The Surprisingly Best Times to Send Your Email Marketing Campaigns

Long-standing advice amongst email marketers when asked, “When is the best time to send email?” has always been, “Tuesday through Thursday morning, between 8 and 10am.” Sure, it’s common knowledge throughout the industry that people tend to open their email in the mornings, but “the times, they are a-changin’,” as Bob Dylan would say. Let’s visit some current email marketing trends that are creating shifts in open rates, and how they’ll impact your next email send.

AdWeek Infographic

AdWeek Infographic based on Experian study

A 2012 Experian email marketing benchmark study across all industries found that recipients are surprisingly active late at night. Unique open rates averaged 21.7% from 8pm to 11:59pm and 17.6% for 12am to 4am. Moreover, this late night group was more likely to click-through, with open rates of 4.2% and 3.2%, respectively. These night owls also had the highest click through rates for all times of day. Revenue per email was also the highest in the 8pm to 11:59pm group. Additionally, in 2015, Experian’s quarterly email marketing benchmark release showed that 54% of emails are now opened on a mobile device, and a 2014 ExactTarget mobile behavior report found mobile activity peaks between 9pm to 12am. With consumers becoming more and more active on their mobile devices, especially outside of standard nine to five working hours spent at an office desktop, testing sends outside the traditional morning hours is essential.

As for which day of the week performed best, emails sent on Mondays had the highest ROI, but emails sent on Friday had a higher click through rate. Ironically, Saturday and Sunday had the lowest volume rates, but the highest open and click through rates in the study. So even though the weekend was not the most popular time to send emails, those who opened were much more likely to engage with it and click through or purchase.

Based on these findings, you might want to experiment with sending your emails at unconventional times – such as 11pm or 6pm and on the weekend– to see if it yields better results.

Weekend Warriors

Fewer promotional emails are sent on the weekends. This has created an opportunity for some businesses to scoop up some email love when there is less competition.

Experian’s email marketing study found that recipients responded more to promotional emails they received on the weekends – when the send volume was the lowest. The unique open rate for Saturday and Sunday was 17.8% for both days, the highest percentages of the week.

Email data from Harland Clarke also supported this finding in their recent study. Although 26.9% of emails were sent on Wednesdays, recipients viewed only 15.6% of those emails, whereas Saturday (a day when only 5.5% of emails were sent), they viewed 32.5%.

Before you change all your email launches to Saturday and Sunday, we recommend you test it first. (Remember that open rates on these days are still lower.) Try splitting your list in half and send the same email to group A on Sunday then group B on Monday or Tuesday. Repeat this a few times to see where you get better results.

Mobile Matters

The same study by Experian we touched upon earlier found that not only are 54% of all emails viewed on a mobile device, but this percentage is on the rise, growing two percent between June and September 2015. Because mobile click through rates are lower, you want to be sure your call to action is clear and direct, and that your links are easy to spot and click (no matter what time of day you’re sending).

Harland Clarke’s study also found that the email open rates depended on the device the recipient is using. They found that tablet users, for example, were more like to open emails outside of business hours (from 5pm to 8am), while desktop users were more likely to open during business hours. Tablet users were the most active from 8 to 9pm, while desktop users and smartphone users were most active between 3 and 4pm.

Finally, when considering the importance of mobile in your email sends, remember that if your customers can’t read your emails, they’re not likely to continue to interact with them, affecting your future campaigns. Litmus found that by testing a non-responsive versus responsive email design, they were able to increase click-throughs by 130%.

So consider your audience in your email marketing. Try sending a split test to half of your list in the morning during work hours and the other half at 7 or 8pm and note any differences. Be sure your emails (and landing pages) are mobile-friendly.

Timing Isn’t Everything

If you’re noticing a dip in your open rates, maybe other factors are contributing to the decline. Here are some additional email marketing tips to help with your open and click through rates:

1.    Test your email to make sure it’s rendering properly in multiple browsers and email service providers (Email on Acid offers an easy way to do this if you want to save some time.)
2.    Review your email list. How old is it? Are there emails that should be removed? How can you grow your email list effectively? Here are some tips for good organic email list growth: 10 Steps to Build Your Email List the Right Way
3.    Are you effectively rocking your subject line? The subject line is your one brief opportunity to get someone to open your email. Be sure you know the best practices when creating this magic line. Check out these helpful tips on creating your subject line.
4.    Frequency. Are you sending too often? Be sure to play it cool and segment your lists so you aren’t bombarding your recipients with unwanted email (or, dare we say spam!)

So when is the best time to send email? As you can see, there is no one right answer. If you’re ready to see some improvements, start by doing some simple email split tests and see which times your recipients respond to best.

What times have worked best for you? Share with us!

Send your next email for free using VerticalResponse.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2013 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and relevance.

© 2016, Amanda Day. All rights reserved.

The post The Surprisingly Best Times to Send Your Email Marketing Campaigns appeared first on Vertical Response Blog.


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On the Menu: Email and Mobile Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

Julia Child once said, “Once you have mastered a technique, you hardly need look at a recipe again and can take off on your own.” The same can be said of mastering your small business marketing. With a strong business plan and a great marketing strategy, you can begin to launch campaigns and run promotions on an ad hoc basis. But how do you get started?

Much like mastering a technique in the kitchen, you need to plan ahead to master your marketing – today we’ll focus on pairings. Not wine and cheese or cookies and milk, but email marketing and mobile apps. What do these two channels have in common, you might ask? More than what may immediately come to mind. Like all the great duos – steak and potatoes, shrimp and grits, peaches and cream – mobile apps and email marketing are a perfectly complementary pairing.

Email + Mobile apps = A recipe for success

We’ve talked in-depth about how to build a solid email program, and we’ve also talked about the importance of having a mobile-friendly website. But what about mobile apps for restaurants? Do you still need one on top of your email and mobile web marketing? What about OpenTable, Zagat, and Yelp? With all these restaurant service apps, do you need one for your individual restaurant? The answer is the same as “do you want fries with that?” Yes. Though it may seem daunting to add another channel to your marketing strategy, remember these easy tips for email and mobile app marketing and you’ll be on your way to mastering your own multi-tier marketing program.

Both email marketing and mobile apps share a number of similar characteristics – communicating value and content, building your audience, and offering delightful experiences to your customers. But like every perfect pairing, each is unique and has complementary, but different strengths. Use email and mobile apps the following ways to support your marketing to all audiences on all devices:

Email marketing

  • Send weekly or more often, predictably, and reach people on PCs, tablets, and smartphones – explore different types of emails like newsletters, happy hour specials, recipes, or chef spotlights.
  • Send emails to promote your mobile app and encourage downloads – offer incentives to download, like a free dessert, access to an off-menu “special,” or discount on your next meal.
  • Link email content to a responsive website OR your mobile app for videos, loyalty punchcards, reservations, or e-commerce on every device.

Mobile app

  • Land on the home screen for valuable branding to stay top of mind with customers – remember that diners on the go want to know the “when, where, and why” of your business – include your address, business hours, contact info, and reservation access on your home screen for ease.
  • Offer the same rich content text, images, and videos, and transactions all in one experience.
  • Reach your most loyal customers more often with push notifications, even refine your focus to nearby customers with geo-fencing – if a customer is nearby, offer them a discount or loyalty perk to get them to dine with you then and there.

Mobile Apps Program

Ready to serve up a delicious duo and get started on mobile apps to complement your email marketing? We’ve launched a brand new service that makes building mobile apps scalable and affordable. To learn more or get early access to our new mobile apps program, click through below, and we’ll be in touch shortly.

Learn More

© 2016, Tori Tsu. All rights reserved.

The post On the Menu: Email and Mobile Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC] appeared first on Vertical Response Blog.


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Email Marketing and Mobile Apps: A Well-Suited Pair

If you like email marketing because it connects you with your customers, you’re gonna love mobile apps. You may have thought you have to choose one or the other, but there’s good news – you can (and should) take them as a pair. The two go together – like PB&J, peas and carrots, or Jay-Z and Beyoncé. They’re each great on their own, but you’ll be amazed to see how stellar they are as a couple. They’re quite different but in many ways the same. And they complement each other quite nicely.

Email marketing – the steady one
Email Marketing and Mobile Apps
Email marketing is familiar and comfortable. Nearly every consumer or business you serve uses email. In fact, by the end of 2016, there will be over 4.6 billion inboxes worldwide – and growing.  And individuals are sending and receiving over 215 emails per day.

You’ll find your audience is receptive to your messages once you’ve been invited into their inbox. Provide a good reason for them to join your list, make it easy to sign up, and you’re in business. Results are predictable, and it’s easy and affordable to reach, engage, and convert subscribers into loyal customers.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Communicate the value of subscribing – offer “VIP” status with members-only offers, including the instant gratification of a “welcome” deal
  • Build your audience – add a signup form to your website, promote it on social media, collect signups at the point of sale
  • Send valuable content regularly – including news, product announcements, events in mobile-responsive templates to look great on every device
  • Surprise & delight them occasionally with special “members-only” offers

Mobile apps – young, sexy
Mobile Apps for marketing
A bit younger and definitely sexier, mobile always has people talking. Mobile apps are where the action is – U.S. consumers spend 2.8 hours per day on smartphones and the majority of that using apps. Consumers are finicky, though, using only about 26 apps in an average month. Yours should be one of them! Mobile apps offer great branding on the home screen and push notifications allowing you to reach out to customers and rise above the chaos of the inbox, so you’re not competing for attention with hundreds of other emails.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Communicate the value of downloading your app – offer “VIP” status with members-only offers, including the instant gratification of a “welcome” deal
  • Build your audience – promote your app in email, in-store, on the web, through social
  • Send valuable content regularly – post text, photo, and video updates (or pull the feed from your website), send push notifications to get your audience’s attention
  • Surprise & delight them occasionally with special “members-only” offers which can be tracked by a loyalty program in-app and transactions can take place in the app

Hmmm… does this sound familiar? We’ve got a perfect match for mobile apps!

Email + Mobile apps = Better Together
As a busy small business owner or group organizer, should you take on both email marketing and mobile apps? The answer may surprise you – yes! Though it may seem daunting to add another channel to your marketing strategy, remember these easy tips for email and mobile app marketing and you’ll be on your way to mastering your own multi-tier marketing program!

Like every compatible couple, both email marketing and mobile apps share a number of similar characteristics – listed above. But also like every perfect pairing, each is unique and has complementary, but different strengths. Use email and mobile apps the following ways to support your marketing to all audiences on all devices:

Email marketing

  • Send weekly or more often, predictably, and reach people on PCs, tablets, and smartphones
  • Send emails to promote your mobile app and encourage downloads
  • Link email content to a responsive website OR your mobile app for videos, loyalty punchcards, scheduling, or e-commerce on every device

Mobile app

  • Land on the home screen for valuable branding to stay top of mind with customers
  • Offer the same rich content text, images, and videos, and transactions all in one experience
  • Reach your most loyal customers more often with push notifications, even refine your focus to nearby customers with geo-fencing

Conclusion

Mobile Apps and Email Marketing

You could settle for just one of these great marketing tactics, but you’ll be much better off offering both. Like Jerry says to Dorothy, “You… you complete me.” By bringing email marketing and mobile apps together on an ongoing basis, you can ensure that you’re reaching your customers whether they’re at their computer, on the go, or anywhere in between.

Ready to share the love and get started on mobile apps to complement your email marketing? We’ve launched a brand new service that makes building mobile apps scalable and affordable. If you’d like to learn more or get early access to our new mobile apps program, fill out this form, and we’ll be in touch shortly.

© 2016, David Williams. All rights reserved.

The post Email Marketing and Mobile Apps: A Well-Suited Pair appeared first on Vertical Response Blog.


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