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May 12th, 2020

With more people staying at home in self-quarantine mode, email readership has increased and previous reading patterns have shifted. Based on review of over 200 million emails from the last 30 days within the United States, Worlddata states that email opening is up more than 27% as at-home individuals and families are checking their inboxes more frequently. Peak opening times have shifted to mid-morning (10-11:30am) from earlier in the day (9-10am), while Mondays (which used to be one of the lowest-opening days of the week) has now become the clear leader.

Heavier readership also means that more recipients are reading more emails … but are spending less time with each email. Keep it short, simple and impactful to make sure your message can be absorbed quickly. For donation-driven campaigns, use multiple links in the copy, on images and include a donation button to make sure the reader has ample opportunities to make a gift. Even your logo should be linked directly to your giving page—it’s been shown to be one of the most-frequently clicked items.

You might have also noticed an uptick in unsubscribes during the past 6 weeks—don’t worry, that’s simply a larger number of recipients doing “housecleaning” from subscribers who would have eventually opted-out or been suppressed through non-opening anyway. 

With many commercial communication programs on idle or completely shut down (you’re not hearing about any great deals on cruises, sporting events or concerts, travel or new movies, right?), now is the time to generate interest and interactions to energize your email campaigns, gain subscribers and re-activate non-openers.

One of the most important topics you can cover would be your organization’s success stories, despite the challenges of the pandemic.

Interactivity can be as simple as trivia challenges, tips on how to improve your WFH experience, invitations to online activities, subscriber challenges (we’re still waiting for the next Ice Bucket Challenge), or other social interactions. One of the most important topics you can cover would be your organization’s success stories, despite the challenges of the pandemic. 

Many of the same topics that work on social media also work on email, and vice-versa. Overall, social media follows are up almost 15% and email registration up about 9% in recent weeks—make sure your offers for sign-ups are plentiful and easy to access.

The key takeaway: A few weeks ago, people were so bored that they were willing to read almost anything, but now, you better have something good to show them. And remember, your email subscribers want to hear from you and want to help if they can.

  1. Blog written by Barbara Johnson | Vice President of Client Services