In previous posts, we’ve covered best practices in email design. Now comes the next struggle: your email blast is ready to send… but exactly when should you send it? Before we dive into exact dates and times, let’s consider what we’re trying to accomplish when sending law firm marketing emails.
HOW TO MEASURE EMAIL SUCCESS
The two best metrics to use when measuring the success of an email campaign are 1) open rates and 2) click-through rates. Open rates are incredibly important for the obvious reason: if the email isn’t opened, then no one is reading the content you are supplying. According to MailChimp, the legal industry sees an average open rate of 22.49%. While this may seem low, it’s actually in line with most other industries. For comparison, daily deals and e-coupons occupy the bottom end of the spectrum at a 15.22% open rate while religious emails have the highest open rate at 26.46%.
Click-through rates measure the number of link clicks within an email campaign. While the open rate measures the more passive activity of opening (and hopefully reading) your email, the click-through rate – or CTR – measures the active engagement of the users with your content. Enticing a recipient to click on a link, a button, a social icon, or an infographic embedded in your email so they engage with your digital assets is the ultimate goal of any online marketing effort. The average CTR for the legal industry is right around 3%, which is actually about half a percentage point higher than other professional service providers.
So how do you achieve these numbers? When is the best time to send an email campaign to ensure you hit – and hopefully surpass – these industry benchmarks?
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE TIMING
Timing is everything when optimizing email marketing for open rates and CTRs. And different industries have different timing best practices. For example, sending an email at 3:30pm on a Friday afternoon might work great for a bar or restaurant advertising happy hour specials that night… but for a law firm email newsletter, you might as well hit delete before you send, because that’s what your recipients will do as soon as it hits their inbox on a Friday afternoon.
According to multiple studies, the hands-down best day to send email newsletters or anything containing “educational content” is Tuesday. Wednesdays and Thursdays also generally fare well with regard to both open rates and CTRs, and are acceptable alternatives.
This actually makes a lot of sense when analyzing your own email inbox habits. Mondays are generally devoted to assessing and prioritizing any emails left over from last week, as well as addressing emails that came in over the weekend. Fridays are the least productive workdays as everyone is trying to wrap up projects before the weekend and generally focusing on only priority items that need attention before Monday.
Now that we’ve landed on Tuesday as the best day to send an email, let’s address what time on Tuesday. This isn’t quite as definitive, but the general consensus seems to be late-morning for the highest CTR, around 10:00am or 11:00am. Other key times include 8:00pm or 6:00am – as many people read emails in bed first thing in the morning or before turning in – and 2:00pm in the afternoon for a little mid-afternoon break from the workday. Timing entirely depends on your audience, however, which is why segmenting is so critical to your email marketing success.
FINAL WORDS OF ADVICE FOR EMAIL MARKETING
In the ever-evolving world of marketing, it’s important to take existing best practices and continue to adapt them for your law firm. Constantly testing and analyzing the response to your email newsletters is the only way to improve those ever-important metrics. Come up with a target schedule for your next several email blasts, or utilize this one created by CoSchedule, making sure to document your open rate and CTRs for each send. And find out how we can help your law firm with an email marketing strategy today.