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Ending the Debate Over When to Send

Ending the Debate Over When to Send


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Katie Ash finally reveals the correct answer to that age-old email marketing question; when is the best time and day to send your marketing emails?
Timing is a hugely debated issue in the world of email marketing with many theories on when the best time to communicate via email is. Does one day of the week stand out, or perhaps a time of day?
Just ask Google. You’ll be inundated with pages of advice on the ‘perfect’ send time. Not on Mondays; people just don’t like them. Not Tuesdays; stress has set in. Weekends? Nope, too busy. Midday, midweek tended to be the consensus amongst many marketers, so prepare to have your inbox flooded!
One thing everyone can agree on though is that timing is very important. Luckily, with remarketing emails, your customers have already done half of the job for you.

Emails Should be Useful

While for email blasts (‘newsletters, sales promotions, etc’) brands still need to work hard to test the best time/day for their customer base (and spoiler alert – that’s the answer to just about every single email marketing question – test!), with remarketing emails answer to the ‘day’ of the week has been provided to you by the customer themselves.

“Email works best when it’s useful. You want your customer to think ‘Ah, that’s handy!’ when an email hits their inbox – and sending after they have engaged with you gives you your best chance.”

Dominic Edmunds, SaleCycle Founder & CEO

Have they been browsing your website, started to make an order or enquiry but abandoned before the transaction was completed? This is a great time to communicate with the customer and re-engage them with your brand.
Have they purchased from you recently? This is a great time to send complimentary products and services they might be interested in.
These emails will ideally not feel like ‘marketing messages’ but instead as a friendly customer service email from a brand they already associate with. And ultimately, if they are useful (or ‘handy’) then the customer is much more likely to click and come back to your site.
Okay. So how long after a customer has engaged with your brand should you send?

It’s Testing Time (again)

One thing we’ve learned from the last 5+ years at SaleCycle is that no group of customers will behave the same as another. What works brilliantly for one brand and their customers might fall flat for another (even in the same industry).
Here’re a couple of quick examples from the SaleCycle testing storybook, looking at how long to wait after an online abandonment (cart/booking) before sending a cart recovery email:
Industry: Retail | Sector: Online Books | Location: Australia
Book Shop Conversion Test
Retailer A found that a cycle time of 60 minutes resulted in 38% higher conversion rates compared to 90 minutes, and 20% higher compared to 120 minutes.
Retailer B on the other hand saw the best results at 120 minutes; 25% higher than 60 minutes and 29% higher than 90 minutes.
Industry: Travel | Sector: Airlines | Location: Global
Airline Conversion Test
With a cycle time of 60 minutes, airline A converted on average 26% more customers than when other cycle times were used.
Airline B found 120 minutes to be ideal, seeing an increase in conversion of 54%!

It all goes to show how dangerous it is to stereotype your customer, or blindly trust where other brands and marketers have found success. You need to make sure you’re talking to your consumers when it’s most relevant to them.
Which brings me back to where I started and the answer to that immortal question… ‘When is the best time and day to send your marketing emails?’ You’ve just gotta test it!


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Katie Ash