Each April, CU*Answers begins gearing up for the Annual Leadership Conference by first sending out several Client News emails focused on registration, the schedule of events and theme of the year. Not only is there a primary email detailing the ‘main course’ of the Leadership Conference, accompanying emails are also sent out detailing the annual golf outing and the close of nominations for new CU*Answers board members. Add those on to the routine emails that go out on a regular Monday morning (Video of the Week, Marketing campaigns, and reminders for upcoming Dashboard Dive sessions)… wow, those emails can add up rather quickly!
The expectations dilemma
A large part of my role as Communications Coordinator with the CU*Answers Writing Team involves the design and delivery of those Client News emails, which can include anything from raising awareness of upcoming webinars and events, promoting new and existing products, and announcing the release and training dates for the latest version of CU*BASE, among others. But with that responsibility also comes the task of managing the volume of emails we send to clients.
Not enough emails, we run the risk of clients not being aware of upcoming events or promotions by CU*Answers. Too many emails, we might irritate clients with an overloaded inbox, and they might start ignoring our communications. Expectations on the send ratio can differ depending on the nature of an email campaign or the topic at hand (Business 2 Community, The Surprising Truth About Sending Too Many Emails). It’s a fine line to walk, and while that particular ‘sweet spot’ might vary from one recipient to another, I try to keep the outgoing email volume limited to about six client-facing emails sent from the CU*Answers account per day.
Competing for attention
The beginning of the week is the prime period during which many departments here at CU*Answers would prefer to have their announcements delivered. And on paper, it makes sense, right? It’s the start of a new week, everyone is refreshed after the weekend and ready to jump back into the work week. The catch is that if everyone is thinking along those same lines, they will be competing for attention within each recipient’s inbox. No doubt our network credit unions receive plenty of emails from other organizations than CU*Answers; it could be easy to have our messages lost in the proverbial dog pile.
The same can be applied to credit union members. How often have you ordered an item online and then find yourself receiving emails about a store’s upcoming sale or digital coupons? You aren’t just competing with other financial institutions for prime real estate in your member’s inbox; you’re competing with any other mailing lists they may be subscribed to.
Is there really a best day?
Despite the beginning of the week seeming as though it would be the obvious time to send your clients promotional emails, the reality is that there isn’t one best day of the week that stands out significantly over another. In the past, research seemed to indicate that Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays saw a higher open and click-through rate – more individuals would actually engage with the information sent to them and click on links to visit your website, in order to learn more about products and services (Customer.io, Why the worst day of the week is the best day to send emails).
But as mobile and smart devices have become increasingly integrated into our everyday lives, these have offered greater accessibility for individuals to open their emails, whether at the office or on the go. Some businesses even prioritize mobile versions of emails or incorporate easier click-through methods (such as bold buttons over simple text links) to encourage additional action from recipients. (Vertical Response, The Surprisingly best times to send your email marketing campaigns).
Sometimes pushing an email back a day or two can help keep this volume manageable. Aside from the weekend, most any other day of the week will see equal engagement, so long as you aren’t sending clients an abundance of emails in a single day. There’s no harm in dialing back your output or spreading your emails out from Tuesday through Thursday – as long as there’s still a reasonable window for clients to register for your latest webinar or meet a response deadline.