Expert: How to get emails read faster

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Kristina: New data out from GSMA shows that emails can take up to 90 minutes to receive a response – in your opinion, is this a bad number?

Scott Ziegler, SVP of Product Management, Validity: It depends on the goals of the campaign. For some digital marketers, the timing isn’t as critical as the urgency, engagement or conversion. A wait of 90 minutes may be too long for other, more instant marketing channels. That said, one reason subscribers prefer the email channel is that it lets them engage on their own timing. This also explains why email has such a strong ROI compared to other channels.

Kristina: What can marketers do to get their emails read faster?

Scott: The Data and Marketing Association (DMA)’s recent research shows the most important factor in getting an email opened is recognition of the sender. We recommend maintaining a consistent sending domain and “from” address and encourage marketers to use Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) to strengthen their brand connection with customers. Another way to shorten the time between a “receive” and a “read” is to send the email when subscribers are actively using their mailbox. Newer technologies place messages at the top of the inbox so it’s not buried below the fold.
Kristina: What trends are you watching in email since COVID-19?

Scott: Validity closely tracks email volumes; delivered, rejected, inbox, spam rates; open and read rates; and send frequency globally and by region. We’ve seen several topics emerge throughout the pandemic, including more messages using keywords like COVID to try and raise placement and response rates.

March and April saw massive spikes in total send volume, causing some marketers to experience reputation declines. This is the result of sending too much email to bad addresses or spam traps. Email is now experiencing a “new norm”: email effectiveness is growing just as subscribers value email as a vital channel of communication. Based on these trends, this could be the largest and most unusual online shopping season on record.

More from Scott and Validity next week, including his top 3 tips to increase inbox deliverability.



Kristina Knight is a freelance writer based in Ohio, United States. She began her career in radio and television broadcasting, focusing her energies on health and business reporting. After six years in the industry, Kristina branched out on her own. Since 2001, her articles have appeared in Family Delegate, Credit Union Business, and with Threshold Media.