Are You Hitting Your Golden Hour?

It doesn't hurt every now and then to have what is, literally, a timely reminder of some home truths in email marketing -- or at least, some learnings that appear to have stood the test of time. Now, you may well find that your campaigns don't conform to industry averages, but it doesn't hurt to know what they are.

Perhaps the least surprising statistic when email providers crunch through open rates to see which content appeals to whom at which time is that just before the working day starts is a hot spot. Around 8am to 9am is the golden hour for retailers to reach out to a b2c audience. It's here that research shows we are most likely to have our eye caught by an offer -- and, one can imagine, it's also the hour when we're commuting or just settling in at the office. With the bus journey underway, or the first coffee put next to the office laptop, there's clearly a final piece of "me" time before the working day begins. 

Before this golden retail hour, there is a two-hour space where hobby emails are best received. So if you're looking to get someone to engage around their favourite sport or pastime, you need to be emailing while they're pouring the cornflakes. If you can't quite tap in to how they love to fill their free time, then it's best to treat your email as a general retail offer that is best targeted at the commute or office arrival.

Later morning, it turns out, is a better time for government and charities. Presumably that's because a government requests to perform a chore based around tax or local land applications is a little like a request to help fund a new school building or send blankets to a disaster zone. It needs a moment when someone is not on the move and not getting settled in to their day so they can take in the content and act on it. 

After many research studies have reminded email marketers that the weekends are seriously untapped for consumer attention, Entrepreneurmagazine recently restated an old favourite that the working week days are best for performance, although not at the start and the end of the five-day burst of activity. Instead, the middle portion, most notably a Tuesday or Thursday,  tend to see highest engagement numbers, it claims.

So if the average statistics are correct, Tuesday and Thursday mornings should be happy hunting ground. Mind you -- nothing, of course, can beat your own data. As ever, these are general observations from multiple verticals across many demographics and nothing can beat analysis of your own response rates. 

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