When to Send Your Autoresponders

Like most emailers, the majority of your allotted “email marketing time” is probably spent crafting messages, perfecting copy and double checking to make sure your links are functional.

But once your messages are ready, do you remember to consider when they’re going out? If your email ends up buried in the inbox before a subscriber can even acknowledge it it, you are setting yourself up for poor results from the get-go.

In our recent survey of email marketers, respondents agreed that autoresponder send windows have several clear advantages for combating timing conflicts. Keep reading to find out what they are and how your campaign can benefit from them!

The Results Are In…

Based on our survey, the benefits of scheduling follow up messages were amazingly clear.

23.66% of respondents said that subscribers are more likely to open emails because they know when to expect them.

21.14% said send windows help them reach subscribers when they are in the right frame of mind to think about their subject/business.

12.15% said they enable them to reach subscribers when they are in the right location to think about their subject/business.

But Should You Really Send At Different Times?

The beauty of the follow up message is that you only have to set your sequence up once and it continues to go out to subscribers until they reach the end. However for many businesses, traditional follow up messages are limiting and can lead to some inevitable internal questions:

  • Are my emails going out at a consistent time or are they helter-skelter?
  • If sent at random times, do those times bomb?
  • Have I set proper expectations?

That’s where send windows come in.

What works for the local pizza joint could very well be different from the high-end boutique down the street. Send windows help you pinpoint what works best for your business, then focus on the specific days and times that are beneficial to you.

The Best Times to Send

The habits of your subscribers are unique to your business. There is no one way to run an email marketing campaign, so you really have to do some searching to find the formula that works for you.

One Place to Spot Trends? Your Opens and Clicks Over Time Reports:

Opens Over Time

You can look at these reports to see what times people are most apt to open your emails and click on links, which will give you an indication of when your subscribers are most actively opening your messages.

Then, based on those times, you can set send windows for your follow up autoresponders that mimic the most productive times for opens and clicks.

For the campaign featured in the chart above, we would set the send windows for 6AM – 12PM, since the open activity peaks between those hours.

Send Window

Setting Expectations

The Opens and Clicks Over Time reports are a great indication of when to send your messages going forward. Once you’ve discovered the busiest times for message opens, you can use that information to educate new subscribers.

On your thank you page, let new sign-ups know that your emails will arrive between the times you’ve set as your send window.

List signup thank you page

This way, you’ve set expectations and your subscribers won’t waste any time searching their inboxes for messages from you. They know what you’re sending them, and when to expect to receive it.

How Do You Use Send Windows?

Have you experimented with this handy tool? How has it helped your campaign?

We’d love to hear from you. Share your experience in the comments below!