Email Marketing - Timing is Everything

Posted by Cathy Harms on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 @ 06:32 AM

I love stats and one of my favorite subscriptions is to Marketing Charts.  I get an email every other day with interesting research and results around all sorts of marketing activities.   The research they share is done by other parties.  Just today they reported on email open rates based on what time emails are delivered.  At first I was surprised at the results – but as I thought about it more they started to make sense.

I had read data a few months ago that stated most emails are opened between 8 – 11AM.  I took that as we should be sending marketing emails during that time in order to get the best open rates.  The key is to get in before lunch time when many people take time to look at their email.  Also the stats showed that most people opened emails within the first few hours.  While this is still true, I found this new study to be interesting about the timing of the scheduled email.  New data sheds light on the impact of a scheduled email arrival time compared to the time they view the emails.

In July 2013, MailerMailer released its latest “Email Marketing Metrics Report,” a study rich in data and based on 1.4 billion email messages sent last year. One of the most interesting topics for email marketers covered in the report is how scheduling affects open rates.  Here are some of the stats – there is more information on their site.

  •        Messages scheduled to be delivered at midnight had the best open rate at 20.1% during the first half of 2012.
  •        Messages scheduled for 8 PM – 11 PM had the best open rate of 15.1% during the second half of 2012.
  •        Scheduling messages around lunch time has the worst open rates of 5.5% and 7.9% for each half of 2012.

The interesting part is that although they are scheduled at night, they are not opened until the workday.  The highest open rates for the day are still between 8AM and 11AM.  This has been consistent for the last 5 years.    

When I step back and think about my email routine this makes sense.  The emails that are already in my inbox when I start working do get looked at because I have time.  As the day progresses, so many emails get piled up that some never get looked at.  In my situation, I am running from meeting to meeting and checking in between.  Since I look for customer, prospect or partner emails first, any marketing email gets absolutely ignored.  Bottom line is that I agree with these findings.  I do tend to open the emails that are already there when I get to work.

Another interesting statistic is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday have the highest open rates at over 10%.  The weekend and Thursday range from 6% to 9%.  I am not sure why Thursday is lower – they really did not have a good reason for it.

These stats are based on 1.4 billion emails, but your target may be absolutely different.  If you are always emailing people who work the night shift, then the midnight mailing would not be effective.  The best thing to do is to test different days and times to see what may work the best. 

Thinking about starting an email marketing campaign?  Simpli keeps it simple for you.  With our event based emails, your members will hear from you at the right time.  We know how important timing is.  With our enhanced offering we can help you set up the following campaigns:

·         Welcome email – any time a customer joins your program

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·         Reward reminder – sent when the customer has earned a reward

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MailerMailer Email Open Rates in 2012 Aug20131

Tags: Loyalty Marketing, Tecmark