MemberConnection Blog

15 April 2016

3 "Take Aways" from a Recent Email Study

Associations are always looking for ways to increase member engagement. One of the most frequent ways associations engage with their members is via email. But as associations, how do you know how many emails to send a month? What time of day is the best to send emails? What day of the week should you send them? A recent Association Email Marketing Benchmark Report from Informz helps to answer these questions and many others.

Informz collected data from over 1 billion emails that were sent in 2014 by their association clients located around the world. This is the 5th consecutive year Informz has produced the report which is designed to help email marketers understand what metrics to analyze, what goals to set, and how to measure your email marketing performance against your peers. Below are 3 key statistics from the report that we found particularly interesting.

Devices Used to Access Emails

Devices Used to Access Emails

Mobile and desktop usage for accessing emails is essentially equal. This result isn’t particularly surprising (the report actually points out that mobile usage fell slightly from the previous year), but it is worth noting. The need to adopt responsive websites has become an increasingly popular topic of conversation in the association community, but less is said about the need to utilize responsive email design. Roughly 4 out of 10 email recipients will be accessing your email from their mobile devices so it’s essential that your emails render appropriately across a range of devices.

Open and Click Rate Metrics by Day of the Week

Open and Click Rate Metrics by Day of the Week

It really doesn’t matter what weekday associations choose to send their emails. Open and click rates are for the most part constant Monday through Friday. This result was somewhat unexpected. There’s a commonly held belief that certain days of the week are better for sending emails than others. Many association marketers might shy away from sending emails on Friday for fear that they wouldn’t perform as well. This turns out to be a misconception as emails sent on Friday slightly out perform all other weekdays in both open rates and clicks. There is noticeable variation between weekdays and weekends as weekends tend to have higher open rates, but lower click rates.

Open Rate by Subject Length

Open Rate by Subject Length

Shorter subject lines significantly outperform longer ones. Emails with subject lines under 9 characters had open rates over 17% higher that emails with subject lines between 20-29 characters. The key take away here, keep your subject lines short and sweet. Send your message as succinctly as you can. In a landscape where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to compete for members’ attentions, it’s important not to waste any time getting to the point.

Conclusion

The Informz 2015 Association Email Benchmarking Study is full of useful information for association marketers. One of the things these statistics can’t measure is the importance of including high quality content in your emails to members. Your members should see your emails as a valuable resource rather than an intrusion. That’s the key to real member engagement.

Do you have any tips or observations about email marketing to associations? Share them in the comments below!