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The Best Time Of Day To Send Emails … And Other Hot Topics

What are you typically doing at 3am? Sleeping I hope …

But you may also want to be sending your email newsletter.

According to a new report emails sent as early as 12am are driving the highest open rates and those sent between midnight and 3am are generating the most clicks.

(Don’t worry, you don’t have to set your alarm clock – just hit schedule and we’ll take care of it for you.)

Also, marketers are hoping to win gold on social media at this year’s Olympics, Facebook is testing another new feature, and Twitter will soon let you go back in the time.

Read about these hot topics and more in this week’s news roundup.

1. Emails sent early in the morning generate more opens and clicks

MailerMailer’s annual Email Marketing Metrics Report, which looks at over 1.2 billion opt-in email newsletters from 80,000 newsletter campaigns, was released this week. The report found that emails sent earlier in the morning drive the highest open rates and that those sent between 12 and 3am generate the most clicks. It also found that 50% of email opens occur within the first six hours after the message is sent.

Here are some of the other key takeaways from the study:

  • Open rates are best at the beginning of the week
  • Subject lines 15 characters or less have the highest open rate of 15.2%
  • Industries with highest open rates were Banking (16.8%) and Non-profit (16.1%)
  • Industries with highest click rates were Consulting (4.5%) and Consumer (4.3%)

Read the entire report here.

Bottom Line: Like with any study, there is no end-all-be-all answer to your email marketing questions. But they do present opportunities to try something new. Next time you’re scheduling your email newsletter, why not set it to midnight or 1 am and see what happens? Even if it increases your opens by just a few percentage points, that’s more people reading your newsletter and more opportunities for your business.

2. Marketers are spending big to win on social media during the Olympics

While the athletes are competing on the track, field, court, or in the pool during this year’s summer Olympics, marketers will be competing to get the edge on social media. Coca-Cola expects to reach 1.5 billion people world-wide before the end of the games with their “Create My Beat” promo and NBC has already started offering exclusive Olympic content to fans on Facebook.

Bottom Line: Let’s put the social influence of this year’s games into perspective, shall we? During the 2008 Summer Games Facebook had 100 million users and Twitter had roughly 6 million. Today, Facebook has more than 900 million users and Twitter has nearly 500 million.

Keep your eye out for some exciting Olympic social campaigns. Just because you don’t have $1 billion to dish out for corporate sponsorship, doesn’t mean you can’t implement some of the same social strategies for your business. Watch closely.

3. Twitter is working on a way to retrieve your old tweets

Dick Costolo, executive director of Twitter, told the New York Times this week that the company is currently working on a feature that will let users download their entire Twitter profile – all the way back to tweet number one. Up to this point Twitter has limited user’s access to older content and Twitter Search currently does not retrieve tweets past seven days. No word yet on when the new tool will be released.

Bottom Line: Not only will this new feature be a lot of fun (I personally can’t wait to go back and find out what my very first tweet was), but it will also be useful. Just like your business has grown and developed since you first opened your doors, so too has your Twitter expertise. Being able to revisit the past allows you to reflect on how far you’ve come and will help you avoid making any of the same mistakes.

4. Facebook now testing “Subscribe” for pages

Facebook is currently testing a new Subscribe feature for business Pages. The feature is already available for personal profiles and lets users receive updates without actually friending a person. Users will be able to receive a Pages updates without actually “Liking” them. Facebook did confirm that they are testing the feature but did not provide any sort of  timeline for its release.

Bottom Line: “Subscribe” is targeted toward Facebook users who may be reluctant to “Like” a Page if they are not familiar with the brand but still want to learn more about them. For example, someone may hear about a new restaurant opening and want to be kept up to date with how things are going, but because they’ve never tried that restaurant they could be reluctant to press “Like.” While it may seem like a technicality, for some users these details matter and addressing them could help expand your social reach.

5. Study: 33% of people are most likely to respond to social media offers when reposted by a friend

A new study released this week from Performics, provided some new insight into where consumers are engaging with content on social media and the type of content that is driving that engagement. According to the study, 33% of people are most likely to respond to social media offers when reposted by a friend. The study also found that 27% will do so on the brand’s page, 26% from the newsfeed, and 20% from a social ad.

When it comes to the type of content people are engaging most with, it was images (44%) that was driving the most engagement, followed by status updates (40%), and videos (37%).

Bottom Line: This study addressed two important topics: social word-of-mouthand rich media. If you want your content to actually help grow your fan base and drive results for your business you need to provide something your users will actually want to share and you need to use the type of content (like photos and videos) they actually want to engage with.

What news stories caught your eye this week? Tell us in the comments.

Comments:

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  1. Interesting about the midnight to 3 a.m. being the best time to send out an email. I always thought it would be best to send out during open hours, that way a client can call & schedule an appointment for service. Any further thoughts or advice on this?

    Reply
    • Ryan Pinkham •

      Patricia – I think the “best time” argument will always be related to the audience you’re speaking to and the action you want them to take. If you’re looking to have people call to schedule appointments or come in that day, then I think you’re right – you better send it at a time when you’re actually open.

      The biggest thing I take away from this study is this: people are more likely to open and spend more time reading in the morning because they have more time and are really just starting their days. But that doesn’t mean its necessarily the best time for ALL businesses. Hope this helps and thanks for reading.

      Reply
      • Ryan-thanks for the clarification. I understand what the study is stating about more opens for e-mails if scheduled for midnight to 3 a.m.

        On the other hand, for our clinic, we have found it’s critical to be able to schedule treatments & consultations as soon as the e-mail goes out (i.e. during regular business hours). Our open rate is 35% which is not too shabby for our industry. But we are always looking for ways to improve.

        Appreciate the topic and information. Keep up the good work! Constant contact is great!

        Reply
  2. Reblogged this on RoysBlog.

    Reply
  3. I think this article is saying that in the morning, when people check their email you want to be first on the list. Not lost in the middle, where it’s easier to get over looked. By sending between midnight and 3am your email will have top billing. Makes sense! I will give it a try and see if there’s improvement. Thanks CC

    Reply
  4. Tina •

    I think this is very interesting as well. I also thought you would get more opens if you send during the day. Thus waiting for the recipient to clean out their inbox and get you more attention. Hummm …

    Reply
  5. very interesting and helpful for me… thx a lot

    Reply

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