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The Importance of Testing and Analyzing Send Times

As email marketers, we always have to be mindful of the schedules and preferences of our audiences. A minor adjustment in the time a message is sent could mean the difference between it being opened and read or buried beneath critical work communications.

In his column on the SIIA Blog Ronn Levine researched exactly that – when is the ideal time to send?

 

Results to help find YOUR best send times

By Ronn Levine

“Time is on my side, yes it is,” the Rolling Stones once sang.

In the digital publishing world, it is if we use it right. In an article on the Journalism.co.uk siteJohn Crowley, the Wall Street Journal’s digital editor, said he is not just looking at the number of mobile users they have, but also at the times this audience comes to the WSJ. “You have to think about what content you’re offering to people at a certain time of day,” he told them.

Pinpointe posted a long, detailed article back in April on best days and times to send emails—using various studies. Their five steps for finding YOUR best times are:
1. Get to know your audience.
2. Analyze past emails.
3. Know their devices.
4. Consider your message (B2B vs. B2C)
5. Test, test, test.

Some of their research:

– According to Get Response, Tuesday emailings had the highest open and click-through rates. Thursday was close behind. Friday actually had the highest click-thru-rate—maybe people are more relaxed. A blog post on WordStream said that they find Thursdays at 8-9 a.m best—”we get over 25% open rates with this time!” they wrote. Interestingly, their Tuesday and Wednesday morning emails do significantly lower.

– In a study by Retention Science, Friday produced a 26% conversion rate—only 2% behind Tuesday, which had the highest. Their chart doesn’t show the best times on Friday, but the article includes this about a B2C client: “FundsforWriters also has pretty good luck on Fridays and sends their email newsletters on this day by 10 pm. What they have found is that most of their readers have 9-5 jobs and enjoy relaxing with the newsletter on Saturday.”

– The weekend has some good numbers. A 2012 Experian study showed that “emails deployed on Saturdays and Sundays had the highest open, unique clicks, transaction rates and revenue per email, yet had the lowest volume deployed…” Monday had the highest revenue per email for weekdays.

– Also according to Experian, emails sent from 9 p.m.–midnightcomprised just 2% of all emails sent, yet had the highest percentages of opens, clicks, and transaction rates—and highest revenue per email and average order (by far). The next highest average order was for emails sent from noon-4 p.m. One can conclude that the businesses sending out emails in the late evening know their audience very well.

– According to a MarketingSherpa 2013 report, for B2B and B2C marketers, Wednesday tied with Tuesday for most effective email send day. They also reported differing views of sending on the weekend. “While 20% of marketers in retail, e-commerce or wholesale distribution rated Sunday as least effective, 40% gave the day a four or five (most effective).”

– Monday is a good day to get customer feedback. Maybe people are looking for a comforting way to ease into the week. “SurveyMonkey analyzed 100,000 surveys, sent Monday through Friday, to figure out the impact of the day they were sent versus the response rate. The conclusion—Mondays were the best day to send email surveys. On average, surveys sent out on Mondays received 10% more responses than average.” Tuesdays received 6% more than average but the other weekdays were below average.

Most agree that with all the analytics now, it’s better to go by that than any golden rules. A young, tech-obsessed audience might pay more attention to emails sent in the evening or early morning during their commute. Friday could be a good day if you are including something special for the weekend. And as cold weather approaches, weekends could work as people tend to spend more time inside. The bottom line: test for yourself.