Smaller list, higher open rate

In Email Marketing by Xu CuiLeave a Comment

If you have a big list, say 50,000 contacts, then which is better?

  1. Send a campaign to the big list (as most people do)
  2. Split the list to 10 smaller batches, and send to one batch per day

We analyzed ~2,000 email campaigns in the life science domain. The number of recipients in these 2,000 campaigns varies from 100 to 10,000. We are interested in knowing whether there is a relationship between the open rate and the list size.

From the figure below, it’s very clear that smaller lists performs better than larger lists. If the list is between 100 to 2,000, the open rate is roughly 16%-20%; if the list is larger than 50K, the open rate drops to below 12%.

Smaller list size, higher open rate

This finding is similar to what we discovered before. In a previous study, we found that the click rate of a campaign to 40K contacts is smaller than sending 4K contacts for 10 days.

These findings suggest that it’s better to split a big list to smaller ones, and send one by one per day. You might think it’s tedious to do so. Many email marketing programs (including ours), can do list splitting easily. After splitting, you can schedule your campaigns all at once instead of logging in every day to create a campaign.

Lesson Learned:

It’s better to split a big list to smaller ones, and send one by one slowly

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