Wednesday, February 9, 2011

When is the best time to send an email blast?

With 294 billion estimated emails sent every day, the average person owning 1.6 email accounts, and 75 emails a day received in each of those accounts, when is the best time to send an email blast to ensure it gets opened and converted? 

best time to send email
While many factors affect the performance of an email campaign, one of the most important keys to launching a successful blast is the time and day the email is sent at. So, when is the best time to send an email blast? There must be some golden formula somewhere revealing this precise information right? Wrong. 

This mythical golden formula does not exist - if it did, those 294 billion emails would be launched at the same time, on the same day, every week, every year. What can be calculated and analyzed though is a unique formula for your particular mailing list.  

Your strategy is going to very significantly depending on whether or not you are launching a B2B or a B2C campaign, what your desired 'conversion' is, and the general trends of your market. Essentially, there is no universal golden formula, instead one that is golden to you.  

The tricky part is obviously figuring out what that formula is.  Here are some factors to take into consideration and tips to help you figure your formula out:

  • Segment your list based on geographic regions - If you are California-based company, and you want all of your global customers to receive your email at 10 AM, make sure you are segmenting your list accordingly to launch multiple campaigns at multiple times, ensuring everyone receives your email at 10 AM their time, not Pacific-coast time. 
  • Run a regression of previous campaign performance - If you have access to this information, your unique formula may already be solved.  Export your information to test against open rates, CTR's and other engagements you monitor against the day of week and time of day sent at. While other factors affect the open rates & CTR, this will be a good indication of trends for your base. 
  • B2B emails sent earlier in the week, earlier in the day have traditionally fared better - This being said, most email marketers these days have figured this out, so do you want your email to get lost in the Monday morning clutter of +100 emails in your customer's inbox? I would recommend waiting until mid-morning (call it 11 AM) on a Monday or Tuesday to send - this gives recipients enough time to sort through their clutter, then pay attention to the content in yours when it arrives later in the morning.
  • Launch several A/B split tests to perfect your formula - Split testing (sending half of your mailing list separate emails) is a great way to perfect your unique formula.  Make sure all other factors (email content, subject lines, etc. are held constant.  
As I mentioned above, the most important thing to remember when it comes to launching an email blast is that there is not one golden time to send - its a matter of finding the time that is best for your customers. Once you've found this time, be sure to continue to monitor it as email habits are constantly changing on both the marketing and recipient fronts.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks Allison, great blog topic!

    I came across a similar conundrum when calling on newspapers, magazines, and t.v. news media when pitching story ideas. The above four criteria, I believe can be use for that circumstance also. You agree?

    Thanks again for the post!

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  2. Allison, thanks for the valuable information. When to deliver a mass email blast is an intersting best practices topic.

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  3. Excellent pieces. Keep posting such kind of information on your blog. I really impressed by your blog.
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  4. Really excellent post. I think such post are always needed as many people don't known when to send the email blast. Whatever mail you send it must of catchy subject line.

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Thank you for visiting and for your comment! -Allison