With email marketing, timing is everything

Although many marketers work around the clock, data suggest they should pay more attention to the timing of their outreach. Here’s insight on when to interact—and how.

To reach consumers through email, when you decide to hit “send” is almost as important as the content of your message.

To resonate with busy professionals, survey results from Reach Mail suggest taking an in-depth look at when your emails are going out, as some of your data might be outdated. If you want to meet the needs to today’s email-focused consumers, here’s what to adjust:

When you should send your first—and last—email

On average, most consumers are scanning their virtual inboxes when they first wake up and just before they go to sleep at night. For many people, though, those specific times will vary.

Here’s the latest, from Reach Mail:

How about the infamous “first check” of the day—does it happen in bed, at breakfast, on the train, twenty minutes after you’ve arrived at the office and gossiped for a bit? More than 70 percent of Americans check their email for the first time from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.

New York and New Jersey consumers average the latest first check—just before 9 a.m.—and people in Utah check earliest, just after 6:30 a.m.

As for checking for the last time before bed, thirty percent of Americans check before 6 p.m. and 70 percent after 6 p.m.

If you want to greet your audiences with a morning email, consider sending blasts in installments based on the location of your primary audiences.

Here are some specifics on location:

In determining when to send something, Matt Zajechowski, content specialist at Digital Third Coast, says it’s time to wise up to the increasing number of consumers who ignore things they simply don’t want to read.

He adds:

I think we’ve certainly become savvier to weeding out spam from our inboxes, which has probably hurt marketers’ “numbers” in recent years. Given that data, the question should become, when do you want to be on their minds? I would vote for an earlier time, when your audience is moving a little more slowly and thoughtfully.

When to expect a response—and from whom

Consumers’ inboxes are probably cleaner than you might think. More than half of survey respondents said they have fewer than 10 unread emails in their inboxes at any given time. Additionally, most said they respond to emails within an hour.

If you’re looking for engagement, you should note that half of surveyed consumers send fewer than 10 emails per day. Depending on your message—and when you fire off your first round of notes—you might not get the engagement you seek.

Here’s more, from Reach Mail:

Thirty percent of people send 10 to 25 emails per day, 16 percent send 25 to 50, and only 8 percent send more than 50 emails per day. West Coast consumers have the lowest average of sent emails at 18 per day. The Northeast tops all regions and averages 22 sent emails per day. Massachusetts has the national high of 28 emails sent per day, on average.

Response time on these emails also varies from region to region. Fifty-eight percent of Americans say they respond to emails within one hour. Virginians are the quickest to reply to emails. New Yorkers, surprisingly, are on the slow end—12 percent say they average a day or more to respond and 33 percent take at least six hours.

Zajechowski weighs in:

Boston and New York-based consumers demonstrated several trends outside the norm, from more in and out of inbox traffic to slower response times. As a result, I’d advise marketers to be a little less shy about follow ups with that group as there’s a greater chance they’re missing stuff amidst all that traffic.

Use video to increase engagement

Regardless of audience members’ location, if you want to spark a dialogue, data from VidYard say to skip the automated marketing approach and go right for visuals.

Here’s why:

Automation tools have made it easy to reach prospective customers with seemingly hyper-personalized outreach. Inevitably, though, buyers have become numb to these so-called “personalized” emails.

If you’re confident in your strategy’s targeting and timing, but you seek to liven up your approach, sales development manager Terrance Kwok suggests improving your content with these video concepts:

  • Selfie videos. The first video email that’s going to help you stand out is a webcam selfie. This approach helps you speak more directly to your target audience.

  • Screenshot videos. Sharing your screen will capture your customer’s attention and help you communicate more information. The key is finding right thumbnail image or splash screen to include. The thumbnail image can make all the difference as to whether your prospects click play on your personalized video.

  • Repurposed content. After you’ve connected with a prospective customer, sending a video call summary can be easier and more effective than typing up a long email. Record a personalized, video thank-you message to build rapport by putting a face to your voice.

To see an increase in your interaction, focus on pursuing the right audience and using a timely message that resonates with them.

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