For Marketo users with email lists spanning multiple time zones, enabling the recipient timezone sending feature on email marketing campaigns is a no-brainer. Without recipient timezone sending enabled, your Marketo mail blast sent out at 9 am EST will reach your west coast readers at 6am.

If your list consists solely of early rising CEO’s, this is perfect, but most data shows open rates peak between 8-10 am.

Wait til 9 am PST?

Then your east coast readers may get it on their lunch break when open rates are typically lower. If you add international people to the mix, then that’s a whole different ball game.

Marketo's recipient timezone send feature solves this problem, and if you're still sending your email campaigns as a single email blast, this feature will improve your open rates and CTR’s. While, it’s a great way to quickly boost engagement, it does have some major limitations when compared to true send time optimization / personalization.

There are definitely times of day that are better to reach your customers, but there is no one best time to reach your entire list. The best time to send marketing emails is the best time for each individual, which is not always 10 am on a Thursday.

Graph of email send time optimization by Seventh Sense

Our research shows that different audiences read their emails at different times, but all audiences have both night owls and morning people, people who are on email at work and people who prefer to respond after hours or catch up on weekends. To reach everyone at their best time requires personalization.

Send time personalization works by building a profile for each email address based on previous engagement and interactions and doesn't require you to have gathered any location data such as a zip code to work.

By comparison, Marketo’s recipient timezone sending feature calculates timezones based on a person's City, State, Country, or Zip Code. If these fields aren’t available, it infers the timezone based on IP address, but with more and more companies and individuals choosing to use VPN servers, this data is often not very reliable. So while you should see an overall positive result from using the feature, it could mean some of your emails get delivered at an even worse time of day.

If you are still sending single email blasts, enabling recipient timezone sending in Marketo should be a quick way to boost your open rates and ROI. However, it's still lags behind the full send time optimization that can be gained by using a machine learning system like Seventh Sense to personalize your delivery times with Marketo. 

Want to learn learn some simple ways to boost your email engagment? Download the Guide to Email Fatigue.

Mike Donnelly

Written by Mike Donnelly

Founder and CEO - Seventh Sense