Feeding your customers with multiple emails isn’t going to help if your emails get buried under the other emails.
There are several elements that you need to consider in order to improve the open rates of your email, and the timing of the email remains at the top of that list. Personalized emails are useful` But if they are not delivered at the right time, their purpose is lost. Time-based email marketing is not only going to improve open-rates, but they will also ensure a fewer number of unsubscribes.
What is GDPR and How is it Going To Change Everything?
According to Hubspot, 78 percent of the users unsubscribe an email because the brand was sending them too many emails. And now that the regulations like GDPR are being introduced, businesses can no longer afford to lose their subscribers.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has made it mandatory for the email marketers in the EU countries to collect freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous consent (Article 32) from the consumers, with effect from May 25, 2018.
It simply means, the companies now can engage with only those customers who have given their explicit permission to be engaged in marketing strategies. Also, the companies now need to present “legitimate reasons” why they need consumer data.
The marketers in the EU countries have already started to make significant changes in their strategies to adapt to these new regulations, and they are trying their best to avoid unsubscribes since fetching data from the new customers have become way difficult than earlier.
If your business is not based in any of the EU countries, you may not have to deal with that issue, but since everyone has become sensitive about personal data, soon other countries will also follow the same. So it is better if you start focusing on the time-based approach for your email marketing campaigns, instead of relying on the conventional way of email marketing.
How To Adopt Time-Based Email Marketing To Improve Customer Engagement?
If you are wondering how time-based email marketing can improve your customer engagement or how you can adopt this new approach, you don’t need to look any further.
Here is your answer:
Act When the Time is Right
If you want to increase your customer engagement, you need to acknowledge the right time to approach them. A recent study, which analyzed more than 1.4 billion marketing emails, has shown that consumers are more likely to engage in marketing communications at the beginning of the week.
As per the study, Tuesday evening is the best time to engage customers with email marketing. During the time 5 PM to 6:30 PM, customers are more receptive, and the number of unsubscribes are also less.
However, you may need to work on the composition of the email to ensure the effort does not go in vain. If you send the email right on time, but it fails to impress the recipient, the chances of unsubscriptions may increase.
Here’s what you should do:
Use Short and Catchy Subject Lines
The subject and the first few words of the mail are crucial for attracting the reader.
Keep the Email Content Short and To the Point
The readers usually skip the emails that are too long.
Here’s an example:
These little tricks are already known to most of the email marketers. However, now you need to focus on your timing as well.
Acknowledge the Demographics
The concept of personalized content has proven itself useful in maintaining customer engagement, but a marketer needs to consider certain elements like the age, gender and geographical location of the audience, as well as how these elements affect the engagement rate of consumers with the particular brand.
A study conducted by SmartFocus suggests that the email engagement of men is more immediate compared to women, receiving the message. For male audiences, the best time to engage is between 4 PM and 5:30 PM, while women typically engage between 8 PM and 9:30 PM.
Pro tip: You can segment your email list based on the factors like demographics, geographical locations as well as website browsing behavior. Sending the targeted emails on the perfect time improves the chances of customer engagement.
Create Different Strategies for Each Age Groups
As per the study by SmartFocus, young adults (18 to 30 years old) who are working, prefer to engage in email communications during the morning and late afternoons. On the other hand, the older people prefer the time 11 AM to 12 PM and 2 PM to 3 PM.
While sending the emails, make sure the content compatible for mobile use. Most of the people access their emails on the phone.
Not just the millennials, but the generation X and even the baby boomers are using smartphones to access the emails. So optimizing the email for mobile can be useful in engaging the consumers of all age-group.
Know Your Consumers
With the introduction of GDPR, the power is shifting towards the consumers, and now to keep them engaged through email marketing, you need to consider their email habits while working on the personalized content.
As an email marketer, you need to focus your marketing efforts based on the preferences of your consumers. In the wake of GDPR, this may be the best way to reduce the risk of unsubscribes while keeping the existing customers engaged.
As mentioned previously, personalization has given the businesses positive results, but now they need to focus on the timing as well. Perhaps, learning the emailing habits of your subscribers as well as their preferences may help you strategize a better email marketing strategy.
Most experts are suggesting that customized content sent at the right time can be the key to success for the brands, and if an organization truly understands its audiences, the regulations like the GDPR will provide more opportunity than setbacks.