Email marketing trends: Timing is critical


The arrival time of email campaigns affects performance, with 80% of marketers seeing an uplift in open rates at and response at a particular time of day, according to new research. The survey highlights how the ability to control when an email marketing campaign reaches the recipients' inboxes can affect engagement and revenue.


Email marketing provider StrongMail has announced the results of its “StrongMail Email Delivery Performance Survey 2012.”

Conducted in September 2012, more than 700 business leaders participated in the global survey.

View an infographic showing the main findings below:


Survey Highlights

• 80% have seen performance increased for emails delivered during a particular time of day

• 61% cite a decrease in performance when emails don’t arrive at scheduled time

• 74% would like more control over the arrival of their campaigns

• 53% are not currently testing for an optimal delivery window for their email campaigns

• 61% are not currently doing any segmentation of email campaigns by time of day

"The time when an email arrives in a recipient's inbox can play a significant factor on whether it's read or acted upon; however, it's clear from this survey that not enough marketers are testing for optimal delivery windows nor have the control they need to get messages delivered when they can be most effective," said David Atlas, senior vice president of marketing at StrongMail.

"Whether it's helping a flash sale site get millions of personalised messages delivered before a sales event or enabling a travel company to build anticipation around a daily email that’s consistently delivered at 9am, StrongMail's burst email delivery technology enables clients to meet their email delivery objectives."

"For our mums, checking zulily is part of their morning ritual, and they've come to depend on their 6 a.m. email from us," said Jessica Shapiro, director of brand and communications at zulily, a destination flash sale site best known for offering 90 percent off the most popular and up-and-coming boutique brands for mums, babies and kids. "With StrongMail, we can ensure we’re delivering our zulily daily email when mum expect it. For us, it’s critical we hit this tight delivery window to meet our mums' expectations and to maximise views and open rates."

Email Arrival Times Play Factor in Programme Success

With 80% of respondents reporting that they have seen spikes in performance based on when emails are delivered, it's surprising that more than half (53%) aren't actively testing for optimal email delivery windows. This lack of insight likely plays a role in why nearly two-thirds (61%) are not segmenting campaigns by time of day.

Establishing a Set Email Delivery Window Has Concrete Benefits

At 87%, an overwhelming majority of marketers report that there are tangible benefits to being able to control when emails arrive. Two of the top three benefits tie back directly to the primary goals of nearly all email campaigns: increased engagement (65%) and increased revenue (34%). The ability to run time-sensitive promotions (54%) was the penultimate benefit, which speaks to the importance that email timing plays in limited inventory promotions (e.g. flash sales) or any communication where success is linked to the start of an event (e.g. flight status update).

Challenges to Meeting Email Arrival Time Objectives Remain

While the survey results confirm that marketers understand the value of getting emails delivered when they are most relevant, nearly three-quarters (74%) would like more control over the arrival time of their campaigns. There are multiple factors that can limit a marketer's ability get their messages delivered during a set delivery window. With the top inhibitors being identified as internal resources (50%) and ESP limitations (22%), it's important for marketers to partner with an email service provider that has the resources and technology required to guarantee delivery of email campaigns within a set delivery window, both today and in the future.

About the Survey

The “StrongMail Email Delivery Performance Survey 2012” was conducted in conjunction with Zoomerang. The poll, which gathered feedback from 743 business executives in a wide range of industries, was conducted from September 14 - 24, 2012.

Full Results here

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