I have often been asked about the best time to send a marketing message. The answer usually depends on several factors. A well-configured email can increase open and click-through rates. A poorly timed one can run a subscription.
In this post, I will address how I determine the best sending times for your email program.
The first step is to determine the goals or objectives of the email. In my experience, the result of emails from a single reseller may vary depending on the purpose. Common goals for email marketing include:
- To drive traffic to a website. The general emails for the site have always been most effective mid-week – mid-morning or afternoon. Mondays and Fridays do not usually perform as well. According to Campaign Monitor data, the highest open prices are on Tuesdays below.
- To drive traffic to a physical location. Some e-mails are intended to encourage physical visits. Performance is usually best on evenings and weekends. Most recipients read an email on their smartphone. Thus, these messages can be effective for spontaneous visits when people are running errands, shopping and socializing.
- Encourage shopping on the site. Analyzing patterns for past purchases can help you decide when to send shopping emails. For example, a clothing retailer may experience the sale of sweaters for the fall in late September. Therefore, emails that promote these items should follow that purchasing framework.
- Abandoned wagon or scroll. Triggered emails based on abandoned browsing sessions or abandoned shopping cart usually work best when sent immediately after the abandonment.
- Request review or feedback. Send emails asking for feedback when the recipients have the most time. This is usually mid-week or early evening, after dinner.
- General awareness. A general awareness campaign can be sent almost anytime to be effective. It may be worthwhile to transmit the main message in the subject line of the e-mail and foreword even if the recipient does not open it.
Send time optimization is a feature of many email marketing platforms. The software usually tracks when each subscriber tends to open and click on emails and then automatically send accordingly. Sending time optimization is good for emails with similar goals. But it can be counterproductive for emails with different goals, such as running web traffic versus recalling feedback. In addition, STO requires recipients with a history of open and click – not new subscribers or new email programs.
Show time optimization. In April, Verizon Media launched what it calls "optimization of viewing times." Verizon owns AOL and Yahoo, two prominent email providers. View time optimization, according to Verizon, tracks when a person is logged into the email account and then shoots the emails at that time. Open courses have reportedly increased up to four times when using this new capacity.
Targeting AOL and Yahoo recipients when they look at their email is clearly useful. However, clustering recipients who have not shown time optimization, such as Gmail users, in the same period can result in the subscription being terminated.
News and development. There are always global or regional factors that affect the timing of emails, including:
- Crises and events. Covid-19 is a prime example of how a global event can impact email marketing. Other examples are concerts and sporting events.
- Weather can affect the timing of your emails. Snowstorms, storms, droughts, sunny days – everything can change email performance. Don't send an email to a recipient in a hurricane. Or consider special coupon codes that reflect the terms, like the example below from Urban Outfitters.
- Holidays. Send marketing messages during the holiday shopping season with enough time for recipients to order in advance or otherwise shop and receive the goods in time for the event. Calendars with vacation emails, with dates for deployment, can help.
- Time zones. Many e-mail service providers can adjust the transmission times based on the recipient's location. For example, recipients may receive an email at 10:00 AM local time whether it is Eastern Time or Pacific Time. If the software does not have this feature, segment your list as much as possible to ensure that recipients in California do not receive email three hours earlier than in New York.