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« Get Straight to the Point with Marketing Emails | Main | "I" of the Consumer Week in Review »

5 Reasons to Test Your Marketing Email Timing

Welcome to another edition of the “5 Reasons” blog series. This will be a weekly blog series, with a fresh post every Monday. Last week’s topic was “Five Reasons Your Employees are Leaving”.

This Week’s Topic = Five Reasons to Test the Time of Day You Send Emails

Studies have been done, people have written whitepapers, gurus have held classes. Heck, I’m one of the “experts” who has made my opinion loud and clear about when the times to send emails are. You can see my post on email time of day here.

But the truth is, different times of day will work better or worse for different companies. So here are five reasons you should test it:

  1. Your subscribers might work odd hours. One of the main argument for when to send your emails is based on when people are at work and checking email. The problem is, maybe your subscribers don’t work the same hours as everyone else. Maybe many of them work nights, or weekends, or mornings. If you time your email when they are not connected to their inbox, you may miss out on the highest conversions.

  2. Your subscribers might not work. Adding to #1 above, your subscribers might not work at all. Students, retirees, stay at home moms and dads, and people out of work will all receive promotional emails. And they will likely read them differently than those people at work will. If you’re not testing the time of day you hit send, you may be missing this group.

  3. Your subscribers might not be as connected. Marketers have a tendency to see a trend and take it to the next level. ‘Everyone has a smartphone’ is not yet a true statement. And just because the people in your office are constantly checking email, doesn’t mean the rest of the world is. When subscribers are not as connected, there may be very specific times of day where they are most likely to respond, and other times when your email will just sit there.

  4. Your subscribers might be more connected. You can turn #3 around and test whether or not more connected subscribers mean higher response rates during “off hours”. If your subscribers are young professionals, chances are they’re checking email 24/7. A promotional email on the weekend or at night might have a chance at getting a higher response than with other groups.

  5. Your competitors might be getting there first. If you’re competing directly with others who are emailing the same set of subscribers, than timing might have more to do with getting there first than getting there at a specific time. Test sending your emails earlier in the day to see if you can beat them to the inbox.

Want to be safe? Then send an email when I tell you to. Want to be smart? Then test different times and pick a winner that works for you specifically.

As always, if you have your own tips, please include them in the comments below.

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