Test, test and test again. Why it matters when a marketer sends an email - Lina Berndtsson, Marketing Expert at SmartFocus | DMA

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Test, test and test again. Why it matters when a marketer sends an email - Lina Berndtsson, Marketing Expert at SmartFocus


Here are some pointers to keep in mind to help ensure you are driving the best email marketing ROI you can.

Does email still work? Email continues to be a very important pillar in a digital marketing strategy. To gain the best ROI and engagement a lot of factors needs to be considered - such as subject line, content, offers and also time and day of send. When a customer receives your email could be the difference of them viewing or deleting it.

When is the best time to send? It is as simple as testing and further testing. This is the only way to find out what works for your business and customer base. A lot of criteria comes into play such as age and gender, what product you’re marketing, is there an offer included and does it have a time sensitive call to action? Although it is almost impossible to give a generic answer to this question these are some starting pointers to look at.

What time of the day is best? Most people will look at their emails during the work day. Most active time is around lunch time - before and after. Sending during the night can result in a lot of email gathered in the inbox for the morning - and the customer may simply delete in bulk to clear their inbox.

What day of the week is best? Mondays and weekends have a reputation of not performing as well as mid-week. During the weekend most of us are out and about and not checking emails. A lot of email will accumulate in the inbox for Monday morning - when people usually check their emails after arriving at work after the weekend. To reduce clutter, customers often remove marketing emails to get a clean inbox.

So in conclusion. Mid-week sees the best days to send emails and also to get a reaction. Tuesday and Thursday are often winning favourites. Another thing to be taken into consideration is which device the customer is receiving/opening on, as this could make them more responsive if they are mostly active on mobile for example.

What to do now?

The aim is to increase the open and click-through rate - which by extension could improve overall marketing results. As previously mentioned, the only way to see any success or change is to dedicate some time to testing. Be careful not to test several different variants at the same time as this might skew your results. If, for example you test subject line and content while also testing send times, how are you going to know which one was the winning factor?

Test over a period of time as it will help you to gain a fair view of the results, and keep in mind that specific events such as Easter, Christmas, pay day etc can change the outcome. If you know the device the majority of your customer base opens on this could also be worth taking into the calculation.

Online retailer eBags ran a test on the best time of day to send their marketing emails. They did research to check if customers were more inclined to sign up for emails at a certain time. The plan was that they might be more approachable to receive a marketing email around the same time.

The times were individually calculated looking at each user’s behaviour and when they signed up. With this test eBags increased email click-through rates by 20% and conversions by 65%.

Although the test campaign was very successful this was not actually rolled out to all their campaigns as they found it a time consuming exercise (source Econsultancy).

However it does give an example that you can find your own ways to test and source great results. Find what you want to achieve, set your goals and happy testing!

Lina Berndtsson is a marketing expert at SmartFocus. SmartFocus is an innovator in messaging and communications, enabling the world’s largest brands – including Nestlé, Mercedes-Benz and House of Fraser – to understand and connect more closely with today’s connected consumers; whether that be via web, mobile, email or social channels. Through The Message Cloud solution, SmartFocus genuinely listens to and learns from customers using patented algorithms and unique location-based marketing tools. Using The Message Cloud, SmartFocus customers have the rich data, intelligence and the tools for contextually unique engagements, through any digital channel. http://www.smartfocus.com/

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