Did you know there is a science to the best time to reach out to your customers via email newsletter? It is possible you’ve never thought about it… or thought about it, but didn’t know how to determine the best time to send out your newsletter. We at Optimum Systems Online see customers every day with great contact lists wasted by sending out newsletters when their customers don’t take notice. We’ve even seen a clothing store in Bronxville, NY receive a 25% better open rate just by changing their email time from the morning to evening!
Recently, a study by KISSmetrics laid out the times and how to optimize your time, by delivering your messages to your customers on their time:
- 10pm to 6am: The largest chunk of a 24-hour period in this study is also the most ineffective one. Referred to as “The Dead Zone” in the chart, the time between 10pm and 6am is likely to have the least response from your customers. This is when people are winding down from work and getting ready for bed, hiding from the computers that they’ve been staring at all day, sleeping, or starting their day with the onset of another busy morning.
- 6am to 10am: Studies seem to indicate that this is the second most likely timeframe in which to grab your customers’ attention. This is the beginning of the work day when people are still trying to get into “work mode”. This is when your audience is grabbing their morning coffee, gabbing at the water cooler, checking their personal email, and settling in to get some work done. Although those in the corner offices may disagree with this fact, or they may not want to hear it, the fact is that many people don’t just come to work and immediately get going on actual work. During this settling in period, you’re likely to get a good amount of attention to your promotion.
- 10am to Noon: This is an inefficient time in which to send emails to your customers. Basically, this is the timeframe in which a lot of workers have finally settled into the idea that the inevitable has arrived, and they finally acknowledge that they have to get a little work done. During these hours, most people have committed to being focused, are in meetings, or are not likely to be distracted by your marketing attempts. Emails relating to events, offers, restaurants, goods and other personal situations are well-received during these morning hours.
- Noon to 2pm: During the lunch time hours, a lot of your audience will be tuning out work and marketing distractions. At this time, they’re more likely to catch up on the news of the day or browse magazine alerts. They’ve broken their concentration from the work they were doing, and they’re more or less seeking out information that they want to view instead of being forced into being engaged. Although it may seem like a great idea to catch your consumers when they’re breaking away from their work, the research is indicative that these hours won’t produce optimal results for you.
- 2pm to 3pm: At this point, a lot of people start to realize how much work they have to do and how little time is left in the day. Your readers will have their “game faces” on and will likely have their noses to the grindstone during this time. Sure, they’re reading and responding to emails, but they’re far more likely to be work-related emails, and much less likely to be marketing campaign-related. In other words, this will be an hour you will probably want to avoid sending emails if you’re looking for the greatest results. The one exception would be email offers related to financial services; the research points to the fact that these emails actually are noticed during this time period.
- 3pm to 5pm: As the end of the work day starts to be in sight, it seems that people start to reflect on their own situations. According to the article, “more emails relating to property and financial services are opened than any other type of promotion.”
- 5pm to 7pm: Reportedly, business-to-business emails work very well during this time frame. One could speculate many reasons for this. Perhaps this is the only time business owners have found to tend to their inboxes or maybe this is the when non-urgent emails are set aside to be opened. Maybe those working late are just looking for a way to “be at work”, and trying to find something to do? In any case, although it seems counter-intuitive to send business-to-business emails during this timeframe, the data seems to suggest otherwise. Holiday promotions also seem to go over well during these hours.
- 7pm to 10pm: This is the sweet spot for offers on clothing and special offers that correlate to your consumers’ personal interests. According to the article, “23% of emails classified as ‘consumer promotions’ were opened during this period.” As your consumers are getting home from work and unwinding, they want to be far away from what pays the bills, and they want to engage in things in which they’re personally interested in. If you’re marketing products related to an individual’s interests, promotions for things like gyms, clothing, and sports are most likely to be opened during these hours.
Almost every aspect, if not 100%, of marketing is based on science. Although most people never think about it (which is really the point!), they’re subjected to the sciences around sales all day long. As a business, you’re more likely to achieve higher results in effectiveness if you follow the aforementioned guidelines. Consider your business, consider your consumer, and then consider when you hit “send”.
If you enjoyed this blog, you may also enjoy reading “Avoiding Email Marketing Mistakes”