05-21-2011 06:20 PM
Several years ago, the wisdom was only send out emailsTuesday thru Friday primarily between 11Am and 3PM. Does anyone have any stats that suggest that open rates have improved sending out emails at other times, and when? Does this wisdom still hold or has it changed?
05-23-2011 07:51 PM
We've seen some studies that indicate different times are also effective. For example, many corporate workers will check their email on Sunday evening to make sure they haven't missed something important for Monday morning -so that might be a good time to catch them.
However, what has changed in the several years since the conventional wisdom you mention is the proliferation of smart phones and tablets, and the immediacy of social media applications like Facebook and Twitter. People have become conditioned to checking everything in (relatively) real time.
Ultimately, it depends on the nature your subscribers; their age and habits - and the nature of your emails. We recommend including testing in your email campaigns; time of day and day of week testing can provide insight into the preferences of your subscriber base.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have additional questions.
05-27-2011 02:22 PM
Consider the impact mobile devices have on the open rate. Certainly that dynamic has been affecting the rates for a while now. I'm not sure of all the different devices, but on my Blackberry images are turned off by default. So if I am reading something I make the call at that time to either save it or delete it. That never counts as an open.
I have no empirical data but I think many people are reading email on the phone at all times of the day and night so a bit of that timing strategy might be out dated.
I agree with the prevous poster that testing is the only way to get the best answer to the question.
06-01-2011 08:22 AM
Your objective in setting up a test is to remove up front as much of the guesswork as possible. Practically, this means taking a good hard look at your subscribers and segmenting them. Demographics (age, etc.) are always a good place to begin segmenting, but other things like lifestyle, interests, profession are all important factors.
Your test should be a test of one thing, in this case the timing of the email. If you combine test elements, such as different content with different timing plus survey or not, you will struggle to interpret the results.
So, if you can identify a segment of your subscribers that you believe have similar characteristics, divide that segment into sub groups. Then send the same email content at different times (time/day) and see what happens.
If you get a better response from one over the other(s), either test it again (to be sure) or mail the entire segment according to the results with the next mailing. Once you've settled on the best time, you can test another element - such as survey or not.
If you decide to do this type of testing, we recommend creating separate contact lists for your segments. That may mean dividing one large contact list into two or more sub-lists. You will also need separate emails to send for each test effort - and they should all be a COPY of each other.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if there are questions.
06-02-2011 08:37 AM
Hi JenniferJ18010 ,
You bring up an interesting point about doing time of day testing in multiple time zones, and the point ties directly into the prior post about segmenting. We recommend planning the send time/day of your emails with respect to when it will be received by the subscriber in their time zone.
Depending on the content of the email, the send time may or may not make a difference across two adjacent time zones (How will you know? - testing). But it likely will make a difference for recipients in New York and Tokyo. That means separate contact lists for New York and Tokyo, and separate emails.
Hope this helps, please let me know if there are any questions.