Sending Email Marketing campaigns is an investment of time, money and effort! Although, there is no exact science to when it’s best to send email marketing campaigns, below are 9 important steps to determine the best time and day. Keep in mind that your goal with email marketing and social media campaigns should be to drive traffic to your website, social media platforms, and/or landing pages.
1. Setting an Objective
Prior to any marketing campaign, a clear and achievable goal must be determined in order to measure success! What is your “dream ending” goal? Perhaps it’s to increase sales of your most profitable item or service, featured product/service, or announce a new website, product or service!
2. Knowing your List
Determine geographic, demographic and behavior of your email list. Who are people on your list, and where do they live?
3. Call-to-Action, Feature Ad, improving Open and Click-through Rates
All email marketers are focused on improving open and click-through rates. Click-through rates are affected by the quality of your call-to-action feature ad; which gives readers a reason to click from your email to your landing page, website, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts.
4. Determine the best time(s) of the day
Put yourself in their shoes! Depending on the nature of your business, whether it’s business to business (B2 or business to consumers (B2C), the best time to send to an email is affected by when your list is checking their emails.
For example, if you are B2B then the best time to send emails are from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (local time). Businesses often clear out their inbox of junk and other non-important emails first thing in the morning.
If you are B2C then the best time to send email are likely from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Consumers often check personal emails addresses and are on social media toward late afternoon and early evening.
Business to Consumers (B2C) in the Entertainment industry might send emails at the same time of the day as their event, such as late evening or perhaps early morning (overnight).
5. Determine the best day(s)
Again, putting yourself in their shoes! As a business executive (B2, you are likely to stretch a weekend into a long weekend by taking vacation on a Friday or Monday, therefore these two days are the worst days to send emails to businesses. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to send emails and to maximize open rates!
Business to Consumers (B2C), especially Retail businesses, your ideal days to send emails are from Wednesday to Friday, as most consumers shop from the middle of the week through to Saturday. While other B2C such as non-for-profit, the ideal days to send emails are from Friday through Sunday. Easy to use scheduling feature within Constant Contact will enable you to send emails at a specific times when you are not able to.
Business to Consumers (B2C) in the Entertainment or Travel industry, your ideal days might Thursday through Sunday.
Your best days might vary from the above, only you can test which days works best for your campaigns, and in the next step we’ll discuss how to perform testing.
6. Split Testing
i) Divide your entire list into 3 groups with an even number of defined characteristics in each group.
ii) In steps 4 and 5, you determined the best times of the day and the best days of the week to send the emails of your marketing campaigns. Pick 3 specific days and times to perform spilt testing.
iii) Send out the same campaign at 3 different dates on specific days and time of the day.
7. Be Consistent
Consistency and frequency of your emails are critical to the success of your marketing campaigns. Maintaining the same day and time of day, lets your readers know when to expect the email newsletter, continuing the routine of opening and clicking through your emails.
Keep to a schedule, perhaps it’s monthly, bi-weekly, or once a week. Many people consider receiving emails more than once a week as spam, so you will have to determine the frequency depending on the amount of information you are communicating and/or product offering.
8. Analyze and Optimize
Analyze: Give your campaign at least a week to cycle through. Using the report functions inside of your Constant Contact account, analyze the open and click through rates of your emails.
To analyze your Reports within your Constant Contact account:
1. Log into your Constant Contact account
2. From the “Home” Screen, click on the “Email” tab
3. From the “Email” tab, click on “Reports”
4. You have the choice to view “Reports” in a Graph or List form
5. Focus primarily on the last 3 columns on the RIGHT
6. View the percentage of Opens and the percentage of Clicks
7. Determine the success based on the day and time of day
Optimize: Once you have determined the best and worst time(s) to send your emails, resend a new campaign with another set up times and days.
If you find that your results are not matching your goals, optimize even further by testing another set of times/days until your objective is achieved! For example, increase sales of ABC product line by 40%.
9. Wow! Factor
Become wowed by actual results not just the percentage of opens and click-through rates. Going back to Step 1: Setting an Objective, measure results in engagement, survey results, feedback, event registrations, a successful social media campaign, social media follower growth, coupon purchases, online sales, phone calls, emails, or texts.