When Is The Ideal Time To Send Your Email Promotions?

Published: 16th April 2009
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If you are trying to find the answer to the question, "When is the absolute best time to send your promotional emails or email newsletter?", then the easy answer may not be what you are looking for. Here is the simplest one sentence explanation: There is NO SINGLE BEST TIME to send your email promotion. Like many other best things in life, it all depends on a variety of factors.

Now that we have established that the best time to send promotional email depends on many factors, let us discuss what are probably the most important two. If you cover these two areas in deciding when to send your email, you will likely be 80% effective on your campaign.

Two Factors to Know When to Send Your Emails

The demographics of your email list: First, you have to know who is in your email list? Here are a few examples of how different demographics affect the best times for sending emails.

• White Collar Male: During regular business hours, especially mornings and early afternoons.

• Female with Kids in the house: 9pm-11pm is a great time to reach busy moms.

• Seniors not Working: Friday and Saturday, Early Afternoon.

• College Students: Better to keep it mid week Tuesday through Thursday, late afternoon.

• Business Executives: Tuesday and Thursday 10-11am.

These are just broad examples and other factors like location and seasonal trends play significant roles. Do additional research to get the best results.

The purpose of your email: Sending newsletters as against a shopping promotion makes a great difference. What form of email will be used? What action is expected from the visitor - buy, forward, fill a survey...? These are just some of the questions that need to be answered as you zone in on the purpose of your emails.

• For emails meant as shopping promotion, the best time to catch your receivers is either earlier at work or right before they go to sleep.

• For surveys, you may find that you can catch your visitors best during evenings.

The Average Scenario

Let us assume that you don't know your demographics very well and you suspect it is very close to the general online audience - slightly more males than females, of average education, median age around 25-30. Then let us also assume that your goal is to create direct sales. You are selling some type of product or service and catering directly to consumers. For that very average demographics and very average e-commerce email promotion, here are few tips for you:

The best days to reach the average online consumer, in no particular order, are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Why do you want to avoid sending your mails on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday?

Most people are off work and simply spend their times relaxing on Saturdays and Sundays. For the most part, people prefer to use work time to do their shopping.

On Mondays, people are still adjusting from their weekend activities and will not likely be in a transactional mood. They would have to attend to a number of things in preparation for the work week and are less inclined to entertain offers or solicitations.

On Fridays, your audience would likely be rushing to wrap things up at the office. Since it would probably be forgotten over the weekend, starting an email promotion on a Friday is ill-advised.

Therefore, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are left as the best days to maximize your email promotions. Sending promotions during holidays or any major vacation events should also be avoided except when your email involves gifts and special occasion items.

Does It Matter What Time of the Day You Send Your Emails?

You send emails because you want your audience to get your message right when they are most receptive. Feedback from advertisers and list companies indicate that even the time of day is a significant factor.

Your goal is to reach your target audience when they are in front of their computers and are active. People are quite simply curious. When they receive a correspondence, people's first instinct is to quickly know what new and interesting message awaits them and who it is trying to contact them.

Most marketing professionals avoid leaving their emails just sitting in the recipient's inbox when they open their computers first thing in the morning, especially after a weekend or holiday. The simple explanation is that people have a tendency to "ritually" rid their inbox of spam messages that have accumulated overnight.

You don't want your recipients to clump your message along with the junk when they are in spam shredding mode. Instead, you want your email to arrive while they are already immersed in their work, which increases the likelihood that your email will be opened and be read by your recipient.

When then are the best times to send email? The suggestion is from 8:00am to 9:00am and between 1:00pm to 1:30 in the afternoon.

No need to place too much emphasis on this area since the precise time your message goes out varies and is quite unpredictable. Apart from the quality of the Internet connection from your PC to that of your audience, the element of different time zones is another matter altogether. What matters is that you have a good idea of the general behavior or state of mind of your recipients prior to sending your email message on a specific timeframe.

Now, about the time of year - list brokers and publishers agree that the time of year has a significant effect. Imagine that you just came from a vacation with over 200 messages waiting in your inbox. People tend to delete as much unimportant stuff as quickly as possible. Avoid sending email promotions when most people are on vacation like in the summer months.

Putting All Of These In Perspective

You don't have to wait for the perfect time before you launch your email campaign. Otherwise, chances are it will never get off the ground. Take stock on your own experiences regarding when are the times of the week, month or year that you are extremely busy and are not receptive to email offers. Make a best guess and forecast when your clients might most likely act on your email.

Keep in mind, however, that there are really no hard and fast rules for the best time to send out email promotions. While others may swear by Tuesday and Thursday at 1pm, your industry or specific target market may have a completely different composition. The best time for one email marketer may not be the ideal time for another.

Perhaps the question should be "How do you find the best time to send out an email?" The easy answer to that is much more acceptable -- Test it! Keep track of your email promotions over time and mark the times when you get the best results and stick with that.

About the Author:

This article is written by Serhat Pala ,a serial Internet entrepreneur and president of www.Testcountry.com and Emil Kara the multimedia designer for NTD Architecture and the design consultant for GBSS online stores including www.PrintCountry.com

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