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CEO and Founder, The Go! Agency

How To Test Your Email Marketing Timings

How To Test Your Email Marketing Timings
Think of any aspect of your email marketing, and I guarantee it can be tested to find a way that works best for your audience. However, most email marketers focus on only a few things.

The main aims of most emails are first to get your subscribers to open the email, to then read the email and finally to click a link or follow a call to action.

Thankfully, these activities can be tracked via the following metrics:

  • Open Rate: Percentage of people that opened the email.
  • Click Through Rate: Percentage of the people who opened your email who then went on to click a link within that email.
  • Unsubscribe Rate: Percentage of people that unsubscribed from your email list.

Improving Your Open Rate

When email marketing, improving your open rate should be one of your highest priorities. If you spend hours of time writing emails, but nobody ever opens them then all of your effort, time and – most important of all – money will have been wasted.

There are a few ways to improve your open rate. Top of the list would be to create emails that people want to read. The better your emails are, the more people will regularly open them.

But if people are new to your email list and don’t know you, they may not be inclined to open your email at all. That’s why the subject lines of your emails must be enticing enough to get people to click them over all the other emails they receive each day.

But what I want to focus on in this post though, are email timings.

Why Are Email Timings Important?

When a person receives their email is just as important as who sends it along with the content.

Every person has their preferred time for reading emails. Some of us wake up in the morning and check our email straight away. Others only check their email within work hours.

The issue is, your email list is made up of people with unique email habits. So finding the perfect time (and day) to send out your emails means trying to find the best time for the majority of your audience.

It’s counterproductive to cater to people that only check their emails at 7:00pm on a Saturday when the majority of your list opens their emails at 4:00pm on weekdays.
Focus on the many, not the few.

How To Find The Best Email Timing

Any test you do should only concentrate on changing one thing. That way you know that it’s that one thing which is causing a change.

So the best way to check email timings is to send the exact same email to different people at different times.

How we did this is we took our email list and split it into three email lists:

List A, List B, List C.

This gave us the opportunity to test three different timings for all of our emails.

It was then a case of choosing timings to test.

The first timing we chose was 6:00am. This was because we thought a lot of people may open their emails in the morning while having breakfast.

The next timing was at 12:00pm. This we thought would hit people at lunch time when they may have more time to look over emails.

Lastly, we chose 4:00pm. Our theory being that at the end of the day people might have a bit of free time to read emails.

We didn’t test the email timings in the evening as many people on our email lists use work emails so we assumed they wouldn’t open emails after work time.

The Results

We repeated this test multiple times on different days of the week. Always sending the same email to three lists at three different times.

What we found out was that the majority of people opened our emails at 6:00am in the morning. The open rate was almost always 2-3% higher than at other times. They were also most likely to click through.

After that, the second best openers were towards the end of the day at 4:00pm. Although we noticed they were much less likely to click a call to action. Lunchtime emails were the least effective of all.

So how has this affected our email marketing? Well, firstly we know that 6:00am emails are more likely to be opened than those sent at 12:00pm and 4:00pm.

But that doesn’t mean we’ll start sending all our emails at 6:00am.

Why? Because there’s still so much more to test. Such as finding the best day to send emails along with the many other hours in the day that may work even better.

Testing never stops, it means constantly looking to refine a process, even when you think you’ve found the perfect timing, there’s always more to try out.

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