How the Right Timing Can Make Your Email Campaigns More Effective
Email marketing is widely considered to deliver the best return on investment among all marketing techniques. With minimal time, effort and cost, email marketing makes it possible for a company to deliver highly personalized messages to target customers on a regular basis. Because of these advantages, email campaigns continue to be widely used by online marketers.
However, anyone who has ever received a marketing email knows that getting a target recipient to open and read an email is never an easy task. In fact, a marketing email is more likely to be consigned to the trash bin unopened rather than be read and responded to. In order to obtain the highest open rate and maximum readership, it turns out that the timing of your email is a crucial factor.
The Best Times for Sending Marketing Emails
According to a study conducted by the marketing software firm, Pure 360, and email marketing expert, Dan Zarella, the following periods are the most opportune times for opening marketing emails:
- 7PM–10PM – Recipients are more likely to respond to consumer promotions when they get off work and are relaxing on their own time. 23% of emails classified as “consumer promotions” were opened during this period, with promotional offers on clothing and special interests, such as sports and gym promotions, performing extremely well in this period.
- 6AM–10AM – The beginning of the working day is the second most opportune time for opening emails, with consumers allowing themselves to be distracted by offers on clothes, live events, restaurants and consumer goods.
- 3PM–5PM – More consumers start thinking about their personal situation by the end of the working day, and as a result, more emails are opened between 3PM and 5PM than during any other time.
- 5PM–7PM – There is a dramatic rise in recipients opening holiday promotions during this period. 17.9% of all emails classified as “holiday promotions” were opened during these two hours. This is also the period when recipients are most likely to open B2B promotions (26.4%).
The Worst Times for Sending Marketing Emails
On the other hand, these time periods are largely unfavorable for opening marketing emails, except for particular types of promotions:
- 10PM–6AM – This is referred to as the Dead Zone because a large fraction of emails sent during this period are ineffective.
- 10AM–Noon – During this period, consumers are focusing on their work and not opening marketing emails.
- Noon–2PM – Consumers are also unlikely to open emails during their lunch break, choosing instead to spend time on news and magazine alerts.
- 2PM–3PM – During the immediate post-lunch period, consumers remain focused on work, responding mostly to email offers relating to financial services.
The study also reveals that sending marketing emails on weekends are far more effective than sending them on weekdays. Thus, it is not surprising to find that open and click rates, as well as bounce rates and abuse reports, are the highest during the early mornings and on weekends.
When it comes to the most optimal sending frequency, it appears that the click-through-rate (CTR) is highest when sending less than 4 emails a month, but remains constant when sending emails more than 4 times a month. Similarly, the unsubscription rate is also the highest when sending less than 4 emails a month and stays constant when sending more than 4 times a month.
Finally, the highest CTR and unsubscription rates occur among recipients who have been subscribers for less than 10 days.
The Implications for Email Marketers
The study shows that open and click rates are statistically highest during the early morning hours. So, for most types of promotions, early morning is the best time to send marketing emails. However, for certain types of promotions, it may be more favorable to send them at other times of the day.
For marketers who are targeting consumers over several time zones, the key is to segment the customer database by time zone and send out emails for each time zone according to the best time periods.
Since more people open and respond to emails during the weekends, when most people have free time, it would appear that the most effective time to send a marketing email is during the early morning of weekends. However, this is also the time when people are more discerning of marketing emails and have a greater tendency to bounce or report abuses.
This means that a marketing email must stand out from the rest and offer a compelling reason for the consumer to read and respond to it. Otherwise, it has a higher chance of being consigned to the trash, or worse, being reported as spam.
Generally, sending 1-4 emails a month is the most optimal frequency in terms of CTR, but more people also unsubscribe at this frequency. In addition, the highest CTR and unsubscription rates occur among recipients who have been subscribers for less than 10 days.
These strongly indicate that the quality of the email is far more important than the frequency, especially during the first 10 days of the marketer’s relationship with the customer. Thus, it is crucial that the first emails that a new subscriber receives are compelling enough for him to want to continue receiving future emails from the marketer.
Finally, a marketer must learn to draw the line between what constitutes a reasonable frequency and what is already an annoyance to the recipient.
Let us help you establish a long-term relationship with your target audience by finding the right timing and frequency for your marketing emails and making them as effective and compelling as possible.
To find out how your email campaign can benefit from our services, please give us a call any time (250) 800-2671.