EROI report: Mondays and Tuesdays are best for b-to-b e-mail

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Business executives prefer to get e-mail marketing messages on Mondays and Tuesdays, according to the eROI Q2 2006 report from eROI Inc.

The quarterly report examines the best days of the week, as well as the best times of day, to send e-mail marketing messages. It was based on an online survey of more than 300 b-to-b and b-to-c Internet users.

The survey found that on average during the second quarter, e-mail marketing messages sent on weekends had the highest open rates, while e-mail sent on Thursdays and Saturdays had the highest click rates.

While b-to-b recipients prefer to receive e-mail marketing communications at the beginning of the week, consumers prefer to receive e-mail at the end of the week, according to the report.

Wednesdays and Fridays are the best days to send consumers e-mail messages, to help them plan their weekend shopping, the survey found.

The best time of day to send e-mail, according to the report, is during the lunch hour, with a 6.2% click rate on average, the survey found.

The study also looked at frequency of e-mail newsletters. It found that 25% of b-to-b recipients want weekly updates to e-mail newsletters, while 36% of consumers said they prefer monthly newsletters.

“As with the Q1 study, we still see that overall, managed lists help build long-term customer value, increased loyalty, higher e-mail response rates and more profitable communications,” said Ryan Buchanan, president-CEO of eROI, a marketing communications company. “But with the Q2 [study] we added another level of understanding—frequency and relevancy mean a lot to people. This should always be factored in.”

The study also looked at factors that cause Internet users to unsubscribe from e-mail newsletters and other marketing messages. It found that 65% of respondents said irrelevant e-mail causes them to unsubscribe.

Also, 13% of respondents said they do not like to receive “overly relevant” e-mail because they feel they are being watched.

“Just because you have the data, it does not mean you have to let every e-mail subscriber know you have it,” Buchanan said.

For example, marketers should refrain from sending users an e-mail about a specific product immediately after they viewed it online. Instead, they should follow up with a more general offer, eROI suggested. “It is a fine line, but it opens up the opportunity for cross-selling while at the same time ensuring you remain relevant,” Buchanan said.

Internet users also appear to be wary of receiving e-mail marketing messages. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of respondents said they use a false e-mail address when opting-in for consumer newsletters.

The survey also looked at the most popular e-mail clients. Microsoft Outlook was the e-mail client of choice for 60% of b-to-b users, while Apple Mail, Lotus Notes, Entourage and Thunderbird (part of Firefox) are used by about 20% of b-to-b e-mail clients. The rest of the respondents use other e-mail clients.

For consumers, Gmail is the most popular e-mail system (used by 17% of consumers), followed by Yahoo!, Outlook 2003 and Hotmail.

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