Study: Send Emails Outside Work Hours to Increase Open Rates

January 18, 2012

10:00 am

According to a December study by Yesware, you may be sending your emails at the wrong time. Their analysis of 20,000 emails revealed that recipients opened more work-related emails on the weekend than during the work week.

Yesware, which we covered previously, is an email productivity tool for salespeople, with funding from Google Ventures and the Foundry Group.

Other findings from the study:

  • “The longer the email subject line, the less likely it was to be opened. Subject lines longer than three words were opened at below average rates.”
  • “Additional people on the recipient list significantly increases the chances of the email being opened.”
  • “Only 12% of emails are forwarded.”
  • “After an email had been sent, the chances of it being read decreased dramatically after the first hour and then fell incrementally lower from there. After 24 hours, the chance of business email being read is less than 1%.”

What does all this mean? Simple things we don’t always think about – like when we send an email, what the subject line is, and whether we copy others – are affecting how often contacts open our messages. For salespeople specifically, they should target those active contacts who are forwarding emails and follow up quickly when contacts don’t respond.

Obviously, one of the reasons Yesware conducted this study is to convince users to sign up for their product, which includes email analytics. These findings were also presented by CEO Matthew Bellows at the Inside Sales conference last week. Keep in mind that they reflect data from salespeople and their contacts, so results may be different for other types of recipients.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact [email protected]

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