Exactly when to send email campaigns

Dazzling subject line? Check. Engaging copy? Check. Vibrant imagery? Check. You’ve got your email content sorted and ready to be scheduled. But even the most carefully crafted email campaign may go unopened by a large portion of your audience simply based on timing.

WHAT TIME SHOULD I SEND MY EMAIL?

We can shoot statistics at you all day, but the honest, if unsatisfying, truth is that the best time to send an email will be unique to your company and audience. Many factors, such as your demographic, content, and desired outcome can greatly impact what your ideal email send out time is. But that doesn’t mean you should just send emails into the ether and hope for the best. As with all things, you must learn the rules before you bend them.

As a general guide, marketers see consistent results sending email campaigns mid-week, midday, with the best time to send an email found to be between 10am and 2pm. The highest click-to-open rates are 10am and 1pm, but also spike around 8am and 6pm. There’s common sense to these times – people are inclined to check their mobile devices on the way to work, at lunch time or on a morning break, and then again post work.

More than 20% of total opens will happen within an hour of sending your email. Within two hours, 30%. After that crucial two-hour window, the open rates slowly taper off.

WHAT DAY SHOULD I SEND MY EMAIL?

Overwhelming, Thursday and Tuesday are the most effective days for email marketing, both prompting high open and click-through rates. Furthermore, the best days of the week to send your emails are definitely within the workweek, while people are at computers and regularly checking emails. Sunday is widely considered to be the least effective day to send an email, people simply don’t like to spend their weekends checking their email inboxes.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I SEND EMAILS?

There is perhaps no word more chilling to a marketer than ‘unsubscribe’.

When it comes to email marketing, it’s not just about the time of day you choose to send an email, frequency has the power to really impact how your emails are received. Overwhelmingly, the number one reason consumers unsubscribe from a company’s mailing list is that they receive too many emails.

Almost two-thirds of email subscribers say they’d like to receive emails at least weekly, while some marketers would aim for 2-3 emails per week. Again, this is not a hard rule, and depending on your situation you may send more or less, but it is better to err on the side of caution to begin with, lest you send too many emails and find yourself relegated to the spam folder, or unsubscribed from.

As a rule, email marketing is successful when the content is useful and engaging. Examples of high-quality and well-received email content are: promo and discount codes, relevant content from your brand, links to blog posts, and company updates.

WHAT’S RIGHT FOR ME?
Now you’ve got a rough idea of when you should be sending emails, it’s time to personalise your approach. There are three primary metrics every company can use to measure the performance of their emails. These are

Open rate
The open rate is the starting point for tracking campaign success, and indicates the percentage of subscribers who opened your email campaign.

Click-through rate
The click-through rate refers to the number of people who, after opening, click a link or image within your email.

Click-to-open rate
The click-to-open rate compares the number of people that opened your email and the number who clicked on links in it. It is calculated by dividing the click-through rate by the open rate, and multiplying that by 100%. This metric is an important one, as it can help you identify what information and links are relevant to your audience, and adjust accordingly.

For all of these rates, the higher, the better. Monitor these figures as you test different timing to find what resonates with your audience, and tailor your approach.

CONCLUSION

We know definitive answers are so much easier to apply than the caveats we’ve outlined in this blog; life would be so much simpler without nuance! But marketing has, and will never, be a one-size-fits-all endeavour. And it’s the idiosyncrasies of audiences that make it such an interesting, and rewarding endeavour.

If you’re still feeling a bit stumped and looking for more tailored advice on best practice for your email campaigns – from timing and beyond – Greenfish Marketing can help. Contact us today.

 

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