Home / The Hour of Welcome: Why Speed to Inbox Matters

The Hour of Welcome: Why Speed to Inbox Matters

Australian_130_speed_limit_signIt’s too bad Murphy wasn’t alive to have foreseen his accuracy in predicting what happens when multiple technologies try to communicate with one another. Case in point:

In my last week at WGU, the enormous email marketing lifecycle program I built ran into a little glitch in communication between the CRM and the email service provider. This glitch stopped sending the welcome email for a while. Other emails were sending, and those active in the system prior to the glitch were receiving emails, but new prospects were not being reached immediately via email during that time.

The issue was fixed, and the welcome email went out to everyone who hadn’t received it yet (and hadn’t received ANY emails during that time, either). How big of a deal was this delay (in the case of some, days)? Let’s look at the numbers:

  • Benchmark Welcome Email Open Rate: 52%
  • Delayed Open Rate: 35%
  • Benchmark Welcome Email Click Through Rate: 16%
  • Delayed Click Through Rate: 6%

I admit I didn’t granulate the statistics by days delayed (because, hey, it was my last two days on the job, and I ran out of time), but still: a 33% drop in open rate and a 65% drop in click through rate is huge.

Timing Matters

At WGU, there was this concept of “The Golden Hour” after a fresh prospect came into the funnel—the hour in which it was necessary to try to establish contact both by email (in the form of a welcome email) and by phone. The Golden Hour meant 60 minutes in which the desire to learn more was fresh and top of mind. Why would you not want to capitalize on that desire by communicating with them?

As that brief snippet of data above shows, timing matters for any type of communication, but particularly for email marketing messaging. And waiting even until the next day to send out your welcome message could potentially diminish the engagement on that message.

Granted, your data could show you otherwise. That’s the beauty of email marketing. But until your data does show you otherwise, I recommend sending your welcome message right away. Immediacy can lead to greater success for email marketing programs.

And, if you don’t have a welcome email marketing campaign set up, what are you waiting for?

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existing reviews (3)

  • Vitaly Gritsenko July 9, 2013 8:06 am

    I totally agree with you. Timing really matters in terms of doing email marketing campaign. You should also consider your market, what interests them, their activities and how often they open their respective inbox. This can really help in boosting up open rate.

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  • Frank Strzyzewski July 10, 2013 12:21 pm

    Interesting analysis which shows results quite similar to what we observed for delayed double opt in emails. Each day delay causes some 2-5 percent points drop in opt ins.

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    • Scott Cohen July 10, 2013 8:52 pm

      Hi Frank: Thanks for leaving in a comment. It’s good to know I’m not the only one to see this kind of data. Makes the welcome email and its timing that much more critical.

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