Work life balance is important to the French. In 2000, a law was introduced to reduce the statutory working week in France from 39 hours to 35 hours for companies with more than 20 employees. By 2002, this also applied to companies with 20 employees or fewer. When a study in 2016 found that 37% of workers were using professional digital tools (e.g. work mobile phones) outside of work hours, they introduced a new law in 2017 to allow workers to disconnect from work related communications or tools outside working hours.

Therefore, it is no surprise that we have found some nuances in the French market when analysing email marketing trends during the pandemic. Metrics related to client engagement such as number of communications mentioning COVID-19 and open rates do not follow the global averages. In general, communications around coronavirus started much later in France than in other regions and their clear increase can be noted from March.

French emails do not follow bi-weekly cycles

When analysing email campaigns that we manage globally, we noticed a curious trend. The number of emails increases across all our clients in odd weeks (+102% on average) and decreases in even weeks (-66% on average) when compared with a previous week, across all our clients’ data. However, the bi-weekly trend is not replicated in the French market, in which we can observe a slight increase in mailings in the 3rd week of each month. 

Event invitations and newsletters are preferred

Since the beginning of the year, the best performing types of content in terms of open rates across all our clients in France were Newsletters (42% on average since the beginning of the year) and the lowest Fund factsheets (22% average open rates). The highest click rates were observed for Event invitations (11%) and the lowest for Market commentaries (1.5%). In France we observe traditionally lower click to open rates compared with global figures or other European countries.

Longer hours but still shorter than the rest of the world

In France, we have seen significant open rates in the period from January to March outside of the core working hours of 9am-5pm CET. Both desktop and mobile activity started at 7am and ended sharply at 8pm. However, the rest of the world carried on with work up until 11pm.

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