Email Marketing – When to Hit Send
Email Marketing When and How Often?
You may have slaved for hours over your email campaign, and your copy could sell snow to the Eskimos, but there's one problem: if your intended recipient does not open your email and read it then all your efforts have gone to waste. So how do you ensure that your emails are opened? The reality is that you can not, but timing and frequency are both important factors to take into account when it comes to giving yourself the best chance of reaching your customers.
Who Are You Mailing?
There is no absolute timescale or frequency, because when and how often you send emails will depend not only on who you are targeting, but also your reason for getting in touch with them. Rather than concentrating solely on when you think you are most likely to get your message across, put yourself in your customers' shoes. Target business people during the day, between 11am and 3pm, on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Consumers are most likely to be at their computers between 5pm and 8pm during the week, and during the day on Saturday and Sunday.
When Is not A Good Time?
Clearly, three AM on a Tuesday is hardly likely to be a good time to catch people alert and ready to read your emails, but sending at 9am during the week might not be either. You are the expert at your business, and you (presumably) know your customers, what they want and the solutions you are selling to them. It follows, therefore, that every email you send them must be relevant to them. If it does not look interesting, by which I mean relevant, they'll drag it straight to the trash. Make it too gimmicky or sales oriented and you could do your reputation harm. Your goals receive so much junk in their email folders each day that your communication needs to have as good a chance as possible of being read.
So How Often Should You Send Them?
Again, this varies depending on what you are trying to achieve. Send your communications too infrequently and people will forget to contact you when they're ready to become a customer. However, if you're really annoying someone who sends mindless, irrelevant emails to them twice a day then they're very likely to get fed up and unsubscribe. If you send them information that is interesting to them, relevant to their wants or needs, and is well written – the chances are they will read them. If they do not have time on one or more occasions, at least they'll want you to keep them coming.
Think Like Your Customer
Of course, you can not possibly be expected to know exactly when all your recipients are having a good or bad day, are distracted by something exciting, are fuming about something at work, or are simply too busy to open any emails other than the ones that are flagged as urgent. Similarly, people's buying decision are cyclical and broadly fall into three categories: they can be happy with the status quo, interested and looking around but not ready to part with any money, or red hot and ready to buy. Show a series of emails to people on different days and you can be sure that they will not always respond the same way.
So each time you send an email during your campaign, monitor the responses you receive. See how many response positively, and how many unsubscribe requests you get. Over a period of time you'll establish the best timing for your marketing communications, at regular (and predictable) intervals – and if your emails are relevant and engaging, people will look forward to receiving them.