Deliver Smarter Autoresponders With Send Windows

At the end of our recent post on the trouble with choosing the “best” time to send your autoresponders, we proposed that autoresponders need to get “smarter:”

Throughout most of the history of email marketing, this sort of focused delivery scheduling was only available for broadcasting – not for autoresponders.

That’s about to change. To learn how, watch this video or read on.

Send Windows Make Your Autoresponders Smarter

Today, we’re excited to announce that you can deliver your automated follow up messages during the days and times you’ve determined to be best for your subscribers.

To see Autoresponder Send Windows in action, watch the short video below:

As you can see, you can easily choose during which days, and times you want your autoresponders to go to your customers and prospects.

And when you opt to use the geographic awareness, we’ll automatically adjust delivery to each subscriber’s time zone – no matter where they are in the world, if you tell us to deliver your follow up in the morning, that’s when we’ll send it to each person!

How Can You Use This To Make Your Email Marketing More Effective?

A few ideas:

Those are just a couple ways you can start to increase your response rates with send windows – we know you’ll come up with different and creative ideas on how to use them. When you do, we want to hear about them!

Learn More About Autoresponder Send Windows

See how to create Autoresponder Send Windows in our Knowledge Base…

Hope you enjoy the new Autoresponder Send Windows!

By:
Justin Premick is the former Director of Educational Products at AWeber.

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42 Comments

  1. Hi Justin & Team,

    This is fantastic! I appreciate the quickie vid…

    Now I have more control over my Autoresponders as I do over broadcasts. I prefer that Autoresponders are sent during the weekdays only. So if I have a daily sequence of 7 that begins on Wed, I want Aweber to skip Sat and Sun. And now I can! Fabulous.

    The other feature I’m excited about using is the geo awareness. It bugged me that the autoresponder gets sent to someone at midnight. Now if I want the recipient to have a 10am experience, we can deliver that across the board regardless of time zone! This is especially helpful if I want to make time references such as "this morning".

    Thanks!

    6/17/2009 6:29 pm
  2. One word: "Awesome!"

    I believe you provide all flexibility that is ever needed for scheduling follow-up sequences now.

    I’ll make this the hot topic of my current email marketing tips blog carnival edition, which goes live today.

    ——————-
    A quick question.
    ——————-

    What’s the dependence between the interval and the permitted days for sending?

    I assume you do the following: You check if a message needs to be sent according to the day interval setting and the date of the previous follow-up message having been sent. Then you send it immediately or schedule it to be sent during the next send window for that message and subscriber.

    Let me give you an example and you tell me, please, if I see this correctly.

    * All messages scheduled with an Interval of 2 days, but only to be sent on Tuesdays.

    New subscriber joins the list and confirms the email on Monday, June 01.

    * The next message would need to go out on Wednesday (2 days later), but the next send window will be Tuesday, June 09. That’s when you send it. In this setup (a) all the follow-up messages would be sent on Tuesdays, weekly.

    (b) Alternatively, since the delay is set to 2 days, messages could pile up as well, and you could send 3 messages all on the same Tuesday.

    I assume that you have implemented it like example (1). Either way would be fine, we only need to know. I hope my question makes sense. (I am still excited about this new feature.)

    6/17/2009 10:15 pm
  3. Excellent addition to your service.

    Just one thing everybody should consider – don’t get into the habit of "always" sending at the same time, people are getting used to it "too much" and getting in the mood of "ah another automatic email".. (tested)

    So yes, use it, but use it wisely.

    AWeber gets better and better, thank you.

    6/17/2009 10:18 pm
  4. Jim

    Beautiful!

    You guys sure make my life easier!

    6/18/2009 6:43 am
  5. We use aWeber and have had a great experience with this software.

    6/18/2009 6:58 am
  6. I’m so relieved! Last time I ran a virtual retreat, I wanted everyone to get the daily message early in the morning. This meant that I had to send out each message 8 times to different time zones around the world.

    Now one click makes it all happen – super!

    6/18/2009 7:14 am
  7. Cathy

    Great feature… but what would really make it useful is if this could be set to send out at the same time as the subscriber first subscribed. Their subscription time indicates when they’re most likely to be in the mode of reading email, searching for info on our niche topic etc. Without this information, picking a time and day to send is totally arbitrary.

    6/18/2009 7:31 am
  8. John,

    I think your question makes sense, but it is 8 in the morning :)

    In your scenario, we do (a).

    Obviously sending all messages only on Tuesdays is sort of an atypical use.

    Let me give you what I think will be a more common scenario:

    - Your subscriber signs up and confirms on a Thursday.
    - The next message has an interval of 2 days.
    - Your send window for that next message is set Monday-Friday (i.e. avoiding weekends).

    Normally, this would mean that next message would be delivered on a Saturday. But your send window omits Saturday. So we’ll deliver it on the next day you have included in your send window, which in this case is Monday.

    6/18/2009 7:36 am | Follow me on Twitter
  9. David,

    Smart advice.

    Two reports I think people should look at when determining what send windows to set:

    – Opens Over Time
    – Clicks Over Time

    Both are available at the "Reports" page of your account.

    You can look at these to see *what times* people are most apt to open your emails and click on links.

    You’ll want to exercise some judgment as well (you know your customers better than any person at AWeber does), but those reports are a good starting point for choosing send windows.

    6/18/2009 7:40 am | Follow me on Twitter
  10. Marian,

    Thanks! I think the geographical awareness is pretty cool, too.

    Cathy,

    I’m not sure I agree with you.

    As an anecdotal example (and of course, your mileage may vary), I was on my computer at 1:00 in the morning last night.

    Now, had I signed up for your email list overnight, would you want to email me at 1:00AM? (I am getting a bit older ;) and don’t stay up that late as often as I used to.)

    I recommend looking at the “Opens Over Time” and “Clicks Over Time” reports because they’ll give you an idea of when people are actually interacting with your emails.

    6/18/2009 7:41 am | Follow me on Twitter
  11. This is such a great add on feature. Just in watching the video you can really see the power behind it.

    This also allows for precise manged email campaigns that can be set up around if a person opens the email or not, clicks the link or not and even if they buy.

    What a great feature.

    6/18/2009 7:51 am
  12. Steve

    Uhhh… The video doesn’t work.

    6/18/2009 8:26 am
  13. Steve,

    The video works fine for me.

    You may want to check to see that you have the latest version of Flash Player.

    If you want, you can also try viewing the video directly on YouTube.

    6/18/2009 9:02 am | Follow me on Twitter
  14. It is no wonder Aweber is "Numero Uno." You guys keep raising the bar time after time and have made it nearly impossible for new competitors to penetrate your market. Especially when those new players try to convert you over using spam tactics. You go figure.

    Keep up the great work!

    6/18/2009 9:20 am
  15. Hi What a great new feature! Thanks.

    I know that customers always want a little more than you currently provide, so here’s a related question:

    Say I have a sequence of Follow-Up Messages going out every 7 days AND I then want to send the occasional Broadcast message, is there a way of avoiding my customers receiving a Follow-up AND the Broadcast on the same day?

    Thanks for a fantastic service!

    6/18/2009 9:24 am
  16. Brilliant new feature!

    As David noted, I’d avoid sending every email at the same time, on the same days. This ensures subscribers don’t get burned out.

    Justin: I’m on the old payment plan (without analytics), but your suggestion about “Opens Over Time” and “Clicks Over Time” is knocking me off the fence… I might just upgrade.

    Thanks much!

    6/18/2009 9:42 am
  17. Hi Aweber,

    This is awsome… Just what we all needed.
    Thx for keep making Aweber and my biz so easy and flexible!

    6/18/2009 9:47 am
  18. Pete,

    There’s not an automated way to do that at the moment.

    You could search your list for people who are supposed to get a follow up on the day of your broadcast ("Date Last Follow Up" is a handy search term for this), add them to your suppression file before broadcasting (and remove them from it after your broadcast is sent).

    Carl,

    A testing/stats lover like you, not using the email analytics? :) Surely you jest…

    6/18/2009 10:43 am | Follow me on Twitter
  19. Absolutely brilliant addition guys!

    Thumbs up to the Aweber Team!

    6/18/2009 10:45 am
  20. Thanks Justin,

    My example did not make much sense, but delivered the point easily. In my blog post about this new great feature I used the "sending Mo-Fr" example, too. Thanks for your early morning comment. :-)

    By the way:

    For some folks the localize timezone feature could make sense sometimes for broadcasts, too. Though a couple of things think about:

    * Timezones can be up to 19 hours in the future.
    * RSS, Twitter feeds.
    But that’s about it.

    6/18/2009 10:46 am
  21. Joe Cooper

    Hi Justin,

    Thanks for another great feature… its funny because in all the time I have been using aweber (several years now!), I have never once thought about the timing of autoresponder emails until last night! then today I see you have done this! what a coincidence.

    I must mention one thing though… you keep coming out with all these new and amazing features, but there are still a couple of very simple things that would make a huge difference but have not yet been done! Such as:

    1. Allowing for the 1st message in a sequence to be sent at an interval rather than having to send it immediately. This is really a must have feature, and I’m sure it would be one of the easiest possible features to add!

    2. Slight tweaks to the list automation features (ie sublisting etc)… for example i have 2 products that are related to each other, and when someone buys product A, I want them to be on an autoresponder sequence promoting them product B. HOWEVER, if someone buys product B, then I want them on a sequence promoting product A! So obviously once someone has bought the 2nd product, I dont want them to be subscribed to the list promoting product A again! So there should be an option for something like "If subscriber is currently subscribed to XXXXXX list, then skip followups for this list." or "If subscriber is currently subscribed to XXXXXX list, then start subscriber on message # XX"

    3. Currently you can send broadcast emails based on segments… why can’t you send autoresponder followups limited to certain segments? Surely that couldn’t be too difficult to implement!

    4. At the moment, your tracking code is only using http and we need to install it on our secure pages in our shopping cart! can you not have an https version too like google analytics has?

    Just a couple of suggestions that I’m sure would make a big difference with a lot of people and hopefully are pretty simple to implement!

    In the mean time, great new tool. One thing I was thinking though… without doing the new time scheduling, the timing of autoresponder messages probably works itself out pretty well, in that its likely that whatever time the subscriber joins your newsletter, this is probably the kind of time that they generally get online (obviously not in all cases! but surely a lot of the time)… so it’s possibly worth keeping that in mind! but the great thing is, you could use that, and keep their time the same, but for example not send on weekends.

    There are many different ways this new feature could be used for different people’s needs! thanks again.

    6/18/2009 10:50 am
  22. I agree that Aweber just keeps getting better! Love these new options that allow me to customize when I send. Fantastic!

    I’m not sure why, but my Reports page doesn’t give me the option of viewing Opens and Clicks Over Time. Hint, anyone?

    :)

    6/18/2009 11:06 am
  23. Fantastic, guys! Thanks so much for this exciting and freeing option- and also for the ‘very simple/very easy’ vid!
    Most appreciated-

    6/18/2009 11:08 am
  24. Well done, you guys! These are the kinds of things that really make a difference. I’ve been waiting for such an upgrade from aweber for a while now. I’m looking forward to implementing it on my lists. Thanks!

    6/18/2009 12:07 pm
  25. Amanda

    It’s cool, but unfortunately I don’t have 400 bucks/mo. to add this to my account…

    6/18/2009 12:44 pm
  26. This is a massive step forward – I can’t believe it but I actually found out about this amazing feature first from the Warrior Forum!

    Anyway now I know about it I’ll certainly be using it in all my autoresponders from now on!

    Well done Aweber – you continue to amaze!

    6/18/2009 2:44 pm
  27. Wow, you always surprise us! You are the best!

    Even Spanish websites prefer using Aweber instead of a Spanish service.

    6/18/2009 4:07 pm
  28. Perfect,I have a website that gives out a free quote a day. I try to keep them inspirational, and would like to get my inspirational quotes of wisdom out in the early morning. I would like to get quotes to my subscribers so they can start thier day out right. Like I said perfect!

    ps. I now have as part of my website "Gaurenteed to be up before you Are..!

    6/19/2009 8:07 am
  29. WOW!

    Did I say?… WOW!

    You’ve outdone yourself on this feature.

    I have quite a few subscribers around the world and this is a great way to be able to deliver their message when they are awake. I also find in my niche that Sunday shows a better open rate for me.

    Thanks for this feature.

    6/19/2009 2:19 pm
  30. This sounds like a great tool that will allow email marketers to have much more control over their autoresponder sequence.
    Living in Australia, I know that almost all my emails are received during the night when it’s daytime in U.S.
    Therefore I awake to a massive stack of emails to sort through, but then don’t receive many more during the day because it is night time in the U.S. and Europe.
    Aweber is definitely on the right track with this update to it’s system.

    6/20/2009 2:22 am
  31. Hi Justin,
    these are great new features, compliments!
    But I don’t understand why (for sure it’s my fault or I am losing something) the timezone one is not available for broadcast messages as well, don’t you think so?

    Thank you for your always interesting nl!

    6/22/2009 10:18 am
  32. crina

    Hi Aweber,

    This is awsome feature .It is just what I needed.It help me to work better to my CostaRicaHQ.com
    Thans for keep making Aweber and my biz so easy to work with and so informative.

    6/23/2009 4:08 am
  33. What a GREAT feature! Makes so much sense. Now we can truly optimize our autoresponder campaigns. Sucks when some people opt in at 2am and ALWAYS get their emails delivered at 2am…

    GREAT new feature.

    Thanks guys.

    6/23/2009 9:19 am
  34. Amit

    Good work guys..

    6/25/2009 9:34 am
  35. really this product / service is excellent would be nice for you to start to see how to put it in Spanish, as there are many colleagues who are using it and many do not acquire it for not knowing the language

    PS My English is not the best but you can make some changes so that everyone take this opportunity to meet AWeber :)

    8/6/2011 10:25 am
  36. DAve

    Why is this video set to “private” on YouTube now?

    11/1/2013 9:56 pm
  37. Hi Dave,
    The video should be viewable now. Sorry for the inconvenience!

    11/4/2013 9:50 am