Guess who’s back! 🙌 Here we are with the third part of the Be Bold Email Marketing Guide. Today we’re discussing the timing, frequency and personalisation of your emails. All essential factors you’d better consider when placing your bets on email marketing.
In the first part of our Email Marketing Guide, we talked about the settings of your email. Part 2 was all about the design. So, in part 3, we dive a bit deeper into some practical and technical aspects of email marketing. What is the best day to send a newsletter? What is the most ideal time for your mailing? And how often should you send one? 💭
Timing of your emails
Each year emails swarm our inboxes to an ever-increasing degree. So as an email marketeer, it’s super important to know when exactly your newsletter is most likely to hit its target. Mailboxes are jam-packed, and we’re fighting for customer’s attention. B2C, as well as B2B.
What is – theoretically speaking – the best time to send email?
In recent years lots of research has been done into the ideal time to send a newsletter. The conclusion? Mailings are best sent during the working week between 9 and 11 am or in the afternoon between 1 and 3 pm. The best-performing days are Wednesday and Thursday, slightly leaning more towards Thursday.
However, this doesn’t imply that this is automatically your best time to send emails as well.
You’re probably not the only one who dissects these studies. Your competitors have the exact same information. So, think about it. If everyone sends their emails using these optimal timings, ultimately, no one wins. The trick is to adjust the timing of your mailings to your unique, ideal moment. Which is preferably not within the timeframe we just discussed.
How do you determine your best time to send email?
For your ideal time to send mailings, you could use various studies and best practices to underpin your decisions. But the most valuable insights are already available at your fingertips: your analytics and information. What works like a charm for company A might have the complete opposite effect for your business: unsubscribed contacts. And that is something you want to avoid at all costs.
To determine your best time to send email, consider several things, such as:
1. Your target audience’s demographics and habits
Knowing and understanding your target audience’s needs and habits will provide you with much-needed insights in your email campaign’s optimal send time. Not everyone has a 9-to-5 job, and some people deal with very unsociable and irregular hours.
Take nurses, for example. Depending on their shift, they work at hours when most of us are resting or sleeping. The chances of them opening an email in the morning are sometimes next to nothing. But, against all odds, an email around 9 pm could actually work for this specific target audience.
2. Your niche
The niche has a massive influence on the timing of your mailings. For example, are you active in the travel or entertainment industry? Then weekends and after work hours are a good option. This is when people have some spare time and want to plan fun things to do.
Note that this mainly applies to B2C. In B2B, you stick to workdays and work hours.
3. Your email marketing tool
A lot of email marketing platforms implement AI to determine the optimal send time for emails. The tool analyses the data from previous campaigns to see who opens your emails, and – more importantly – when they open them. The tool then uses this information for future email campaigns and optimizes their send time.
Don’t do this: blindly following best practices and not doing your own research. YOLO! 🤷
Do this: analysing and adjusting your results, using the optimal send times in your email marketing tool and always considering your target audience and niche.
Frequency of your emails
Day in and day out, customers feel overwhelmed by the numerous marketing stimuli they face. You can reach them at any time of the day. A tempting thought, however, you must be cautious not to overload them. Don’t forget that at a touch of a button, they’ll send your email straight to the bin, unsubscribe from the newsletter or – even worse – mark it as spam.
One email per week?
In general, we see that a weekly email has the highest open rate and click-through rate (CTR). A safe option for most businesses. However, it’s not an unnecessary luxury to deep dive into your analytics and determine your most engaged contacts. With this group, it could be a missed opportunity to not email them more often. Make sure to experiment with different email frequencies and see what works best for each group.
Don’t do this: sending an email every time you have something new to say.
Do this: basing your email frequency on your statistics and segmenting your contact list. Some customers want to hear from you more often than others.
Personalisation in your emails
Personalising emails plays a significant role in reader satisfaction. When customers feel like you understand their needs, it builds trust.
As we explain in our blog post Personalising emails for successful email marketing, there are essentially 3 forms of personalisation in emails.
1. Personalisation based on available data
With this type of personalisation, you use available data such as the recipient’s name and gender. Think of the newsletters where you are addressed personally, for example, “Hi Nienke” or “Dear Ms Nienke Iliaens”.
In addition to name and gender, other data leave an even stronger impression. For example, your customer’s loyalty. One year after your customer’s first order, you send an email congratulating them on their first anniversary with your shop. Add a fun fact or a discount code, and it’s in the (shopping) bag. 👌
2. Personalisation based on profile
Personalising your emails based on your recipient’s profile goes one step further. With this type of personalisation, you adjust the email content to each specific audience. A simple example is the location of the recipient. Based on their address, you add the details of the office or shop closest to them. This makes your customer feel unique, seen and appreciated.
Ready to take it even further? You can, by adjusting the email content to the interests or sales rep of your recipient. The more specifically tailored to their liking, the higher your chances of success.
3. Personalisation based on behaviour
Personalisation based on behaviour, means looking at how the recipient reacts to your mailing. Let’s say your customer opens the email but doesn’t click or interact. In this case, a reminder could be an option. However, you could also choose to stop sending them this type of newsletters.
When a recipient opens the email and does click on a specific topic, there is a certain degree of interest. You can continue to send them emails, but for example, only about this particular topic.
Ready to jump on the personalisation bandwagon? Make sure you’re only using high-quality data. If you use the wrong data, you’ll create the opposite effect. And oh, don’t go overboard with personalisation. Watching Big Brother on TV is nice. But when it gets mixed in with our daily lives? Not so much.
Don’t do this: any data is good data. Let’s go!
Do this: building a quality database and applying personalisation when it’s relevant.
There you go, part 3 of our Be Bold Email Marketing Guide is up and running. Do you still have questions about the perfect timing, frequency and personalisation of your emails? We don’t bite. Get in touch with one of our experts, and together we’ll get your email campaigns on track. 💪