In our social lives, we often turn up “fashionably late” to parties and events. It makes us look super cool, right? Well at least I think I’m super cool. Anyway in the marketing world, timing is of the essence.
The times at which you publish articles on your website, blog and social media pages is of utmost importance. With this in mind, it is also hugely important to time your outgoing email marketing methods too.
By sending emails out at the right time, you increase your open and click-through rates. This article sets out to look at how you can effectively time your email send-outs for optimal return yields.
Days of the week
Let’s start off simple. Recent surveys have flagged up that Tuesday is the best day to send out marketing emails. Emails sent out on a Tuesday have an open rate of 18%, which is just slightly higher than Saturday’s 17.3% open rate.
Since there are generally fewer email campaigns sent out at weekends, we might think of Tuesday as being the ultimate victor here; as this alters the average open rate results.
If you want people to take action on the emails you send however, it’s been found that the highest click-through rates occur at the weekends. Actions included here may be things like signing up for something, taking a survey, downloading a video or e-book.
The thinking behind this higher click-through rate at weekends, is that this is the time when people have of their own time to read content. During the working week, people tend to scan emails and put it off until later.
Time of day
One of the single largest factors determining if people open an email or not, is the time of day it’s received. Marketing emails sent at 3am tend to signal a message that perhaps isn’t personalised – regardless of the subject header.
Most people try to start their working day productively, so any unnecessary email that doesn’t contribute to this productivity will likely get the chop. Emails sent between midnight and 6am get sucked into a black hole of unopened-ness.
The best times to send emails is therefore, usually in the afternoon and evening. The highest rate of engagement tends to be between 8pm and midnight, when people settle in at home and after the working day has finished.
A minor detail that is good to note here, is that different types of email will affect when they are opened. News and alert emails are mostly opened during the lunch hour, with emails about property and finance opened later in the afternoon. Promotional emails tend to be pushed back to around 7-10pm.
Frequency of sending
How often you send out emails to people on your mailing list, will affect the click-through rates. According to surveys, the best monthly frequency rate is 1-4 emails. If you send 4 per month then that makes 1 per week pretty acceptable.
Anything over this number tends to see similar click-through rates. i.e. the more emails you send, the lower the click-through rate will ultimately be.
The rate of un-subscription to email lists is actually at its highest when you send out 1-4 emails per month however, so watch out for the temptation to bombard people with marketing emails.
Adjust your timings
Make sure you adjust the time you send out emails depending on your audience. Emails are more likely to be opened within an hour of them being sent. This rate drops to less than 5% once it gets past this golden hour. If you leave it a further 24 hours, the rate is less than 1%.
This makes it important to know your audience. If your audience is made up of busy entrepreneurs who check emails over lunch, try sending them out at around noon.
On the flip side of this, emails may report high engagement rates in the early morning, if your readers begin their day with breakfast and email skimming.
For the best results here, try playing with different times and then study your analytics to figure out when your audience is most likely to open and read the content.