How to find the optimal time to email your store’s customers

Timing is everything.

Whether you’re asking someone out on a date or closing a sale, finding an opportune moment to close the deal takes some finesse. A little experience and targeted research about the people you want to connect with makes the job a lot easier.

Timing for ecommerce sales means delivering your emails to your customers in a sweet spot. That’s right — you can make one of the highest ROI marketing techniques work even harder by pinpointing email delivery time.

Luckily, landing a well-timed message to your customers won’t require a deep dive into academic studies on the absolutely best time to send your email. You won’t have to worry if some expert’s recommendation translates to your market or if the advice from an article that’s a year old is already obsolete.

You’ve got all the data you need right in your hand.

Spending a little time with your customers’ responses will tell you everything you need to know about when your customers are on their devices — and when they’re most likely to pay attention to you.

As you sift through all of this data, it’s easy for analytical types to get lost in the details. Keep in mind that your primary goal is to discover these things about your customers:

  • What times of each day your customers are most responsive?
  • What days of the week your customers are most active?

Here’s how you can look through the data and find the best windows of opportunity to connect with your customers.

1. Remember that a good message sent at the right time is better than the perfect message sent at the wrong time.

When we’re crafting messages to the people who cared enough to give you their email addresses, it’s easy to obsess over the wording. Instead of revising your email 17 times, invest that time investigating when your customers are most active instead.

When you’re writing a new email, create a draft, review it with staff or an editor and then send it. Good timing will haul in more conversions than magical copywriting.

2. Determine when people click the links in your emails.

If you want to see when you have the maximum number of eyeballs in your direction, see when people are clicking on the links in your email.

Are people reading your emails in detail at the moment they get them, or are they saving them for a time of day when they have more time to review them, like evenings or weekends?

Are they seeing them right away in the morning, or do they check later in the day?

Pay attention to the preferences for their clicks, and you’ll be able to land your emails precisely.

3. See when people typically open your emails.

Some people like to check emails frequently, delete the ones they won’t read, and save the rest to read later. See if yours are being opened immediately or saved for another time.

This data isn’t always perfect, however. Some mobile devices will skew this data because they will count an email preview as an opened email. You’ll also be able to see how many times a customer has opened an email to reread it.

Though sometimes people will turn off remote image loading, which means you’ll have no idea if they opened it at all.

Clicks are a better measure overall of engagement, but it’s still a good idea to look for patterns around when emails are opened.

4. Find out when people are buying from you.

This information pretty much tops the rest. If you can figure out when your customers are clicking “buy now,” that’s gold.

As you’re hunting for a buying pattern, check into several factors that might have influenced the sale, such as:

  • A specific email that was tantalizing
  • A promotion that grabbed a lot of attention
  • A campaign that offered high value

When you know exactly what made your customers shift from looking to buying, you can repeat your success, both in content and timing.

5. Pinpoint your customers’ buying cycles.

We all wish that getting a sale was as easy as providing a link and getting a click on the “buy now” button. But human nature doesn’t work that way.

Sure, impulse purchases happen all the time, but studies have shown that individual buying habits fall into a larger pattern.

Once a customer has made a purchase, they won’t buy again for a while. They won’t even click on links. You can keep their interest by offering content about getting the most from their purchase.

Next, they’ll start browsing. They might look at a repeat purchase for replaceable goods or fashion or an accessory for the item they bought. This is a good time to show them a higher-quality version of the item they bought or the most popular accessories for their main purchase.

Soon, they’ll warm up for another purchase, and you can suggest new items.

Smart Research = More Connection

Tackling this research on customer engagement gives you everything you need to schedule emails on a regular basis. If you’ve got the time to locate and analyze this data over a long period of time, you’ll get excellent information about exactly when to send targeted campaigns for repeat purchases or special promotions.

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