email marketing best practices

Emails Aren’t Sent in Batches but They Are Read in Batches!

As email marketers adhering to email marketing best practices, we’re no longer doing batch-and-blast email on our end, but our recipients are probably checking email in batches on theirs.

That was a point made in the ExactTarget 2012 Channel Preference Survey. The survey is a must-read for email marketers from the email newbie to the email expert. Download it and review it for critical information about the channels your customers prefer, from email to direct mail to SMS to social. Today, however, we want to talk about one little gem in the survey.

While reading through the data, this paragraph on page 12 jumped out at us:

“…the telephone and SMS (text messaging) channels index well for alert-based communications. This stands to reason since both phone and text hold a place of higher communication priority in most consumers’ lives. If the phone rings, you answer it. If a text arrives, you can read it quickly. This is vastly different than email and social media updates which tend to get checked in batches.”

Email tends to be checked in batches…that is something we as email experts know, right? But maybe not something that stays top of mind as we carefully craft our campaigns, subject lines and offers. We already know the inboxes we sit in are crowded and cluttered, but do we also take into account customer behavior, their mindset as they tackle that inbox?

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, this is a gem of information to think about. Email lacks the immediacy of the phone and the text. That’s not a bad thing. But this idea that email is checked in batches, not as it comes in, well that’s important.

What does it mean? It means we’re not only in a cluttered inbox, but we’re even less likely to stand out as a recipient does email triage or deletes in bulk. We are more likely to be put off, to be dealt with later (affecting our immediate open rates).

Why does it matter? It is yet one more reason to be targeted, relevant, engaging and wanted in the inbox. Once you’ve won your customers’ hearts and earned a welcome place in the inbox, your emails will stand out, even among the clutter.

Granted that was only one tiny nugget from 35 pages of critical stats and data. Think about it, but don’t stop there. Read the survey and apply all of the insight to your email marketing program when you download the full report here.

Published On: May 2nd, 2012Categories: Email marketing best practices

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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