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When is REALLY the best day to send out e-mail newsletters?

There are so many recommendations and statistics floating around about which day is the best to send out our e-mail newsletter.

We dedided to talk to communications specialist Tomas Kruse, who agreed to share his experiences about the subject.

Here’s his opening svada!

– You can stick those where the sun don’t shine along with the daily horoscope and other over-simplifying “facts”. Working out the best weekday and time for an e-mail newsletter is hard work with your own data, and not something you can learn from other peoples experiences. What you CAN learn from those experiences though is how and what to test, and not getting lazy when you think you’ve found the answer. But first and foremost, get to know your audience.

Which day do YOU think it’s best to put out your newsletter?

– It really depends on the segment. A good newsletter would be personalized as much as humanly possible to the reciever, and different segments will have different life-rythms, which means that the best time for THEM to recieve my newsletter also differ. But if you put a gun to my head and ask for one single answer, I’d say tuesday around 11.45 AM. Why? The work-week is well underway, lunchbreak is coming up and more people have time to actually read your message.

Is there anything special you should look for in your data besides days and times?

– As in all data mining you should be looking for general trends in your population. You might not have a lot of information on your subscribers, so a place to start out is to figure out if they are private or corporate. Private would be Outloook/Hotmail, Gmail, AOL and such, and corporate would be anybody with a company address. In my experience “privates” should recieve e-mails on evenings or weekends, while corporate should be contacted during working hours, not too early and not too late. And then, if for example you know their age, there will be diffences between young and old and so on. But really this is nitpicking and something you should only care about, when you master the basics: Really tight subject lines with a strong CTA and relevant (individualized) content.

What’s the status with HTML and text-only e-mail newsletters these days?

– Hubspot posted a study recently that I completely agree with. HTML e-mails are gaining grounds, but you should still keep the amount of HTML to a minimum. I can recommend reading their post: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/plain-text-vs-html-emails-data

Do you have any tips to connecting your e-mail marketing with social?

– First of all, do it! The more you can connect user data from different platforms, the better you can serve the right content to your users. I urge you to collect, connect and use data to increase relevance, but rather than pretending to be an e-mail/SoMe connection expert I’ll leave you with the advice of smartinsights.com, which pretty much sums up my thoughts: http://www.smartinsights.com/traffic-building-strategy/integrated-marketing-communications/connected-email-and-social/

Which is your favourite newsletter (headlines, content, frequency, technical, value)?

– Can I pick only one favourite? I like What We’re Reading (http://www.nytimes.com/newsletters/what-were-reading) from NYT for general news of the World, Cook Smarts for my foodie-fetish (http://www.cooksmarts.com/sign-up/we-believe-in-empowering-home-cooks/), The newsletter of Human Rights Watch for being newsletter industry leader in my current area of work (https://www.hrw.org/), and TED is just awesome in its whole scope (http://www.ted.com/newsletter). But as an eye and copy candy addictive, I think I love the HTML-overloaded newsletter from The Cool Hunter the most (http://www.thecoolhunter.net/subscribe).

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Tomas Hillerup Kruse was born and raised in Jutland, Denmark but is currently residing in Copenhagen, where he works for the Danish Heart Association. He holds a degree in journalism and has been doing online communication and marketing for 15+ years. Tomas has a passion for easily digestable content, whether it’s mouth-melting copy, images or food. Motto: outside – in!

Here is Tomas’ view over Copenhagen from his office:



Illustration: “Hjertestier” is a project by The Danish Heart Association, where special paths are marked for good exercise to keep your heart healthy!

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Email etiquette vary across the globe

Facebook does it. Google does it. Microsoft does it. Everybody is talking about connecting the world. Making Internet connections global. But what happens when everybody gets e-mail?

There will be different etiquettes depending on where you come from. There already is. Here are some general rules, that many people tend to forget or simply don’t know about.

Mallory Fix, who teaches English as a Second Language at the University of Pennsylvania, says, “Email etiquette does vary across the globe, especially in ways to address the receiver, the directness of the message, and the closing.”

Always use a salutation and a closing. Based on your relationship, only you can decide whether deference dictates a “Dear Professor…” or “Good morning, Dr. Weber.”

Make sure you get the name and title right. A full professor is entitled to more than a modicum of respect.

Avoid trendy abbreviations and be careful of emoticons. They may be misunderstood and thus not clearly convey your meaning.

Don’t confuse email with texting or IM. Email is more formal than that. Use complete sentences, correct grammar, correct punctuation, and capitalization. Yet subject lines should be as efficient as a tweet, concisely stating what’s important and relevant.

Make sure your subject lines distinguish you from a hacker or a scammer by being current and germane. For example, “Change in Tuesday lunch meeting.”

If a subject changes, change the header! Remember that email is no place for stream of consciousness ruminations, so be direct, clear, and succinct. Respond in full sentences.

No time to respond fully to a long email? Reply to the sender that you received the email and indicate when you will be responding. Nothing is more discouraging than feeling ignored.

Just because something can be forwarded doesn’t mean it should be. Remember, too, that a recipient can forward your email, and you have no control at that point.

Patience is a virtue. Not every email gets delivered. This happens more frequently than we would like to admit. Offer people the same grace that you would like to receive on email responses.

Pick up the phone if you don’t hear back after a couple of tries. It’s not fair to assume that, for example, your email must be treated as top of the list, especially dealing with attorneys and physicians.

Remember that the person reading your email has only the words on the screen. Now think about how much our tone of voice impacts our message, so beware of sarcasm. Consider, for example, how many ways we can interpret even the simple word, “please.”

The “E” in email represents two essential reminders. First: edit, edit, edit to be sure all your facts, grammar and punctuation are correct. Second: Email is eternal.

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