Companies looking to reduce their environmental impact are increasingly moving towards the use of email, according to a survey by Experian Marketing.

The research found an increase in email usage of around five per cent over the past year. Bigger increases in email marketing messages were noticed in travel and publishing.

In addition to the increased usage, econsultancy, an online digital marketing magazine, surveyed over 1,000 marketers and found two thirds of them believed email’s return on investment was good or better.

However well email seems to be performing, some marketing executives are still failing to optimise their campaigns.

It has, in the past, been accepted that emails are more readily received, opened and responded to during traditional business working hours. However, Experian’s research disproves this myth and finds that marketing emails were much more eagerly opened and read in the evenings and at weekends, with response rates also being higher during these periods.

The results of the survey highlight the need to rethink traditional ideas about the timings of email campaigns.

As email marketing campaigns compete for space in consumer inboxes, marketing executives need to constantly monitor their strategies to ensure return on investment is optimised.

Consumers are increasingly using mobile devices, tablets and smartphones to access emails throughout the day. Smart marketers need to ensure their messages are more suitably timed for this growing target audience. Smartphones should be beeping and vibrating in the evening, as marketers send personalised messages to receptive consumers who are keen to read and respond to them.