Email Marketing: Why Timing is Everything
Send time is one important factor in email marketing that many of us don’t think about. You might know what day of the week is best for your email recipients but have you ever thought about the time of day you send your emails? Send time may seem like an insignificant factor but it’s surprisingly important if you want to give your marketing emails the best possible chance of being read.
Why is send time so important?
Most of us get tens, sometimes hundreds of emails every day and it can be hard to find time to read them all, even the important ones. This is especially true during working hours. Non-essential emails that arrive during a busy time are often just deleted immediately.
If your recipients are already struggling to get to the bottom of their inboxes, adding more emails at an already busy time could mean that yours ends up in the trash folder without even being opened, and that means a waste of your time and effort. Clearly, sending at the right time can make the difference between your emails being read or not so it’s important to give it some thought.
The best time of day will vary depending on who your target audience is and when they are most likely to be online and not drowning in a sea of other emails. In many cases this could be on their morning or evening commute, at lunchtime or even after work.
How can you find the best send time for your emails?
Working out the best send time for your marketing emails is largely a matter of trial and error. Many email marketing platforms like Campaign Monitor are starting to bring out tools to help you automatically identify and send your emails at the optimum time of day.
Another point to think about is that many marketers still send their emails in the morning between 8am and 10am – traditionally known as the best times to send marketing emails. If you can send outside those hours you may find you face less competition and your emails are more likely to get noticed and stand out in your recipients’ inboxes. For example, if you are targeting stay at home parents, you may find that sending in the early afternoon, between one and three pm gets surprisingly good results as many babies and toddlers are napping at this time and parents may be checking their emails.
If you’re keen to improve your email open rates, try sending out of traditional times. Think evenings or weekends, late night or early mornings. Keep an eye on the results and you might get some surprising insights about your recipients.