So when is the best time to send an email campaign? The truth is – there is no perfect time to send out a marketing email campaign. Why? Because there are just too many variables to deal with. What might work for another company won’t necessarily work for you.
The complexities of the email marketing audience
There are just too many variables involved to say best time to send email campaign. Here are just a few of them:
- The business sector in which the recipient works (financial, media, construction, public, medical etc.)
- Whether the receiver is commercial of domestic
- Their age
- Their sex and sexual orientation
- The location of the recipient
- Economic status, from poor to rich and everything in between
- Educational status
- Employment status and position
- Marital status and whether the target market has children or not
- The political views of the person targeted
- Religious beliefs – different faiths have different holy days and that can influence when they might look at their email
And these are relatively stable variables. Then there’s the macro environment; the time of year, the emotional state of the recipient, whether or even natural disasters. They all conspire to ensure that there is no such thing as the right time, every time, to send a marketing email to a specific target market for your product.
Email marketing rules of thumb
The accepted wisdom is that…
- You shouldn’t send marketing emails on a Monday morning as the recipients’ email boxes will be chock full.
- The likelihood of an email being opened drops by half after the first hour after it’s been sent.
- Very few emails are sent at weekends so you might catch the domestic target market while they’re enjoying their well-earned break or the business target market when they check up on email during the weekend. It might work.
- The top CTR for B2B emails occurs on Fridays, possibly because the emails get read during after work drinks on a Friday evening or they get read during the weekend.
- The best campaigns run from Tuesday to Thursday – for both B2B and B2C customers.
- The four “hot” times for email being opened and actioned are 08:00 – 09:00 (journey into work), 12:00 – 14:00 (lunch time), 17:00 – 19:00 (catching people on their way home) and 23:00 – 00:00 (the hour during which many retire for the night).
- Success depends on a targeted and finely tuned campaign. That means segmentation and testing.
In addition to the list of email marketing audience complexities, as above, you can segment your targets using these criteria:
- Split your B2C and B2B clients apart and target them at the right times and days of the week.
- Make sure you send out content that matches the language of the client. It’s no use sending English based content to a Chinese client.
- Take into account such differences as time zone and culture (e.g. different weekend days).
While the first two points are pretty self explanatory, the third one is more complex and hard to work around. For that reason, we created a feature to help you send emails at the time of your preference, each separate timezone.
Time Match Feature
Mailigen’s Time Match feature that allows you to email at the same local hour in every time zone. All you have to do is to schedule your email campaign for the next noon, and it will get delivered at noon in London, four hours later at noon in New York and so on.
Here is why you may want to consider using the Time Match Feature:
- Send highly relevant and personalized emails. Perfect timing will increase your email open rate, email click through rate and, most importantly, your conversion rate.
- Save time on sending simple email campaigns. You don’t have to use segmentation by time zones. Schedule your campaign at a chosen time with just a single click.
- Improve your email delivery. Email campaigns with the Time Match feature turned on are getting delivered over 24 hours which has a positive influence on email deliverability.
How does the Time Match magic work?
The Time Match feature recognizes subscribers’ time zones by their IP addresses. The IP address and the appropriate time zone is fixed at the moment of subscriber interaction:
- for the first time – when subscribers sign up for your newsletters
- afterwards – when subscribers open or click on your newsletter
Of course, subscribers may open your newsletters from different time zones, for example, when traveling. The Mailigen system will fix the last one in order to ensure the highest accuracy.
You will find the Time Match feature at the fifth step of creating an email campaign. It’s the last step before you send an email. Next to the scheduling options you will see a Time Match dropdown allowing you to turn it ON or OFF.
Instead of “send now” you have to choose “send later”. Select the date and time, and turn on the Time Match option. Schedule sending and you are done! Your message will hit the inbox at the chosen time in each time zone.
Testing what is the best time to send email campaign
After getting accustomed with the Time Match feature, and in order to fine-tune your campaign, you’re going to have to test it thoroughly. That’s where A/B Split Testing comes in. A/B Split Testing is the simple idea of sending out two versions of the same marketing email to two different groups of people within one segment. They will be exactly the same except for one factor. You then can monitor which emails are most successful, i.e. best Open Rates and Click Through Rates, and apply those lessons to the next campaign.
Here are a few variables that you can test:
- Subject line content
- Sender’s name
- Email content
- Time of day and day of week
If you only take one thing away from this article…
The trick here is to be willing to recognize what works and what doesn’t. An email marketing software like Mailigen can help you make this process a whole lot easier due to its selection of built-in segmentation tools, the Time Match feature AND a new A/B Split Testing facility. So let your motto be: “I will be constantly vigilant and flexible in my approach”.