Monthly Archives: April 2012

Email & data analysis: Does timing affect open rates? An analysis of variance (ANOVA)

Let’s get back to the study from my last blog post for a minute. Not only had the outcome on subject line lengths caught my attention. (Remember: subject lines containing less than 10 characters are supposed to perform best.) Another thing I found intriguing was that the day of week, on which a mailing is delivered, would have no effect on response rates. Can this be true? Let’s have a practical look into some email data. Continue reading

Benchmark reporters: show your data, please

From the introduction of a recent benchmark study:

“This study will help you to understand what metrics you should be analyzing when reviewing your email marketing program, what goals you can set based on similar organizations, and how your email marketing program is performing”

- sounds promising. Next, under “Key Findings” it comes up with a remarkable outcome saying that

“shorter subject lines continued to outperform their longer counterparts. Fewer than 10 characters achieved the best open rate at 58%.”

The group of mailings with super-short subject lines naturally stands out in a bar chart which illustrates average open rates across different length ranges (see figure right). So far, so good.

However, the question of what you can really make out of such numbers often catches me lately. Should I prune my newsletter subject lines down to 10 characters, now? I don’t think so. To anticipate my view: these finding are useless or even harmful, if presented this way. Why is that? Continue reading