Monday evening is the ideal evening for e-mails

As a company, you want to keep your customers up-to-date on news from your sector, new products and offers via a mailing. But how many of your e-mails will actually be opened? And what can you do to increase this opening percentage?

The Austrian company dialog-Mail, which is specialized in e-mail marketing, has conducted a large scale study to discover which percentage of sent e-mails are actually opened by their addressees and which factors may influence this opening percentage. Over 2 million e-mails were analyzed for this study, which makes it one of the most extensive reports on opening percentages of e-mailings and newsletters.

There seems to be a huge difference on the level of addressee response to such mailings. The best mailing indeed achieved an opening percentage of 92 %, while the worst was only opened by 4 % of its addressees.

By studying the circumstances of the mailing, a number of factors have been identified that can help raise opening percentages:

- The best time to send out a mailing is on Monday evening. There are almost double as much e-mails sent at that moment that are opened than e-mails sent on Thursday afternoon that are opened (48.1 % as opposed to 25 %). On Wednesday and Thursday, it is not advised to send out mailings; e-mails have a better chance of being opened on Monday, Tuesday or Friday. Moreover, the time is also important: early in the morning or late in the evening are ideal moments – at these calmer moments, addressees have more time to open your e-mail.

- The length of the text in the subject line also plays a role: the shorter it is, the higher the opening percentage. Mailings with business subjects (e.g. XYZ will attend the ABC trade show 2008) stand 28 % more chance of being opened than mailings with promotional subjects (e.g. buy 2 and pay 1!).

- Your e-mails will have an even bigger chance of being opened if you also personalize their subject (special offer for John Johnson): e-mails with personalized subject lines have a 64 % higher chance of being opened than e-mails with subject lines that aren’t personalized. But this is a strategy that should be used with great care, because some people find that it infringes their privacy.

- Remarkable observation: although many people think that mentioning the name of the sender (jenny.sommerville@company.co.uk) enhances the chance of a message to be opened, it is an e-mail of which the company name is mentioned as the sender (customer_service@company.co.uk) that will be opened more often.

- And finally: although women are said to be far more curious than men, it is the men who will most often open an e-mail (33.10 % of men versus 30.70 % of women).