Swiping Left on Early Morning Emails

I confess … I have a bit of a problem. See, my iPhone is also my alarm clock. And what do I do after I turn the alarm off every morning? Glance at my home screen to see if there are email notifications I can clear out as quickly as possible.

I confess … I have a bit of a problem. See, my iPhone is my alarm clock, which means it’s the first thing I grab in the morning, often before I grab my glasses (and I am near-sighted with an astigmatism, so this is kind of a problem).

And what do I do after I turn the alarm off? Glance at my home screen to see if there are email notifications I can clear out, because seeing something like this will make me break out into hives:

Notification Badges

This reminds me of a cute little stat card from Emma that I picked up at a conference. Titled, “18 Email Stats to Know, Love, and Quote at Parties,” it had the following stat from online marketing firm Ezanga:

“58% of adults check email first thing in the morning.”

Following the stat was this tip: “Try sending your emails early in the day — you might see an uptick in opens.”

But here’s the twist: I’m swiping left on about 90 percent of the new messages in my inbox after giving each sender and subject line a few seconds of attention between 6:30-7:00 am.

Yuck Swipe Left

The remaining 10 percent are left to be read at a later time, also known as “after my first cup of coffee.”

Now, perhaps I’m an anomaly and marketers can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. Or maybe I’m not. I wake up to anywhere from 6-20 emails in my inbox each morning, and I know that if I don’t weed out of the inbox early, those numbers are going to climb between feeding my cat breakfast at 6:45 am and walking into the office at 8:00 am.

By that point, I’m also dealing with my work inbox, which can have anywhere from 12-30 new emails each day (more on a Monday following the weekend), and at that point I’m ready to plunk my phone into the office coffee pot, sever the power plug for my computer, and find a small cabin in the Adirondack Mountains to spend the rest of my days.

One Does Not Simply Read Their Email

According to the Email Marketing Report 2015, produced by Who’s Mailing What! and Direct Marketing IQ, the morning hours are intensely popular.

Email Volume by Time of Day

But look at the evening hours: The inbox is less crowded between 6:00-11:00 pm. And for me, that’s the best time for me to spend a few extra minutes on reading emails.

So if you want to reach people like me — who tend to feel the strangle of email notifications — think about sending after dark. There’s a better chance I’ll tap once to read more instead of swiping you left into the archive folder.

Author: Melissa Ward

Melissa Ward is the managing editor for Target Marketing, and she has opinions! More importantly, she's a nerd for great copy and design, a disciple of authenticity, and really loves it when marketers get it right.

2 thoughts on “Swiping Left on Early Morning Emails”

  1. Like you, my iPhone is my alarm clock, and I am near-sighted with an astigmatism, so maybe we are two-of-a-kind. I swipe and save every morning as well. And schedule my email to go at lower open rates but higher click through rates. Its all about real engagement.

    1. I agree, and it’s also about knowing your audience. That’s what testing is for…if early morning email sends aren’t delivering the opens and CTRs you want, try another time slot and see what happens!

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