As someone who is not a marketer by trade (my career was software engineering to begin and then 13 years of enterprise sales), I read A LOT. So as a very curious person, I signed up for a few of HubSpot's Diamond Partners' blogs to digest as much as I could. Then it dawned on me that I should do a quick study (it only took about 10 minutes using Seventh Sense) to figure out what time of day and day of week they were posting their blogs. Surely these companies would be sending at optimal times, because they've got a lot riding on their email marketing ROI. It's no secret that timing can be a competitive advantage, which is exactly why advanced marketers A/B test what works best to increase engagement through their email marketing channel vs. relying on intuition. The primary reason for sharing my findings here is so that novice marketers (such as myself), and even advanced marketers who haven't had the tool set or time to A/B test what works best for the delivery time of their email campaigns, can get a better sense of what the big boys are doing. Here are the results of my findings, along with some observations.
People can only engage with so much information on one topic. I discovered that trying to read all this great content between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM, when it was delivered, was overwhelming. If you also subscribe to the HubSpot blog, that's just one more email coming in at the same time. I found myself reading SmartBug's content the most, simply because theirs was the only email on marketing topics arriving in my inbox in the afternoon which was high enough in my inbox when I sit down at night to go through anything that was not customer facing. I really wish they would all just send these to me around 10:00PM EST which is when I like to relax and learn new topics. This also happens to be sitting in the data they have on me.
People can only engage with so many emails per day. I ended up missing a lot of content that I wanted to read, simply because there was so much of it and it was all being delivered at a horrible time for me. I filed away a lot of articles that I know I'll never have time to read—because they just keep coming. Google has also figured this out, so they just send them straight to the “Promotions” tab for me which I never get a chance to go look at. The unfortunate part is that this can also cause Graymail problems for these senders.
The early bird gets the worm. After SmartBug, I found myself reading Impact's emails the most, simply because those emails were there when I sat down at my computer for the day. However, on days when I have meetings or calls first thing (most days), I didn't read their email at all, because it was buried at the bottom of the stack when I'd sit down at night.
Einstein's Theory of Insanity is worth a try. Bluleadz really mixed it up, sending at different times each day. Because they sometimes arrived at an ideal time for my schedule, they did get my attention from time to time.
The ideal solution is, of course, personalized delivery times based on historical data of when each contact engages with email, exactly the service we provide at Seventh Sense for HubSpot and Marketo users. But the next best thing is to deliver at a time your inbox-competitors aren't or try mixing it up on different days, for example Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at one time (say in the morning) and Tuesdays and Thursdays at another (say in the afternoon).