What is the best time to send a newsletter?

Open rates do decline steadily after 2 PM. But it depends.

At Toast, when managing the newsletter strategy of a client, one question that they will often ask in the initial meeting is: “When should we send our emails? Which day and time?”

It depends.

That is often the answer, and it is the true answer.

It depends on the persona of your email list, the call-to-action and reason for your email.

If you are in the B2B space and are emailing people at work, emailing at the very beginning of the day will usually get you better open rates.

If you are in B2C and emailing consumers on their personal email addresses, end of day or evening could work.

But testing is the best way to know.

For us, at Toast, our newsletter is sent on Monday mornings at 6 AM. This has consistently worked for us in the past years.

But one thing that research done by GetResponse (which you can learn about in a Hubspot article) is that for emails sent after 2 PM, open rates start dropping.

That doesn’t mean you must absolutely avoid sending your mail after lunch, but you should test and see if your list’s behaviour matches what the research has shown.

The Hubspot article “The Best Time to Send an Email (Research-Backed)” also shows results from a Campaign Monitor study that analyzed which days might give you the best results.

Interesting numbers, don’t you think?

Would you like to dive deeper into your email marketing strategy with us? Contact an expert at Toast and schedule a consultation with our experts today.

Newsletter marketing: the 7 levels of maturity

Email marketing is a true value-generation channel. Where does your brand stand on our scale of maturity?

Do you consider yourself to have a basic, intermediate or advanced email marketing strategy?

Brands, publishers and broadcasters need to implement email marketing best practices and climb the scale of maturity to leverage even more the power of what some almost consider an “old school” channel (and they are wrong!).

At what stage are you in your newsletter strategy? How are you benchmarking yourself?

Evaluate how far up this scale your newsletter strategy currently is, and evaluate how you could make it even better:

  • Stage 0: We have an Excel sheet with email addresses we collected in a conference three years ago
  • Stage 1: We are actively capturing email addresses (online and/or offline)
  • Stage 2: We have a planned newsletter schedule where we send an email at least every 2 months
  • Stage 3: We are monitoring open and click rates to benchmark ourselves and gather insights on what works and what does not
  • Stage 4: We segment our mailing lists based on form fields in our email capture forms
  • Stage 5: We send different newsletter to email list segments we have
  • Stage 6: We segment our email lists also based on past behaviour (opens, clicks)
  • Stage 7: We personalize the content of our emails for each subscriber, based on segmentation and behaviour (going way beyond the “Hello [FirstName]” formula)

But any brand that wants to do email right needs to climb this scale and implement these best practices, while also being on the look-out as to what innovative email marketers are doing.

And this is where publishers and media come in.

With the current context and crisis in which traditional media is, we can turn to these publishers to see what they are doing to leverage their newsletter initiatives.

Traditional media has been in a crisis for quite some time now and publishers are looking for the best way to engage with readers and eventually convert them to paying subscribers.

This model (paid subscriptions) has been proven, lately, to work quite well, as advertising revenue keeps dropping every month.

Newsletters have been key in generating this engagement they are looking for to build a true relationship with their readership on a daily, weekly basis, by email.

Email remains one of the true channels that have yet to be hit too hard by algorithms. Getting to the inbox is cheap, easy and is a tactic that allows you to be in real control of your data, your subscribers, your “community” (in opposition to most social media where we end up “renting” access to our followers).

The trick is to get the right content in that inbox. At the right time.

In a What’s New in Publishing article, Simon Owens dives deep into what the media and publishers have been doing with their email lists.

The New York Times discovered that newsletter subscribers are twice as likely to become paying members as non-subscribers. The New Yorker came to a similar conclusion with their New Yorker newsletter.

At Toast, we even came to the conclusion that our own newsletter membership is a good indicator as to if a client we are pitching to will sign us on. An analysis we did showed that 80% of new clients were already subscribed to our weekly email when they gave us their first mandate.

From specific themes and interactive formats (see what Quartz is doing), to heavy personalization (see what the Washington Post is doing), Owens’ article dives deep into what brands could also be doing to leverage this high-value channel.

Long gone are the days where you should send a single email to all your list.

So, where do you stand on our maturity level scale for email marketing?

If you would like to grow your email list or improve your newsletter strategy let us know and schedule a consultation with our experts at Toast today.

How the Wall Street Journal renewed its newsletter strategy

The Wall Street Journal, an “old” media that masters the power of the newsletter very well.

A person’s email address remains a valuable asset to any content marketer.

Still in 2018, it is essential to maintain growth objectives in your email address base and to have initiatives that leverage it. Your mailing list is an asset that belongs to you.

Unlike the subscribers you have on the various social networks, your list belongs to you and you have complete control of it, on the sole condition that you respect the laws in place and that you regularly make a copy of it on your own servers (please make sure that Mailchimp is not the only place where your list exists).

But once you have a list, what do you do with all these people who have agreed to receive emails from you?

How to segment these thousands of addresses, send them the right content, at the right time?

The Wall Street Journal had, until recently, about 50 different newsletters, with equally different looks. Recent appointments to their newsletter team have resulted in a major cleanup and many tactics have been put in place.

For instance:

  • The use of real-time content directly in newsletters.
  • The creation of a column that creates a real dialogue between the WSJ and its subscribers.
  • The setting up of nudges dedicated specifically to specific series of articles.

This article by Christine Schmidt from the Nieman Journalism Lab offers a lot of details on the various initiatives implemented and gives a very interesting overall picture of how a large media organization manages its thousands of e-mail subscribers.

Content Marketing and E-mail: the winning team


As an effective digital marketing tool, email also proves to be the most effective way for a successful lead generation campaign, according to a new study published by Ascend2.

The study conducted with a panel of 244 B2B and B2C marketing professionals, shows that email and content marketing generate the most effective tactic in getting prospects.  This is much better compared to other commonly used techniques such as marketing on social media, SEO, advertising or production line webinars.

Emailing: efficiency and simplicity of implementation

When it comes to promoting your content, email remains an invaluable tool to reach your target.  No such effect as in a weekly newsletter that builds your audience, encourages them to visit your site, finds your new products, etc.  There are many tools which encourage the user to give you his email address.  Using the email, you’ll be able to send an automated newsletter and get valuable information about your prospect upon subscribing.  Still you must have contents to promote.  This is where Content Marketing comes in.

Content marketing: effective if the right resources are available

It becomes obvious: to exist on the internet, you must offer content with real value.  Whether you solve the problems facing your potential customers, relay news about your industry, or offer white papers on more advanced topics, the opportunities are many.  However,  their implementation remains a matter for specialists.

Read also: To boost your brand, get newsy!

The study of Ascend2 shows that if content marketing is now the most used technique for generating leads (tied with emailing), the most significant obstacles to implementation are lack of skilled resources for content creation (48%) and lack of an effective and documented strategy (48%).

The content has also become essential to other techniques.  Without interesting content to share, you will obtain little or no presence on social media platforms.

Also, developing a content marketing strategy is particularly sustainable, in the sense that the contents have a longer lifespan. A regular rhythm of publication also helps to maintain the relationship with prospects.

Source : http://www.marketingcharts.com/online/email-and-content-marketing-perceived-to-be-top-lead-gen-tactics-69677/

Image & Credits : https://www.flickr.com/photos/waynerd/13883314012/sizes/l

The New York Times newsletters have an amazing open rate

Email is a fantastic content marketing tool. The New York Times (and Toast Studio) knows this.

Email is sometimes seen by some as an old-school tactic. Something that came before social media, Medium, LinkedIn, native advertising and blogs.

It is, but it remains an extremely powerful tool in your content marketing toolbox.

On what other platforms can you actually send content to a single person? Tools now even allow you to personalize the content for each member (something I am not leveraging in my series).

The New York Times uses email marketing by creating dozens of newsletters, each with their own theme or subject matter. Their most recent trend has been to produce very niche newsletters that have this very personal feel to it (there’s one about columnist Nicholas Kristof for example).

And the results are there. One some editions, they can get a 70% gross open rate, which is the total number of emails opened divided by the number of subscribers (the NYT wouldn’t share unique open rates). I’m happy to share that Toast Studio’s newsletter gets a 75% gross open rates on average.

This is a testament that if you send useful and relevant content to your audience, they will thank you for it. Case in point, a NYT newsletter subscriber is twice as likely to become a paid subscriber to the Times.

And beyond the results of sending those emails, the list of addresses collected is also very valuable data. It can be used multiple ways, in building retargeting lists in your programmatic media buys for example.

How are you using email in your marketing mix? Want to explore how to make better use of it? Send us a quick email to gravel@gotoast.ca or give us a call and let’s explore this together.

In the meantime, take a couple minutes to read this Digiday article, a link my fiancee sent me last week (that’s what happens when both spouses work in the same industry) about how the New York Times is leveraging emails in their marketing and content distribution initiatives.

Email is not sexy, but it’s powerful

One of Internet’s oldest technologies is on the rise.

Email is not sexy.

When presenting a strategy to a client or producer, email is not the hot new shiny object and rarely results in ooh’s and aah’s.

But what if I told you that in the past two years, open rates of emails went from 23% to 31%? And that rise is in large part due to mobile usage, which now accounts for 44% of email content access.

Not many platforms can claim the type of usage, penetration and strategic advantages that email has.

In this week’s article, Cezary Pietrzak from Appboy makes a great case for mobile email marketing and outlines 5 ways to maximize mobile email’s efficacy in your production or program :

  • Optimize email for the small screen
  • Create bite-size content
  • Make your subject line snappier
  • Rethink your link strategy
  • Consider mobile usage patterns

I’ll keep this text short and as bite-size as possible by inviting you to read all about it in the following Venture Beat article.