The Empty Inbox: A Marketer’s Dream


I had an interesting discussion the other day with a friend and fellow marketer. He has recently been working on a few side projects and was looking for some email advice. I was in the middle of sharing with him some of my “golden rules”, which are based more on my own experience than anything else, I warned him.

And I got to one that got us talking in a bit more detail, and I thought it worth sharing here.

One of my golden rules involving the timing of an email is based off of this premise: I want my email to show up in your inbox when it’s the only thing there.

What does this mean?

It means that I want it sitting alone at the top of your inbox as the only thing you’ve yet to read. It’s a clean inbox, and my email becomes the only one you have to take action on. What action you take is up to the recipient, but at least you have to decide to do something.


I think the better question is, why not? The alternative would be to land in an inbox that has one or more emails from “others” that have yet to be read or removed. And I am of the opinion that when someone is clearing out a crowded inbox, they will pay less attention to each email than they would if they were going through just one at a time.

So when I run a campaign, or consult others on their email campaigns, one of the things I pay attention to is the time of day the emails go out. And while many email marketers tend to send emails either late at night or early in the morning so that they’re waiting in the inbox when someone first logs in, I contend that sending later in the day, when we assume the recipient has cleaned out his inbox, is a better strategy.

Make sense?