The answer? Carefully calculated launch times.
When Neil Armstrong famously stepped on to the moon, I doubt many watching were sat there thinking “wow, what a great time to land on the moon!”. However, if the Apollo 11 team had even slightly miscalculated their launch and orbital times, we might not have seen the first man on the moon, never mind a safe return journey.
Timing is everything
Whether it’s baking a cake or playing an orchestral piece, timing is everything – and the same goes for email marketing. While we’re all aware that sending out a promotional Christmas email in March is unlikely to have great success, narrowing down the timing of an email launch much further can make a significant difference to open and click rates.
When is the best time to launch an email?
Testing launch time isn’t quite as easy as testing copy or subject lines, and although there are some reports written on the best time to launch, this can vary between mailing lists, types of email, industry, and much more. Equally, if everyone is advised to start sending at 5pm on a Wednesday, this may soon become the worst possible time to send as a flood of emails arrive in a customer’s inbox all at once!
From personal experience, I frequently get a stream of emails coming in overnight (“great offers for you, Claire!”), and then nothing all day. This might work well if you have a mobile optimised site and are targeting those who sleepily read their emails from under the duvet, but if you’re sending emails at 4am and your recipients don’t check their emails until 7pm, your email could be half-way down the inbox by the time it becomes relevant to them.
Find out what works for you and your recipients:
There are a few things to consider which can help you to find out who your recipients are and when you are most likely to grab their attention:
- Use the reporting available from your ESP to guide you as to who might be opening your emails and therefore when might be best to target them. Are your readers opening on mobiles during the commuter rush or between alarm snoozes first thing on a Monday morning? Are they on Outlook while sat having lunch at their desk? Logged on to Facebook or shopping online in the evening? Sending just before this time can be a great way of optimizing your email launch time.
- Similarly, when does your website receive the most traffic? Sending out an email just before this time could also work well for increasing email activity and driving more views and clicks towards your site.
- Regularly test your launch time – it really is the best way to keep one step ahead of your competitors and ensure you’re reaching your audience first.