Marketing to Women: Just in Time Emails

October 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Holiday marketing has begun. Does it matter when your email arrives in your target’s email box?  Well,  a new survey sheds light on how timing of an email reaching a recipient’s inbox affects engagement and purchase behavior.  Conducted in September 2012, the StrongMail Email Delivery Performance Survey 2012 included more than 700 business leaders participating in the global survey.  Some of the survey highlights include:

— 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

When Consumers Prefer To Get Emails

Most consumers have a preferred time of day to shop online, but  research shows retailers are not aligning their email campaigns with those preferences, according to an October 2012 report from Yesmail. Here’s the kicker.  This report shows consumers (39%) preferring evenings between 6PM and 10PM as their preferred online shopping time, while just 5% of the email campaigns by top brands tracked over a 3-month period were delivered during that time window. The research suggests that the night time preference might be attributed to commuters shopping on mobile devices. Every target audience and geography has a preference of is own that should be determined by the marketer.   The majority (41%) of retail email campaigns are sent between 2AM-6AM, with another 31% from 6AM-10AM. These two time periods were preferred by just 5% of the consumers surveyed.

Marketers should consider timing their email campaigns based on subscribers’ channel preferences, as consumers who shop in-store indicate very different patterns than online shoppers. For example, 79% of in-store shoppers prefer to shop over the weekend, versus 31% of online shoppers. Among those online shoppers, 47% who identified a day-of-week preference selected a day between Monday and Wednesday.

What Consumers Want in Promotional Offers

What type of promotions get our consumers’ attention?  Consumers say the promotions that most influence them are percent discount, free shipping, money off, buy-one-get-one-free, gift with purchase and rewards points. When actual email promotions were tracked for a 3-month period, they measured up to consumer desires.  Discounts were the majority share (54%) of email promotions, followed by free shipping (30%), money off (13%), rewards points (2%), and a gift with purchase (1%).

For those of you who have not sent your first holiday season email, here’s some news that might give you pause.  Fifteen percent of top online retailers sent their first holiday email campaign in September this year.  That 15% is up from 11% only two years ago.  Everyone is vying for holiday dollars this year.

 Shopping Begins in October.  

Most consumers (51 percent) start their holiday shopping in October or November.  Twenty percent start their shopping before October, though 24 percent wait until December.


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