The Top 7 Ways To Master Email Marketing Timing
The old chestnut that timing is everything is never more true than in email marketing. The difference between hitting the timing just right and being a little early or late can jolt your email metric needles by 50% or more.
Many email marketers rely on applying an urgent call to action to cajole their readers into opening their emails, but this strategy can backfire if you are sending your messages at the wrong time, or are not allowing sufficient time for the subscriber to read the email and react.
Here are the top seven tips on achieving the optimal synchronization with your customers' requirements and preferences in your email marketing newsletter campaigns.
Provide advance notice – If you're sending out your Midnight Madness Sale email at lunchtime on the date of the event you can expect that the majority of subscribers may not even get to read it, let alone act on it, before it's all over.
You might not want to tip your hand to your competitors about special sales, but the deepest discounts won't move merchandise if your customers don't have a chance to shop before it's history.
Specify dates & times – "Special offer today only…" and exactly when is "today"? Thursday March 23rd Only may not sound as marketing-zingy as Today, but it's going to be more understandable to your readers, especially the ones that don't read their emails every 8.3 seconds.
Remember that some of your customers may see your email appear on their smartphones but may not open it until days later at their desktop or laptop computers.
Include the time zone – An inordinate number of email marketers feel that their city is the center of the universe and that subscribers should not only be able to be prominently aware of where the company's office is, but should also be able to instinctively calculate the difference to their own time zone when responding to time-specific offers.
Keep in mind that 10 am in Greenville, Massachusetts is 9 am in Greenville, Iowa; 8 am in Greenville, Colorado; 7 am in Greenville, California; and 6 am in Greenville, Alaska.
Track the delivery time – Not all ISPs deliver emails in nanoseconds, so you may find that while your Gmail customers are swiftly receiving their newsletters, the Hotmail addresses lag hours behind or vice versa. The variable delay situation is aggravated should you be rash enough to dare to place an attachment with your emails in which case some may disappear outright.
A good practice is to set up a number of seed email addresses with major ISPs which you can use to determine the best- and worst-case delivery scenarios for each and accordingly adjust your send times.
Send at the time that they usually respond – You can track your response rate by time and thus understand the dayparts where your customers may be more likely to respond.
By analyzing the timing data to group individuals who habitually open and/or click at specific dates and times such "weekdays between 1 pm and 4 pm" or "Saturdays between 9 am and noon" will allow you to optimize your sending timing to that specific category of email subscriber.
Don't send trigger based reminders – That friendly little reminder to ask why they didn't open your email is a fast track one way ticket to unsubscription or even worse, a spam folder relegation.
When your subscriber entered their desired frequency in your preference center, they expected to have your emails land in their inbox at the specified periodical level. Violating their expressed desires will disembowel your subscription list.
You cannot possibly test enough – You can never be too rich, too thin, or test too much. Instead on relying on some industry blogger who tells you that the best time to send emails to your Animatronic Big Mouth Billy Bass customer is at 6:45 am when they aren't biting down at the lake, a sustained round of A/B split or better yet multivariate testing will tell you exactly when your customers will react best to your newsletters.
Follow these tips and change your email timing from "best guess" to hard fact! Once you have your timing down, you'll see more opens and an improvement in general response.
Elizabeth Ball says:
I don't get much choice of date in my monthly newsletters as I send them on the 1st of the month(!) but if I haven't sent them out by noon, I start to get queries where the email is and if I've sent it.
Sending out my emails to Sydney customers at 5am (they'll open it on their iphones as they go to work or will see it first thing at the office) means they arrive in inboxes at 1pm (previous day - lunch-time browsing) in Los Angeles, 3pm (previous day - mid-afternoon surf) in New York and 9pm (previous day - kids are asleep, dinner's over) in London.
And this website is particularly handy for scheduling emails: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html
We have found that, very generally, sending out email in the mid-morning seems to have the best open rates and response.
Would be nice to know what week day suit best for a weekly newssletter.
I heard friday is not a good choice. People often forget everything during week end. This is somewhat a basic learning. But what about monday or tuesday?
Is it absolutely the same? Is it better on monday, fresh mind after weekend relax? Or better tuesday because on monday morning people have a lot of other urgent things to do? What about wednesday? :-)