human resources

Timing important for e-marketing… Sacking targets… Gossip is good… Declare email bankruptcy… LCD prices to rise

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Marketing emails work mid-week

People are most likely to open marketing emails early in the morning or late at night on Wednesdays and Thursdays, according to research by e-marketing company eROI.

Email read rates for marketing emails reached weekly highs of 26% and 27% on Tuesdays and Wednesdays respectively in the June Quarter of 2007, the research found. At 5%, click-though rates were also highest on these days.

People are half as likely to open a marketing email on the weekend, while Tuesday is the worst day of the week with a 23% read rate and 2% click-throughs.

As for timing, it seems email marketing is a hit with nocturnal types, with marketing emails most likely to be opened at 11pm or 9pm. During work hours, read rates and click-through highs tend to be at 11am and 2pm – just before people go to lunch, and just after they get back.

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Secretaries and sales reps get the sack

Secretaries or assistants and sales representatives were the staff most likely to be sacked by their bosses in the US over the last three months, according to a survey of 250 readers of Inc.com.

The survey found a surprisingly high 20% of business managers or owners had fired a full-time employee in recent months, of which 12% said they had sacked their secretary or assistant and 12% sacking field sales reps.

The next most likely to be fired were IT specialists and project managers, each of which were nominated by 8% of bosses as being a recent sacking. These were followed by client services and marketing staff and the heads of human resources or sales on 6%.

Sales staff may be in the firing line because their clear accountability for achieving sales targets means it is easy to tell when they haven’t done their job. As for secretaries and assistants, sheer proximity to the boss may explain their vulnerability.

John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a US global outplacement firm in Chicago, told Inc.com: “It may be that they just are so visible in a small office. They typically sit close to the owner. If the work’s not getting done or done right, it’s apparent.”

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Office gossip important

Gossiping in the tea room and taking staff or your boss out for coffee is a good career move according to the results of a study by human resource consultancy Right Management.

The firm did some research in a large financial services organisation, according to a report in The Australian Financial Review, and found that the high performers shared a tendency to spend more time getting to know staff, briefing them and reviewing their work. They are team and capacity building, have a better idea of where to go to get something done, and know the strengths and weaknesses of their organisation.

How much chit-chat is enough? High performers in this organisation spent three hours a week chatting, managing and supervising, briefing and reviewing. The “medium” workers spent two hours doing it and the poor performers spent less than 10 minutes.

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Email bankruptcy

If someone send you an email and you don’t reply, do you owe them a debt? In the US you can declare email bankruptcy, writes Peter Moon in The Australian Financial Review.

“The day comes when you owe so many replies there’s nothing left but to broadcast your inbox with a standard message: ‘I have decided that I can never catch up on the backlog. Please accept this note as 10 cents in the dollar. But I’m deleting my in-tray and starting afresh from tomorrow. If it was important please send it again’.”

Hilarious, but close to the bone for many. Moon suggests some ways to get the habit under control.

  • Meaningful subject lines.
  • Don’t send on replies unless they are relevant.
  • Use reference numbers.
  • Stop and think before you write; send fewer, better emails.

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LCD prices likely to rise

Flat screen TV manufacturers have struggled through a supply glut, but this looks likely to change soon and prices for consumers may rise as a result.

Demand is booming for flat screen TVs, desktop and notebook PCs, and supply is tightening according to a story that first appeared in BusinessWeek. In the US, prices began turning up in April for monitor and notebook screens and in May for TV panels.

But it’s a cycle, and before long manufacturers will tool up for the next generation technology. Already, a joint venture between Samsung and Sony is due to launch a G8 factory in August to start churning out panels for 46-inch and 52-inch LCD TVs.

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