When’s the Optimal Time to Email Your List and Which Autoresponder Should you Use?
What’s the optimal frequency?
These are two key factors to running a well-read and responsive email list.
Email at the wrong times and your emails either won’t get opened or your sales letters won’t convert.
Email at the wrong frequency and you risk either burning your list out by emailing too much or not building a solid relationship by not emailing enough.
When to Email: Days of the Week
For having your emails read, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays tend to work well for a professional audience.
On the weekends, most professionals either don’t check their emails, or check their emails but only skim non-essential emails. It’s their days off, after all.
Fridays they’re looking forward to the weekend and Mondays they’re just getting back into the groove of work.
Therefore, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays tend to work well.
On the other hand, for a non-professional audience, the best open rates can often be the reverse.
On weekends they’re less likely to check their emails because they’re out with friends, while on weekdays they have more time to read emails carefully.
As for sales emails, marketers often find that Sundays work well for conversions.
People tend to do more active activities on Saturday and spend Sundays in a more leisurely way, often browsing the internet and may be more susceptible to a great sales effort.
Another tip is to time your sales emails to be a day or two after payday, on the 1st and 15th of each month.
At these times people have a bit of spare cash that they may feel more willing to part with.
The 15th, 16th and 17th are especially good dates because your readers are getting pay checks, without having to also pay end-of-the-month bills that the pay check on the 1st usually comes with.
When to Email: Time of Day
In general, it is best to send your emails either early in the morning or after work.
If you send your emails early in the morning, time it so your readers receive your emails before 7am Eastern Standard Time.
That way, when they check their emails as they get to work in the morning, your email will be in their inbox.
Alternatively, you can wait for people to get home before delivering your email. In that case, aim for your emails to be delivered around 5pm.
Having your emails delivered in the middle of a work day is generally a bad idea. People are busy and will either not read the email, or just briefly skim it before deleting it.
Aim for times when people have a bit more attention to devote to reading your emails.
How Often to Email
How often you send your emails depends on the length of your emails, the commitment of your list and your personal ability to consistently generate quality content.
If your emails are relatively short, your list wants to hear what you have to say and you have the time to produce a ton of content, then you can email as often as five times a week.
On the other hand, if you tend to produce long emails (or videos), or your list is subscribed to many other lists and just reads yours in a cursory way and you personally don’t love generating content, then you might just want to email once a week.
There are successful lists that don’t email very often at all, as well as successful lists that email very often.
The best frequency depends more on you and your list than any specific rule of thumb.
When and how often to email are two things you’ll want to think about before you even start your list.
Once you start emailing, people will generally expect the same frequency and perhaps even delivery times.
So make your choices early on and stick to them, so people can get used to receiving content from you at specific intervals.
Who to Use:
Comparison of AWeber, IContact, and Get Response
AWeber, IContact and Get Response are three of the most popular autoresponder options for small to medium-sized marketers.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of each?
Who should you use?
Let’s shed some light on each service to help you make your choice.
In general, the costs of each autoresponder service are all on par. AWeber tends to be slightly more expensive than IContact and Get Response, though just by a few dollars a month.
Each service tiers up their costs based on how many subscribers you have. It’s important to note that AWeber counts unsubscribed leads as subscribers that you have to pay for.
If you want to really get rid of a lead, you need to delete them from your database.
AWeber has the strongest reputation in the industry for deliver-ability. There are both benefits and drawbacks to this.
The clearest benefit is that your emails have the highest chance of getting delivered.
That said IContact and Get Response both have top-notch teams of email managers who stay in constant contact with ISPs to ensure their mail gets delivered.
The downside of high deliver-ability is A Weber’s pickiness with how their email system is used.
They have to be very stringent to ensure that no spam is being sent through their system, which unfortunately can sometimes bar you from genuine marketing activities.
Adding Outside Leads
AWeber and Get Response both don’t allow you to add outside leads, even if they’ve double-opted in to a list in the past.
If you’re moving from an existing database to a new email system, you basically cannot move to AWeber or Get Response as a result.
If you run in-person events and need to add leads from people who sign up on paper, you also can’t do this by AWeber or Get Response.
IContact allows you to import outside leads.
Who Not to Use
Never use your shopping carts email system to manage your email lists. Shopping Cart for example has a pretty bad reputation for deliver-ability.
Even self-hosted shopping carts like Zen Cart have their limitations. For one, the emails are sent out from your server, whose IP address could have been used for spam in the past.
You also don’t have the benefit of having a team helping you ensure that your IP isn’t getting blocked.
Always use an outside system for your email list management for best deliver-ability. The only exception is Infusion soft, which will give you a dedicated IP and server.
Another service to avoid for internet marketing is Mail Chimp.
Though many marketers are attracted to their “first 500 subscribers free” offer, their mandatory double-opt in will cost you a lot of money in the long run.
Though they have a solid reputation, unless you’re willing to lose as much as 60% of your list to double-opt in, you shouldn’t use Mail Chimp.
These are some of the pros and cons of the various services.
As you can tell, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to which email service to use.
Weigh the pros and cons and make your own decision concerning which autoresponder to use.
Writing Your Welcome Email
Your welcome email is your crucial chance to make a first impression on your reader. If you have a great welcome message, subscribers will read it, be impressed by the quality and continue to open your emails in the future.
With a poor welcome message, they may very well never open your emails again.
Before we go over what makes a great welcome message, let’s go over some all-too-common mistakes that people make in their welcome messages.
What Not to Put in Your Welcome Message
First of all, never send a welcome message that basically just says
“Thank you for joining.”
When you do, you’re wasting valuable on-screen real estate by saying almost nothing.
You’re also wasting your reader’s time.
You should also NOT sell in your first email. Selling in your first email immediately gives a poor impression and May very likely burn out your subscriber right then and there.
These two points really go without saying, but many email lists – as many as 50% in some markets – make one of these two mistakes.
Do not send content less first emails and do not send sales emails as a welcome message.
What Makes a Great Welcome Message?
First of all, you’re welcome message needs to have stellar content in it. This content can be right in the email, or it can be a downloadable report, MP3 or hidden web page on your site.
The content should be some of your best. Remember, this is your chance to make a first impression. Whatever tips, advice or expertise you have to offer your readers, put as much of it up front as you can.
In addition to having great content, it’s important to let users know what to expect in the future.
What kind of content can they expect in their mailbox?
How often will you mail them?
This first email is a great place to set expectations.
Finally, set them up for the next email. Finish off with a bang by telling them what your next message will be about.
Make sure to use benefit-driven language so they know exactly what’s in it for them by opening your next email.
If you can get a subscriber to open a first email, read a report and open the next email, you’ll most likely have a reader for life as long as you provide great content and don’t oversell.
The basic formula is this. The first email sets up expectations for future emails, while providing valuable content right up front and demonstrating that you really know what you’re talking about.
Set the impression that they’ll get something of value by opening your emails, by delivering high-value content the moment they get your first email.