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.
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?