It Was the Best of Times – It Was the Worst of Times

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It was the best of times; it was the worst of times… the immortal opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens but also something to think about when you are sending out an email marketing campaign! And if you think that observation is a bit random then so is the nature of when a recipient of your email campaign opens it, if they ever bother to!

Timing is crucial in relation to when you should send your email campaign out and there really are best times and worst times to send them. In my last blog I spoke to you about email marketing frequency and this is a companion piece to that. Yes, something else you have to think about! Don’t worry though, at some point you will be ready to send out that email campaign and reap the benefits of a well thought out strategy. So here goes, when is the best time to send out that email?

Well, that depends on whether your target is B2B or B2C. Now I’m hoping that by this stage you have decided who your target audience is. However, if this is your first email campaign and you’re just testing the water, you can usually tell whether your contact is a business or consumer by the type of email address that they have – gmails, hotmails etc are more likely to be consumers, commercial domains are more likely to be businesses. Let’s start with B2B…

Generally, Thursday is a good day to send out your campaign. Why? Because Monday is a write-off due to post-weekend blues, an inbox that has already become full of work demands and the need to plan diaries for the week ahead. Your average B2B’er will not entertain your email on a Monday.

By Tuesday and Wednesday, inboxes have been cleared, there is a game plan ahead for the week and your average B2B’er is knuckling down and getting on with work so there is a chance your email campaign will just be sidelined.

Thursday is your window of opportunity. By Thursday, your average B2B’er is thinking about the weekend, starting to make plans, kick back a little bit, and is more open to suggestions. Send an email on Thursday and there is a stronger likelihood that it will be opened.

Friday’s are not so good. By Friday, your average B2B’er is regretting kicking back on Thursday and is now rushing to meet deadlines and get things finished that they can’t face doing again on Monday! Weekends… forget it!

To have even more chance of getting your email read then the optimum time to send that email is between 11am and 2pm. The reasons are fairly obvious. Send out the email too early and it will be competing with all the other work related emails and send it out too late and your average B2B’er is either too immersed in their work or too tired to care. Catching them in the middle of the day is your best bet.

With B2C campaigns you have more flexibility. Mondays and Fridays are still best avoided because of the same reasons mentioned above. Otherwise, Tuesday to Thursday is OK. Weekends aren’t bad either, with Saturday being better than Sunday because on Sunday evenings people are thinking about Monday morning and starting to get depressed!

B2C’ers tend to catch up with email between 7pm and 9pm, after the kids have eaten and gone to bed, so aim for these times. This tends to be true whether they are using a laptop, tablet or smartphone to access their emails. It’s also a good idea to have a ‘forward to a friend’ option in your email to give it the chance of a wider readership. B2C campaigns are also good to send out at the end of the month when people have just got paid and their money is burning a hole in their pockets!

With B2B there is no specific best practice regarding the time of the month to send out an email campaign unless you are targeting quarterly or annual financial reviews that you are aware of in the industry that you are targeting.

Whatever the time of day, month, and year if you need advice with your next email campaign then please contact Hayley Cashmore on 0845 116 2723 or email info@threespiresconsulting.co.uk

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