Email marketing inbound hours on Twitter…

Who isn’t keen on new digital marketing approaches these days… Well, yesterday I stumbled upon a one hour (?) twitter chat with @litmusapp and other #InboundHour hashtag participants. I did not attend, but it looked like the organizer @HubSpot posted seven frequently asked email marketing questions and @litmusapp as well as others shared their opinions on them.

Is this concept effective? I mean @HubSpot has 498,838 followers and @litmusapp has got 16.741. That’s a lot. Here’s a brief summary of the event, you can decide for yourself:

(GIF shows the #InboundHour participants network: mutual followerships & unidirectional followerships; @Pistachio cracked my API limits, so she is out of competition ;-) )


  • How can I increase my email open rates?
    • Also remember that open rates are based on an image loading. No images = no open.
    • Continuously A/B test your from name, subject line & preheader text to see what resonates best with your subscribers
    • Don’t get too friendly tho: I had a “Yo Jim” earlier in my two line mail preview. Delete.
    • Don’t forget to optimize your preheader text! It displays in many inboxes + can help w/ opens:
    • It’s about content relevance and hitting a benefit in the subject line
    • My favorite tactic to increase open rates is to use preview text—you get 2 lines (instead of 1 for sub line) on iPhone!
    • Only send to those that have opted-in to receive emails + keep the content relevant to the subscriber—DON’T batch & blast
    • Overlooked factor for open rates is subscriber engagement. Be sure to keep healthy lists + don’t be afraid of unsubscribes.
    • Preview text + headlines can be cut in half in Outlook 365 depending on the user’s set up, there’ll never be a solid rule
    • Send fewer emails. Make them targeted and relevant. Use a subject line that previews the body of the email inside.
    • Stay consistent with sending times. As many mentioned, recipients who expect to hear from you are more likely to open.
  • What does the *perfect* subject line look like?
    • Concise or can be cut off at about 80 characters. Previews your relevant/ engaging content.
    • No “perfect” subject line formula. However, helpful infographic on what typically works/doesn’t:
    • The perfect subject line is one that is:1. Understandable 2. Concise3. Targeted4. No Spam
    • Tough! It looks like something that hits home with the recipient. So knowing your lists is crucial.
    • What works for one company, may not work for you—test! Subject lines are one of the easiest aspect of an email to A/B test
  • What types of A/B tests should I be running?
    • Great free tool from @KISSmetrics to help measure the significance of your A/B test:
    • Lots of options: content, CTA, subject line, preheader text & more! It’s a continuous process—always look to improve!
    • My favorite A/B test from @litmusapp is button language testing commitment. “Read overview” did 2x better than “Test now”
    • Test anything that you think could help your conversion rates. Do that test over multiple sends to know for sure.
    • Test everything – just make sure that you can actually measure, track, and rank what works (or doesn’t)
    • Testing big design changes (layout changes, structure, etc.) leads to greater gains than small changes (i.e. button color)
    • Types of A/B tests to run: subject line, body text, call to action, closing text, images.
    • we a/b tested pre-header text and discovered great results! All about the magical, micro #marketing moments.
    • You can even test responsive design! @ActOnSoftware saw a 130% increase in CTRs from testing it:
  • How do you keep your emails out of the promotions tab (or worse, the spam folder)?
    • All caps, just don’t do it.
    • Don’t worry about your email ending up in the Promo tab—if you’re sending great email, your subscribers will look for it
    • Make sure you, 1. Know Recipient’s Name2. Avoid Clichés (such as FREE)3. Minimize Images and Links
    • Stay out of the spam folder by: NEVER PURCHASING A LIST! Enough said.
    • You can get your email scanned by every major spam filter before you send: (sorry had to!)
    • You can use our handy free tool to figure out which tab in Gmail your email will end up in:
  • Where can people find good benchmarks to measure their success?
    • “Benchmark blindness” can lead to loss of innovation, bad list management, and copycat strategy. Find your own voice!
    • Blindly chasing benchmarks can be dangerous. You know what is best for your audience. Don’t follow your competitor’s lead.
    • Everyone is different. We don’t look at benchmarks—we compare stats from our previous sends to look at success
    • For email marketing, you can gauge success through CRM or Link tracking (conversions/traction).
    • Look at your own performance trends and “benchmark” the success of a campaign off of your own stats
    • Measure against your past sends as the most useful benchmark.
    • We published some from our 15k customers here: #EmailBenchmarks
    • You’ll never be on top if you’re following the leader. Set your own goals and strive to hit them.
  • How do I make sure my emails look good in every inbox?
    • Design for every device (fluid or responsive). AND use @litmusapp to know for sure that emails will look good. :)
    • Do cross-client testing before sending out emails. If it’s a fancy newsletter, link HTML version.
    • Don’t forget about optimizing your emails for mobile—over 50% of email is read on a mobile device!
    • is a great tool by @litmusapp to send free test emails to your own email addresses
    • If using HTML, keep your code clean and simple. And don’t forget to just test it
    • Preview your designs over 40 clients with Litmus or HubSpot Email Previews
    • Semi-shameless plug ;) Preview your emails before sending with Litmus! Free 7 day trial:
  • When is the best time to send email?
    • depends on your audience, a/b test send times until you fit the sweet spot for your email subscribers.
    • I think this is very industry specific, but time of year is also a huge factor
    • The best time to send is when you know your subscribers are opening their email. Be consistent.
    • We don’t believe there is a *perfect* time to send your email—if people want to read it, they will eventually

Other notes:

  • You can use to find out who opens on mobile! #shamelessplug
  • When a subscriber has opened your emails in the past is good sign for when to email them in the future.
  • Send time optimization can work. Global optimization is good. Individualized send time optimization is better.
  • Yes, benchmark stats can vary by industry, list size, country, etc. So many variables. Every company is different.
  • The best way to increase open rates is to send more segmented, personalized, and triggered emails.
  • Great point. Different campaigns will have different goals. Think holistically!
  • Well, my first 11 rules are around permission practices, so Rule 17 is right up there at the top. I have 120 rules!
  • External benchmarks can be highly misleading. Open rates, click rates, etc. can vary widely depending on list management.
  • “Benchmark yourself primarily against yourself.” That’s Rule 17 from my book. Try to consistently beat your own performance.
  • You can stay out of the spam folder by following the first 11 of these rules >>
  • It was a CTA for a blog post about Outlook 2013 rendering. From the archives!
  • If your email belongs in the “promotions” tab, I wouldn’t try to avoid it. Here’s why >
  • I’ve also seen retailers have success with “Shop now” instead of “Buy now” — high commitment CTAs can be scary.
  • I love It will give you all kinds of ideas for things to A/B test. Little changes can have big impact.
  • Completely agree. Most of the spam I receive is from first-name from addresses. I trust brand names more.
  • That’s why I mentioned it ;) Always surprising how many marketers don’t know that open rates are based on images.
  • It’s not about getting everyone to look at an email. It’s about getting the right people to look at it.
  • Some of our B2C customers have 80%+ emails opened on mobile. stats here:
  • While some B2B email marketers find success with using salesperson’s name as sender name, brand name is best for B2C.
  • Here’s some subject line inspiration: But in general straightforward subject lines win!
  • Massively depends on audience! has mostly a B2B audience. Lots of opens in Outlook, Apple Mail
  • I’m still surprised by how often I see marketers judging the success of a subject line by opens instead of conversions. #fail
  • A bad subject line isn’t aligned with email’s content, which wastes subscribers’ time and reducing future opens.
  • A good subject line predisposes subscribers who open to be receptive to the email’s content and convert at a higher rate.
  • Mobile open rate vary a lot! Only 10% of emails are opened on mobile. But image blocking is a big factor
  • Most marketers still aren’t making use of preview/snippet text to support their subject lines:
  • No permission? Not meeting subscriber expectations? Then you’re failing Stage Zero of Email Interactions & won’t get opens.
  • Your sender name represents your permission practices, expectation setting & past interactions with the subscriber.
  • The biggest factor determining if your email is opened is your sender name.
  • Some email experts from the marketing team are joining to chat email tactics. Join us for some fun!
Enjoyed this one? Subscribe for my hand-picked list of the best email marketing tips. Get inspiring ideas from international email experts, every Friday: (archive♞)
Yes, I accept the Privacy Policy
Delivery on Fridays, 5 pm CET. You can always unsubscribe.
It's valuable, I promise. Subscribers rate it >8 out of 10 (!) on average.

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

All information is voluntary. Your email address will not be published. When commenting, you agree that your IP address will be processed and stored by Askimet in the U.S. for the purpose of recognizing comment-spam.