There Is No “Best Time”
The “best time” is an illusion. I can already hear the naysayers and old timers getting ready with their ancient pony express data telling every marketer that Tuesday and Thursday afternoons are, statistically, the best times to get someone to engage with your emails.
So, let me start with this:
Are Tuesdays and Thursdays really when you find yourself with such a lull of activity in your day, you open your inbox and your precious schedule to give a marketing email from someone you’ve never heard of a quick glance to see if it’s something even remotely relevant and useful to your job or company? I didn’t think so.
Like a majority of you, I find myself with random pockets of time between meetings, projects, blog writing, or rustlin’ cattle.
You’re Always Looking
As much as we may say we disconnect on evenings and weekends, we know it isn’t true. Catching up on work (read: reading emails you should have given more attention to and replied to earlier) is something we all tell our spouses, friends and significant others so they think we’re more important than we are. It makes us feel better about ignoring them. But we know we’re really still working on things we should have done during the day.
Perhaps the best marketing email I ever received was sent on a Saturday and it simply said, “It’s Saturday and you should be working.” Sounds weird but, it was a highly targeted email for founders of newly formed companies and the message was about the 7-day work week for entrepreneurs. Despite not mentioning their product/service or anything about the purpose of emailing me, it was a fantastic way to get my attention.
Would someone not in my position have been as receptive to that approach on that day at that time? Probably not. This is just one example of why the best time does not exist.
Taking A Few Things Into Account
There are a few things to take into account when deciding when the “best time” to send an email to your audience is:
- Don’t piss people off with your email. I’m not talking about sending unsolicited emails or harassing people or any other unsavory email marketing strategy people use. I’m talking about knowing what will actually be intrusive. Receiving an email, be it solicited or not, is enough to cause some people to hate your company and unsubscribe, as well as tell all their friends and family about it.
- Keep it authentic. If you’re sending an email as yourself or another human (i.e. not a clearly automated marketing email from “the company”), do not misuse your pre-scheduled marketing tool to send emails at 2 am. People are still people and will see right through it. No one is seriously expecting a salesperson to reply to an email at 2:30 a.m. unless they are in a totally different time zone than you.
- Keep it relevant. There’s nothing worse than seeing an email come through about Viagra, when you clearly signed up for a marketing email. Don’t send out irrelevant emails. Segment your lists according to the way people expect. It will make your marketing life much, much easier.
What would this blog be if it didn’t actually give some advice about how to improve your marketing, get better open rates, increase the performance of your campaigns, and everything else we’re all about here? My answer to the question of “When is the best time to send a marketing email?” is, when your audience is not expecting it. That is not a specific time of day or day of the week. It’s not even a special event. It’s just the right time.
As always, do your own tests, analyze the data, and adjust accordingly. It will not take long to determine open or engagement patterns in your audience, you can tweak your outreach from there.