We’ve reported how email marketing still remains a popular marketing channel despite the exponential growth of social media. It appears that traditional marketing can be highly effective as social media users tend to check in on their email for social media updates.
Timing of email marketing broadcasts is still an area that needs fine tuning and here at WMG we have found that our email marketing campaigns, both on our behalf and for our clients works best if you at first you look into the recipients. Try to classify them, understand their email usage behaviour and react accordingly.
Who are your intended email marketing recipients?
The first start point is to really delve into your email database and identify who your target audience is. Look at the domain names in your database. A large number of commercial domain names places you as a business to business (B2B) marketer while a higher proportion of generic or ISP provided makes you a business to consumer (B2C).
Let’s start by assuming you are a selling a product, your email marketing campaign will either be direct sales promotion informing your recipients of your latest services, offers or products. Alternatively you may also be sending a generic newsletter that passively aims to drive up sales. Whatever the content let’s assume you are either overtly or passively selling a product.
What is the best time of day to send out email marketing campaigns?
As a B2B recipient you are largely tied to office hours. Let’s face it, most people don’t relish going in to work so avoid sending email campaigns to await a recipient’s arrival at work. No doubt there will be an Inbox full of work related emails and your email does not stand much chance of competing. Leave it too late in the day and your opportunity is again missed. How often would you react to something landing in your Inbox nearing the end of the day? We have found that the best timing for B2B email marketing is in middle of the day, typically from 11 am until 2 pm.
As a B2C marketer you have greater flexibility. We have found that these recipients tend to open their email in the early evening. Step back and look at your own email and internet behaviour. Most people tend to check email once their children have gone to bed, they’ve finished the chores for the day and so forth. While there is greater flexibility, still try to be focussed and aim for between 7 and 9 pm. Add “Forward to a Friend” functionality to your emails and there is a chance your messages will be shared through social media channels as this again tends to be a peak time.
Which is the best day of the week to send out your email marketing campaigns?
This again will be dependant on your intended audience.
As a B2B marketer avoid at all costs sending over a weekend or first thing on a Monday (if at all). Again picture your own work environment, you’ve begrudgingly dragged yourself into the office, you’ve opened your email browser and your Inbox is full to bursting. Your window of opportunity at this time is minimal and Mondays are definitely a no no.
By Tuesday, most B2B’ers are in full work flow, they’ve cleared any backlog and are likely to be motivated and heads down to work. Wednesday and their momentum is maintained but by Thursday there is a mental note lodged in their head that they are nearer to the weekend.
Bang! This is your moment of opportunity and we have found that Thursday is the best day of the week as people are open to suggestion. Fridays are not the greatest, that mental note that the weekend is very much impending is now a huge banner and as B2B recipient you are not too open to suggestion or development. Add to this the need for recipients to finish workloads and your chances are slim.
It’s now the weekend and no B2B’er is even going to consider your message.
B2C again has greater flexibility but consider the theme of your message. If your message suggests opportunities for the weekend naturally don’t send on a Sunday. Send well in advance of any time related issues. Again picture your own world, Mondays are typically hectic, Fridays are wind down or going out nights.
Best time of the month to send email marketing campaigns?
B2B there are no clearly defined best times. If you offer a large ticket sale item or service coincide with standard budget review periods towards the end of the financial year or at quarterly reviews.
Again there is a direct correlation between the message of your email marketing campaign, say for example you are targeting businesses to book your Christmas lunches then plan well ahead.
B2C email marketing is well timed for the end of the month. Look at when you receive emails – marketers such as the clothing industry and consumer goods tend to send emails at the end of the month in the knowledge that pay day is imminent.