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Adapting Your Email Strategy During COVID-19

With the majority of Americans under a stay-at-home order, boredom is reaching new heights. It has become so prevalent, in fact, that people are spending more time in their inboxes and actually reading emails! 

A recent study conducted by Jay Schwedelson, CEO of Worldata, found that in February of 2020, B2C customers spent an average of two hours per day checking their emails. In March, when the Coronavirus made landfall in the U.S., this time increased to 164 minutes per day, and to 177 minutes in April. The same pattern was observed on the B2B side, when the average time spent checking emails daily increased by 53 minutes from February to April.

When to send your emails

According to Schwedelson’s study of over 200 million emails, Monday is now the best day to send out your B2B marketing emails. The results show that emails sent out on the first day of the work week will generate a 5-10% higher open rate. This increase can be accredited to the fact that people are the most active on Mondays after spending the weekend relaxing. 

Prior to the COVID-19 ciris, most B2B emails were opened at the start of the day. Now that people are working from home and no longer need to wake up early, the peak email opening time is around 11:00 A.M. 

Changing your language

At the beginning of the year, urgent email subjects including words like “rush,” “critical,” and “hurry” were the most effective at driving open rates. At this time, subtle urgency terms such as “don’t wait,” “limited supply,” and “don’t miss out” are increasing open rates by 32% for B2C industries and 28% for B2B. 

“Free” is the biggest driver of open rates right now, increasing open rates by 42% for B2C emails and 37% for B2B. This is likely due to the crash of the economy and the increasing number of people cutting back on their spending, looking for bargains or free items.

In the past two months, emoji usage has increased by 200%. These tiny icons can now be seen in the subjects of 92% of all email platforms. Emojis are a great way to add a fun and personal touch to your emails, helping your consumers feel connected to you in these trying times. You can even use them to convey subtle urgency by adding a simple clock to your subject line.

If you haven’t already hopped on this trend, now is the time. B2C emails that use an emoji as the first character in the subject are seeing as much as a 21% increase in open rates, and 24% for B2B emails. 

Using the proper length

Your email click-through-rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who opened your email and clicked on one of the links in the text. Your average email CTR should be around 2.5%. 

One of the biggest determining factors of CTR is the length of your content. According to the study, emails that are under 300 words in length are the best performing and most likely to give you a decent CTR. 

The reason for this is because people are looking for content that’s short and to the point. With all the craziness going on, attention rates are low, and you need to cut to the chase. 

Monitoring unsubscribe rates

Even with the proper language and email length, don’t be surprised if you notice a slight increase in your unsubscribe rates. Schwedelson’s study has shown that B2B marketers can expect an 8% increase in unsubscribe rates, and B2C marketers can expect an 11% increase.

This is likely not a fault on your end, but simply the fact that people are spending more time cleaning and organizing things–including email inboxes. 

For more information on marketing during the COVID-19 crisis, check out the Bizzuka blog. We’re here to help you during these trying times.

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