Hannah Morrell

Email Optimization: Testing best time of day and day of week for email interaction

September 22nd, 2014

When do you check your personal email? Do you let it build up throughout the work week and go through it during the weekends? Do you check it on Monday when you’re also sorting through your work email? Or do you check it while you’re at lunch or on a quick, but much-needed, break from work?

In today’s MarketingExperiments Blog post, we’re going to explore which times of the day and days of the week people are most likely to interact with their emails — two questions of optimal interest for any emailing campaign.

 

Testing  the time of day when people interact with email

In email testing, we focus so much on the content and landing page of the email, but that hard work won’t pay off if email recipients don’t open or clickthrough the email. We wanted to get a better understanding of when people interact with emails to determine the best time of the day and day of the week to send promotional emails.

First, we began testing what time of day people are most likely to open and interact with emails.

Emails were currently being sent out on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 a.m. EST. We hypothesized that by sending emails at various times throughout the day, we would learn the optimal times recipients are most likely to open and clickthrough their emails.

In an A/B split test, we sent a promotional email at 7 a.m., 3 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. EST on a Monday. We wanted to isolate the general times of day people may be interacting with their email.

3 a.m. was tested to determine if people were more likely to interact with their emails as soon as they wake up in the morning and before they start their day, while 3 p.m. would tell us if people were checking their emails in the afternoons.

Lastly, 7 p.m. results would show that recipients were more likely to check and interact with their email in the evenings or later at night.

By sending emails at 7 p.m. EST instead of 7 a.m. EST, we saw a 12% lift in open rate:

  

We saw a similar lift in clickthrough rates, as the 7 p.m. send gained a 16% increase:

 

 

By testing the time of day single product promotional emails were sent, we learned that, of the times emails were sent, 7 p.m. EST was the most optimal send time in terms of both open and clickthrough rate.

 

Testing the day of the week when people interact most with email

Next, we began testing which day of the week email recipients are most likely to open and interact with emails. We used the same product we used in the time of day email send to lower the chance of a validity threat.

Mondays at 7 p.m. EST was the control send time, and we hypothesized that there may be a better day that resonated with visitors to open and interact with our promotional emails. We had enough traffic to send an email out at the same time every day of the week, so that’s exactly what we did.

Emails were sent out every day of the week at 7 p.m. EST. When we looked at open rate, we saw that every treatment underperformed or didn’t validate:


When we looked at clickthrough rates comparing clicks to delivered emails, we saw that Wednesdays and the weekend resulted in higher email interaction. Tuesdays and Thursdays had the lowest interaction:

 


In this sequence of tests, we learned that sending emails at 7 p.m. instead of 7 a.m. showed a 12% lift in open rate and a 16% lift in clickthrough rate.

Saturday was the optimal day for visitors to interact with and clickthrough to the landing page, as it outperformed the emails sent on Monday by 6.37% and validated at 99% Level of Confidence.

 

What we learned

Also, recipients are more likely to open an email on Monday, but they are more inclined to interact with it on the weekends, as Saturday showed a 6% lift in clickthrough.

Overall, Mondays at 7 p.m. is the optimal promotional email send time for this audience. It is important to remember that every target audience is different and the best way to know the optimal time and day to send your emails is by testing.

Next time you open, delete and clickthrough your emails, remember that you are not alone. Several others are doing the same thing as you, and you can use that to your advantage in your next email campaign.

These tests are just one example of how the time of day and day of the week emails are sent could significantly impact your email campaign. The next test you run, don’t just think about testing copy and subject lines, but consider testing when your audience is most likely to open and clickthrough the email.

Have you tested email send times in the past? If so, let us know in the comments below what you’ve tested and found.

 

You might also like

Email Marketing: What is the best day to send an email? [More form the blogs]

Email Marketing: Learn from 3 A/B test results to set a firm foundation for your next campaign [More from the blogs]

Email Marketing: Unique send times for micro-personalization [Video from the blogs]

Infographic: Email open rates by time of day [Video from the blogs]

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Categories: Email Marketing Tags: , , , , ,

John Tackett

Search Marketing: How a simple copy change increased conversion 21%

September 18th, 2014

Serving customers effectively starts with intelligence.

It’s not the kind of intelligence needed to solve Sudoku puzzles or carry home a victory on trivia night, but rather it’s what you really know about your customers:

  • What keeps them up at night?
  • How could your product or service transform their careers?
  • How could what you’re offering transform their businesses?

Yes, to serve your customers effectively, you have to understand how your products or services are relevant enough to effectively relate to their needs.

It’s also worth mentioning that PPC testing can help you build your customer theory, often on the cheap.

In today’s MarketingExperiments Blog post, let’s look at some recent PPC ad experiments that show how you can better use testing and optimization to help you understand your customers’ needs and ultimately build a deeper connection with your customers.

But first, here’s quick overview on the test background:

Background: A CRM software solution for small and large businesses.

Goal: To increase the total numbers of clicks.

Primary Research Question: Which PPC will generate the most clicks?

Approach: A/B multifactorial variable cluster

 

Control 

Control

 

The original ad emphasizes the fact that the software is award-winning and can be fully integrated into a business.

Read more…

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Categories: Paid Search Marketing (PPC) Tags: , , , , , ,

John Nye

Ecommerce: 2 tips I learned from a garage sale

September 15th, 2014

My father passed away unexpectedly five months ago. As if that wasn’t enough of a tragedy, the situation left my mother and me in a position we never imagined being in — she could lose her home. Quickly, I set up a GoFundMe page to prevent this.

Despite adversities and setbacks, my mother has a positive outlook and is moving forward. She decided to host a garage sale to help cover some costs. The first sale she held earned enough income to cover some costs and inspire hope.

You may ask, “Why is this guy starting off his MarketingExperiments Blog post with a personal story? What can readers learn about marketing from a life event?”

In helping with my mother’s second garage sale, I gained two key insights that I’ve been able to use as a MECLABS research analyst.

 

Prominence and Eye-path: A match made at checkout

Most of us are aware that prominence is crucial to the discovery of any product on any page.

This cannot be truer than when it came to a convection oven we sold at the garage sale. It was a relatively high-priced, chunky item that had been used twice. We knew it would not be an easy sell.

So we prominently displayed the appliance on one of the very first tables in front of our enclosure – front and center in the sale and near our checkout. It was within our customers’ eye-path as they browsed and made small talk.

Our magic worked when a customer noticed the item when he began speaking to us. It was one of the first items sold.

This lesson can be directly applied to your website. Whether it’s a beefed-up kitchen appliance in a garage or a newly released product on your website, the product needs to be easily found for it to convert.

Read more…

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Categories: Ecommerce Tags: , , , , ,

Lindsay Johannesen

Website Optimization: Testing your navigation

September 11th, 2014

As we are testing our websites, we often focus on homepages, landing pages and funnels. These are the pages that “move the needle” and get results. However, there is one aspect of many sites that goes unnoticed by optimizers — the site navigation.

Site navigation is important because it gets your visitors where they need to be. Also, it’s usually one of the static elements of your site.

The navigation is visible on all of your pages and is often the one constant throughout the website.

It simply makes sense to focus your efforts on such a high visibility area that has such a great impact on your customers’ experience.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “What can I test in my navigation?”

To answer that question, I’ve constructed a short guide to help you start optimizing your navigation.

Potential navigation testing opportunities include:

  • Changing link names that may be confusing
  • Optimizing subcopy (if you give details in your navigation)
  • Changing hierarchies or organizations
  • Adding or deleting links
  • Optimizing visual features (icons)
  • Optimizing navigation indicators (hover and click functionality, lines, highlights, etc.)

 

Begin with goals and objectives 

It’s important to have clearly defined goals and objectives when testing your navigation.

While you want your site navigation to drive conversions, you should always remember that this is ultimately a tool for your site visitors.

It should guide them where they need to go in a clear, concise manner. So how do you measure your navigation’s success? What would be your primary KPI? In many tests, our KPIs are conversions or clickthroughs. However, much more thought must go into defining navigation KPIs.

Read more…

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Categories: Site Design Tags: , , , , ,

John Tackett

Email Marketing: 3 resources to help you optimize your next campaign

September 8th, 2014

Email by far remains the trusty pack mule for most marketers.

This is understandable given the growth within this channel (thanks in part to mobile), which continues to produce a solid ROI.

But, as they say, satisfaction is only the death of desire. There is always room for improvement. To save you from the pitfall of merely being satisfactory, here are three resources that will help you optimize your email marketing program and, hopefully, deliver a dynamic customer experience in your next send.

 

Watch: Subject Lines That Convert

 

In this Web clinic replay, Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS, reviews two effective approaches for building an immediate connection with customers through your subject lines.

How it helps

One big takeaway from this clinic you need to understand is that customers aren’t trying to open your emails; they are trying to eliminate them.

To prevent elimination, marketers must effectively transfer a customer’s attention into interest.

According to Flint, the transfer occurs when you “create a space in the prospect’s mind that can only be filled with what is coming next.”  

Read more…

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Categories: Email Marketing Tags: , , ,

Daniel Burstein

Email Marketing: Compliance-related re-engagement campaign messaging increases conversion 49%

September 4th, 2014

A name in a database does not a customer make.

You need customers and potential customers who actually want to receive email from you. To do that with your current email list — either for legal compliance reasons, like the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), or to win-back unengaged subscribers (like CNET did) — it may make sense for your company to run a re-engagement campaign.

We recently ran a re-engagement and reconfirmation campaign for our Canadian subscribers of MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa. The challenge for me when writing these emails was finding which messaging would be most compelling to subscribers.

At MECLABS, a challenge like that is a great opportunity to run a test, and then share the results with you on the MarketingExperiments Blog to help with your own campaigns.

To the splitter!

 

Treatment #1. Value of subscribing to the list only

Treatment 1 offered a reminder of the value our newsletters provide before asking the recipient to continue receiving these emails:

 

Treatment No. 1

  Read more…

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Categories: Email Marketing, Research Topics Tags: , , ,