Ever since the dawn of emails, marketers have wondered “when is the best time to send an email?” This question has been tossed back and forth for decades, resulting in the steadfast response of Tuesday through Thursday morning. This is a fairly wide window of time. However, as the average person is flooded with over 100 emails a day, it is time that we narrow down this window into something more manageable.
Is There A Best Time To Send an Email Blast?
In an effort to narrow down our “ideal sending window,” it’s time that we change the parameters of the question. Instead of asking “when” the best time is, we need to ask “is there” a best time? The former question implies that there is a singular window of time that is ideal for pressing send, while the latter question showcases the importance of truly understanding the communication preferences of your audience. After all, we are all unique, we all have different schedules, and we all have a different approach to communicating, which means that we all have different email preferences.
Armed with this knowledge there are a few questions that we need to ask, in order to answer the original topic.
- Have I created email lists that are based on the communication preferences of my audiences?
- Have I divided my intended audiences into manageable sizes based on a set criteria of buying history, company interactions, or demographic data?
- Have I implemented email tracking to better understand what days or time of days my audience(s) opens emails?
- Are there any discernable patterns to their email opening preferences?
- Have I considered the difference between mobile open rates and desktop open rates?
- Am I sending email communications that should a) be read during business hours, b) serve as a welcomed distraction from work, c) are B2B in nature, d) are B2C in nature, or e) are simply meant as another marketing touch point?
The point of the above questions is to help you dive deeper into the mindset of your established audiences. While it would be nice to say that the majority of research shows that night emails are opened more often, or that Monday emails had a higher ROI while Friday emails had the best click through rates, the reality is that choosing the right time to send your email blasts will depend entirely on your unique audience and their communication preferences.
The Good News: Tips To Help You Create The All Important Audience Persona
Before you can run analytics on your email blasts, you will first need to create audience personas. To help you with this task, we have gathered together a few “base audience personas” that will serve as a good starting point.
- Weekend Warriors Can Be Marketed To. — Did you know that the majority of promotional emails are sent during the week? This means that you might have the unique opportunity to send promotional emails during the weekend. The weekend warriors audience persona refers to the person who has a checklist of tasks that they must complete during the weekend. These tasks could range from dropping off the dry cleaning to buying groceries to paying bills. Promotional emails that help weekend warriors complete their to do list in a more cost effective fashion are the ideal form of communication. In this vein, it is probably ill-advised to send a weekend warrior an email that reminds them of their work to do list. In other words, a weekend warrior has home-related tasks on the brain during the weekend, while work-related tasks take precedent from Monday – Friday morning.
- Mobile Matters Especially To Execs. — Did you know that over half of all emails are viewed on mobile devices? Busy C-level executives are typically on the go, which means that they they are glued to their mobile devices. In an effort to appease this particular audience persona, you must cater to their mobile communication settings. What does this mean? It means that you need to implement mobile friendly design tactics to increase conversion and open rates, by:
- Composing short, yet catchy subject lines that have a sense of urgency;
- Ensuring that the email loads quickly and is displayed properly; and
- Using large, easy to click call to actions that lead to mobile friendly landing pages or shopping carts.
- Instant Gratification Is A Defining Characteristic. — One of the largest audience personas is the one that is defined by instant gratification. These are the types of individuals who love a good flash sale. In fact, Southwest Airlines is a prime example of a company that has built their success on the concept of instant gratification. The airlines is known for sending out flash deals to its email subscribers, which often results in a buying frenzy as recipients rapidly book trips that they may or may not have been contemplating taking. Catering to this particular audience persona will require you to complete your due-diligence (as highlighted earlier in this post), if you want to properly capture their attention and achieve a strong conversion rate.
Concluding Thoughts: Research, Research, And Research Some More
Morning, noon, or night? Monday to Friday, Saturday, or Sunday? There is not a one size fits all answer to this question. Instead, there are smaller answers that can and should be found for each of your audience personas. By tracking your email marketing efforts, you can more effectively determine when to send your emails, what type of emails to send, and most importantly, how to improve your email marketing tactics to best cater to the unique communication and buying preferences of your intended audience. Only by taking the time needed to analyze your email marketing data, or by leveraging the power of the right sales tools to automatically assess open rates, conversion rates, number of downloads, or the exact moment that someone paused your video message, you can and will be able to accurately determine the right time window to send your email blasts.