Do Your E-mail Numbers Add Up?

Girl with AbacusChris, back from vacation and full of energy flopped into a seat and said, “The latest data on e-mail could prove to be confusing.”

“How’s that” Digital Developer? I asked.

“What baffling bit of analytics is making you cranky,” asked Rick.

“Since you guys are so happy to see me I’m going to make this a test:
Which should you optimize for words or pictures?”

Rob jumped in saying, “We live in a visually oriented society. So usually I’d go with pictures. But I know the powah o’ words so I figure he’s runnin’ one on us and I’ll go that way.

Gail said, “I’ll go with words because that’s my stock in trade but I know how valuable the right photo can be.”

I said, “I’ve seen the research so I can safely say, it depends.”

Kate snorted and said, “Both of you quit hedging and tell us.”

Chris said, “It really does depend. When you survey the population about two thirds of people say they prefer mostly images. But when you look at click through rates every picture you add lowers the rate.”

Kate asked, “Is it different between men and women?

Chris replied, “Men prefer text, women mostly images but either way it is nearly a 50/50 proposition.”

Rick asked, “Is there any data on when to send?”

“Yes,” Chris said, “But you aren’t going to like that any better.”

“Don’t tell me,” Rick said, “That, too depends.”

Chris smiled. “Yes. Here’s how that figures:

  • The best click through rates for marketing e-mails are on Saturday and Sunday followed by Friday, Thursday, Wednesday, Monday and Tuesday.
  • The pattern is pretty much the same regardless of list size flattening as the list grows to over 10,000.”

“The pattern is the same for e-mails sent by individuals to other individuals,” I added. The most surprising finding was the fact that individual e-mails are being opened up to 12 days later.”
What about mobile?” Kate asked.

Chris checked his notes and said, “People use Desktops, Laptops, Phones and Tablets. They don’t stick to any single one. Eighty percent use a desktop or laptop part of the time. About 57% use a phone part of the time. And tablet use is up to 33% of the time now.

I said, “The real question is what should the little guy do with this information? In most cases he or she must look at what they are sending and compare what they sent to the actions taken. There is no silver bullet, single answer but you can improve your performance if you use the analytics available to you and change based on actions not words.”

Thanks for stopping by. Please pass this information along to any “Little Guy” that needs help figuring out how to market a business with limited time and money.

Jerry Fletcher records the commentaries of his rowdy crew of marketing and sales experts weekly. Learn more about his consultancy at
Jerry speaks professionally and has appeared on three continents. See some of his signature stories at


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