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Timing, Timing, Timing

When it comes to real estate, it’s always “Location, location, location!” that makes the difference.  In the world of e-mail marketing, when the difference of tens of thousands of impressions hangs in the balance, it’s all about “Timing, timing, timing!”

Most email marketing tutorials will tell you that studies show that Fridays possess the highest open and click through rates of any day of the week.   The problem with this is that with so many email marketing giants utilizing Friday sends, we’re finding more and more that for anyone with a list below two million addresses, Friday is a highly competitive and often risky time to send emails.  Think about it, does your message stand a chance next to Old Navy’s 75% off sale and Amazon’s quarterly blowout sales?

For so many of our clients, the need to toss out the book and establish their own sets of statistics is vitally important to maximizing reach to their audience.  In many cases, Weds and Thursday email blasts are producing 3-4% higher open rates than Friday emails.  For some of our clients, that can be the difference of an additional 20,000 to 30,000 customers viewing an email.

What’s the lesson to be learned here?  Keep statistics!  At Ideas Collide we track, segment, and record each email date and time against overall performance.  What can you do to optimize your email sends?

Pay attention to the day – By keeping a simple log of each blast and the day that they were sent, you can begin to see trends in the success of your email blasts.  If your campaign allows for it, consider breaking your customer list into 5 segments and send to an equal amount Monday through Friday.

Understand why time of day matters – Have you ever considered that 2:30pm MST on a Tuesday may be great for your California customers but is limiting your success with your New York customers?  Time of day is an important factor in email opens.  Send too early and you’re facing full email inboxes, but send too late and you may face a distracted audience of clock watchers at the end of the day.  If you have the option to segment your users by location, take advantage of this so that the same message hits users at optimal times regardless of their time zone.

Scrutinize your successes – It can be easy to dwell on success and become a creature of habit, but you should always look for any opportunity to increase performance.  This means continuing to test different times and days despite even if you think you have peak open and click through rates.  You may be surprised at what you find.

If those of you that manage your own campaigns, tracking and recording performance against timing may turn out to be a savior for your email marketing program.

Posted on April 8, 2010 in Digital Marketing Recommendations, Observations & Trends

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