No two businesses use the exact same email marketing strategy.
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach and engage your customer base. But, it is not as simple as composing content, slapping on a graphic and shipping it out to your contact list. No, effective email marketing requires many things, one of the most important being understanding who your audience is and who is receiving your emails.
If your emails have been missing the mark in terms of response, it’s time to look in the mirror and ask yourself if you really know who your customers are.
When are my contacts most likely to open and read my email?
Just like knowing the best times to send out posts and interact on social media, when you send out your emails – not just what you send out – will have a lot to do with its ultimate success or failure. Although it isn’t always smart to generalize, when it comes to a target audience most of your contacts have a similar schedule and lifestyle.
Tapping into that information can help you make more informed decisions that will lead to better responses. Complied with the fact that almost a quarter of all email opens will occur within the first hour that it is sent, making sure you send at the right time is crucial.
Popular email marketing services like MailChimp have put a lot of time and research into this question that we can learn from, as well as using good old common sense. So what do you need to be thinking about?
Are you a B2B company?
If you are the type of company that does most of its business with other businesses, you have to consider the work habits of the employees and executives.
Just think about an average work week: On a typical Monday, you are taking care of things that got pushed over from Friday or that may have popped up over the weekend. And on Friday you are zoned out, looking forward to the weekend and trying to get things done. With so many other things in your inbox, these are not times when people are likely to set aside tasks to open and respond to a solicitation.
With the beginning and end of the work week out of bounds, look to Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday as your sweet-spot days. Your business clients will be back in their regular flow by then and be much more open to opening emails and reaching out. When it comes to B2B, stay away from the weekends as well. In an attempt to avoid being Captain Obvious: no one is working!
Consider the time too. As the day wears on, businesses will be holding meetings, fulfilling individual schedules and handling unexpected distractions. You want to get your email in front of them early in the morning while they are going through emails, before they have a chance to get distracted. Studies have shown that 8-10 a.m. is the most effective time for this crowd.
Too late and they may already be out of the office and you risk the email being buried, or even if they are still at work they are staying late trying to get work done.
What about B2C?
Targeting middle-aged people in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, homeowners, 9-to-5 kind of jobs, maybe a couple with kids? Think about a regular Joe or Jane’s work day. They come in at 9 a.m., get their work done and leave at 5 p.m. When they get home, they want to put their feet up, watch some TV and then go to bed. This pattern leaves you with a couple key windows to hit your audience.
Your first prime opportunity to reach this demographic falls in the middle of the day. From around noon to 2 p.m, your audience will be on their lunch break and probably playing on their phone or killing some time on their computer, looking for a distraction. Either way, this is the perfect opportunity to hit them with your information.
Another opportunity to reach your contacts is in the evening in the 6-8 p.m range. Around this time, people are getting home, kicking their feet up and hopping on their computers and tablets.
Again, look to Wednesday and Thursday for your best open and click-through results. Especially if you are in entertainment, food service, retail or home service, in the middle or latter end of the week your contacts may be looking for ways to fill their weekend and be more open to exploring what you are sending out.
And no one wants to check their email on the weekend, so think twice about sending out an email on the weekend. That being said, many follow this rule of thumb and there is an argument to be made that since less emails are going out this may actually be a good time. Try experimenting to see if your audience is reactive to this strategy.
Who is your audience? Depending on who you are trying to reach, your strategy could be similar or very different to these examples. You may need to get creative, and a creative team like Roundpeg can help you layout and visualize your email marketing strategy.
Roundpeg is an Indianapolis email marketing firm.