Practical Ecommerce

Conversion Tip: Sync Email Timing to Visitor Habits

Editor’s Note: We continue our “Conversion Tip” series from Charles Nicholls, founder and chief strategy officer of SeeWhy, a conversion and abandonment-recovery firm. For this week’s installment, Nicholls addresses the timing of email campaigns to site-visitor habits.

Most marketers will be emailing customers more than ever in the run up to Black Friday. So how can you increase the chances that your email will be opened and read?

Marketers know, from experience and testing, that there are better days and times than others for email campaigns. But individual customers are creatures of habit as well. A customer who opens your email at 6:00 p.m. is giving you a useful piece of data: He or she is more likely to open other emails from you if you send them at 6:00 p.m. This is called send time optimization, and can generate a 20 to 30 percent lift in your email campaigns.

Equally, a shopper who is on your site at 6:00 p.m is more likely to return at 6:00 p.m. There are also very strong day-of-the-week patterns, so 6:00 p.m. on a Tuesday is potentially different from 6:00 p.m on a Saturday. This is valuable insofar as it can be used for timing on both batch-based email campaigns and for follow-up remarketing campaigns.


Charles Nicholls

Charles Nicholls

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  1. LexiConn September 29, 2010 Reply

    Now we just need an email application / service that will aggregate this information and auto schedule future mailings based on the best time each individual customer opened the email previously. :)

  2. Future Tracy October 1, 2010 Reply

    Does anyone know any software that can do this? I would like to look into this further. I always think sending emails during the week is best for b2b but still think it depends on the type of product for emails to consumers.

  3. cord October 5, 2010 Reply

    @LexiConn, @FutureTracy:

    Shops running on ZenCart, osCommerce, osCMax, CRE Loaded, xtCommerce, xtc-modified, Gambio GX and DigiStore can use the opensource addon "MailBeez" (, which is very easy to install (ZenCart: only copy some files)

    MailBeez is a modular framework to build, run and track automatic trigger email campaigns e.g. follow-ups on orders, birthday reminder etc.

    What you & me are looking for is not in place yet, but it is not far away:

    As far as I know there are future plans to integrated "click recording" into MailBeez, which would allow to track the timing of any click inside the email (currently it only supports Google Analytics Campaigns"

    Having the "click recording" would then allow to build modules which utilize this information and do something smart – e.g. adopt the sending point of time to previous click timings based on the individual recorded data.

    Would be very powerful.