When is the best time to send an e-shot or e-newsletter?

14/11/2012
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There is one thing that is definite, if you don’t have an email marketing strategy you are missing out on a great opportunity

So, you have your database, you have a great looking e-shot or e-newsletter, but when is the best time for your audience to receive it in their inbox? 

What you need to decide:-

  • e-shot or e-newsletter?
  • B2B or B2C ?
  • Sales or informative?
  • The best time of day.
  • The best day of the week

e-shot or e-newsletter?
A previous post will tell you the difference.  What has worked well for us is a combination of both.  You send an e-shot, followed by an e-newsletter 2 days later.  This reinforces the message and allows you to link back to the e-shot without being too pushy.

B2B or B2C ?
Buying behaviour will depend on what data you have, and what your products or services are.  Find out what the audience behaviour is.  What time of day did they register?  Check your email addresses to see if the domain names are mainly corporate or personal.

Sales or informative?
Basically e-shots are direct mail, and e-newsletters are information giving.  What does your audience want to receive?  There is a case for both ends of the strategy scale, so you need to work out the best content strategy for your recipients.

The best time of day.

The Black Hole (10pm to 9am)
Total waste of time.

Consumer Time (9am to 10am)
The second highest opening time is at the beginning of the working day.  People can be distracted by personal offers on clothes, live events, restaurants and consumer goods.

Not now, I'm busy (10am to Noon)
This is when the average consumer chooses to focus on work.

Lunchtime News (Noon to 2pm)
I used to think that this would be a good time, but consumers are not likely to open email marketing campaigns during their lunch, instead choosing news and magazine articles.

Back to Work (2pm to 3pm)
Right after lunch consumers remain focussed on work, responding mainly to email offers relating to financial services.

Change my Life in the Afternoon (3pm to 5pm)
People get tired of work in the afternoon and start thinking about their personal issues. As a result, more emails relating to property and financial services are opened between 3pm and 5pm than any other type of promotion.

Working Late (5pm to 7pm)
There is a dramatic rise in recipients opening holiday promotions during this period.

Last Chance (7pm to 10pm)
Recipients are more likely to respond to consumer promotions in their own time.

The best day of the week
Generally B2B is Tuesday or Wednesday, and B2C is Thursday, Friday and maybe Saturday.  Of course it all depends on your audience, your market, and your products and services.

The best time and day may well be the time when your competitors send, and it may be so busy with other email that the best time could in fact be the wrong time.  Think about the recipient, experiment and test your data with split testing.

If I was a betting man
Experiment and keep trying different things, but a good place to start is this:-
B2B – Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon.
B2C – Thursday afternoon, Friday morning and afternoon, and perhaps Saturday morning too.

After all this uncertainty, there is one thing that is definite, if you don't have an email marketing strategy you are missing out on a great opportunity.

So, when do you think is the best time for an email campaign?  Let me know what you think.

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