If you read my last post on email marketing (“Are you in this game?”), maybe your eyes popped as mine did the first time I saw the 4300% return on investment. That figure comes from the Direct Marketing Association and it says all you need to know about the power of email marketing.
Email marketing connects you to the people you want to reach for your business. You can use your email marketing results to analyze the needs, wants, problems and frustrations of your readers. Once you have that figured out you can market what will be of most benefit to them.
Whether you grow your list through solo ads, Facebook or other social media, your website, or some other means, your autoresponder can help you in so many ways to build your business. One important way is in scheduling your emails to be sent at the very best time.
Did you know that 23% of emails are opened within one hour of being sent? You’ll also find that some emails aren’t opened until 24-48 hours later. If you want to become an email marketing maven, here are two tips.
First, send your email during the day. Sounds obvious, right? If 23% of emails are opened within an hour of sending, send your email while people are awake!
Second, for optimal results, send your email on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. MailChimp reports that Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to send email newsletters. Generally, the middle of the week is when people are most responsive.
What time is best to send your emails? Research from Pure360 shows that the best time depends on the niche. For example, for the automotive sector, 7-9 pm is best. For finance, 7-10 am is best. For marketing, Pure360 says send your emails between 5-7 pm. For technology, they suggest 12 pm to 3 pm.
One infographic by Pure360 called “The open rate landscape” pictures a steep mountain suitable for a climbing expedition. Near the base of the mountain is the midnight to 7 am time period and this is called “The Inbox Abyss;” it is the worst possible time to send an email. The same infographic shows the first point of ascent as 7-10 am and it is called “The Practical Pinnacle” and it is before work for many people.
10 am to noon is “The Hike of Hope” since many people are starting work; the open rate is higher than in earlier time frames. A bit higher on the mountain’s incline is “The Lunchtime Ledge” between noon and 3 pm and some niches do well during these hours. 3 to 5 pm is “The Gradual Ascent” when open rates can be even higher than at earlier hours.
5-7 pm is “The Post-Work Peak” and it is the best time of the day for sending a marketing email. 7-9 pm is “The Little Rock” when opens are highest for cars, education, and insurance. 9 pm to midnight is “The Sharp Descent” when open rates tail off.
Overall, research indicates that 1-3 pm is the best time to send emails with 9-11 am being another good time. According to MailChimp, 2 pm is the absolute best time. Wordstream, an online advertising company says that their research identifies Thursdays between 8-9 am as the best time for email sending. They say 8-10 am on Wednesdays and Thursdays are the worst.
As Wordstream points out, if you use the usual times you are facing a lot of competition since your competitors are likely following the same best practices as you are. That’s why I try different times of the day and week. This may work for you also.
Some more valuable information for you: according to a 2013 study, 55% of emails are opened on desktops while 25% are opened on mobile devices. This year, Limus Software reports that email opens on mobile devices has risen to 53 %. Mobile devices are increasing in usage daily, so make sure that your emails can be easily read on a mobile device. Web apps used with an iPad or Android tablet also command a growing segment of email opens each year.
This information moves us into the area of demographics. The most likely mobile users are younger and many mobile users are on their devices right into the night. If your target demographic is younger, try emailing at night and see what results you get. You may find that you get better attention from your readers later rather than during the day.
I live in an area where we routinely endure five months of winter (and yes, I hate it). In colder climate areas, people will be looking at more email on weekends than in warmer areas so weekends are not off-limits for email marketing. In fact, some of my best open rates have been on Saturdays (I hardly ever email on Sundays).
The truth is the perfect time to email your list depends on how your list responds. Don’t be afraid to try different days and times, see what works and what doesn’t, and create best practices that work best for your list.