Have you ever tested it? Have you even thought about it or just heard through the industry best practice grape-vine that sending on a Tuesday or a Thursday generally gets better results? I know I was like that before becoming more involved in email marketing.
Put on your marketing hat and have a good think about who your customers are.
- What does their daily routine look like?
- When do they usually buy your product?
- If you were a prospect of the products you promote, when would you likely have time to read an email about that product or service?
And what about the email content itself? Is it optimised to avoid being caught in spam traps? Here are some things that Marketing Automation vendor, Marketo recommends to improve email deliverability:
- A text version of the email is included and it contains the same text as the HTML version.
- No more than 4 images
- Subject line does not contain multiple non-alpha characters (eg. !*$) and words that are all upper case
- Avoid usage of typical spam words like, Free, Click here, Discount, 100% satisfied, Affordable.
Asking these questions will help you go beyond the norm of just being concerned about “getting the campaign out-the-door” and will help you plan your campaign so it’s more successful.
GetResonse, the guys behind ‘Email Marketing Tips Blog’ recently posted an infographic on the Best Time To Send Email. Here was their research method:
“We analysed 21 million messages sent from US accounts in the 1st quarter of 2012 to determine top open and click-through times. We also analysed the recipients’ top engagement times – all to test their thesis: sending times matter, and message results depend on reader engagement routines, not just a little but a lot.”
GetResponse found that the best times to send email campaigns for highest engagement is between the times of 8am – 10am and 3pm – 4pm, which can increase average open rates and CTR by 6%. But, as mentioned above, these optimal times will depend on many factors, so I hope you’re still wearing your marketing hat!
The research GetResponse conducted was insightful to say the least. It proves that delivery time (and not just day) is an important factor to consider if you want to optimise your results. Here are the key insights:
- Emails have the best results within the 1st hour after delivery. Over 20% of all emails are opened during this time.
- About 40% of all emails are sent between 6am and noon. That’s a lot of competing messages!
- You have a better chance of being noticed (up to 10.61% open ratio and up to 2.38% CTR) by sending emails in the morning and early afternoon.
- If your emailings go to worldwide lists, make sure you use solutions that optimize delivery times in different time zones.
These findings were interesting. In fact, I was relieved to find this. I had often wondered what the best practice was without having to analyse millions of email myself :-/
But! My assumptions are that based on 21 million emails, there must have been a lot of content that were caught in spam filters or their content was below par. Perhaps this brought the mean results down, because from my own experience I generally achieve the following average results:
- Open Rates between 20-30%
- Click Through Rates between 5-10%
- Clicked to Open Ratio of around 30%
I have to admit that these results don’t always consider time of day as a major factor in increasing success. I will, however, be more considerate of GetResponse’s research findings.
What do you think of these results? Have you generated your own insights? What do you find works best?
Do you ever A/B test your email campaigns based on time instead of the usual subject lines, images and CTAs?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.