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December 8, 2010 / jasonpinto

Oh, What We Thought We Knew About Email

Confession: sometimes I read a news story, and react a little too quickly. Occasionally this is harmless. For example, I regret this Sunday afternoon tweet considering that Adrian Gonzalez did become a member of the Red Sox less than 12  hours later.

But I’ve read two articles recently that have me re-thinking some aspects of e-mail marketing.

The Importance of Text

In this MediaPost article, they discuss changes that will be brought thanks to Facebook Messages. Here was the news that made an impact on me: users will see the plain text part of an email by default. Today, I’d bet that the great majority of people on your list see the HTML portion by default.

While there may only be a small portion of email addresses in our mailing list today (if any), are you really going to bet against Facebook gaining a decent market share when it comes to that service?

When it comes to email marketing over the past few years, we may have devoted the great majority of our time ensuring that the HTML portion of our messages was compelling. If the segment of our audience that sees the text portion grows, we will have to ensure that we raise its level of importance in our pre-launch work.

People Consume Emails When and How They Want To

Another article on MediaPost discussed how “when” we send an email blast may have an impact as to how people view it. For example, there are statistics on how if you send an email between Friday and Sunday, the chances that someone will read the email on their phone greatly increase.

I actually think though that I agree with the comment from Matt Witter at the bottom of the article. I check emails over the weekend on my iPhone; however, I often leave most of the marketing messages that interest me in my inbox until I get to the office on Monday morning.

What does this mean for marketers? Well, we need to not only review how many people are opening and clicking on our emails, but when they are doing this. If we are in the habit of waiting to the last-minute to push out emails about special offers, deals, discounts, etc., a portion of our audience may never have the chance to respond to it.

Certainly, there are more and more people reading the emails on mobile devices, so we must account for that. But taking the time to also ensure that our emails are sent at the right time may also have a positive impact on our campaigns.

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