E-mail marketing – a big hit then a long tailoff in response

One confusing aspect of an e-mail marketing campaign is that whilst there’s almost always a big hit in takeup just after you send out the e-mails, it can be months before you see the full effect.

You might think that you can assume that the majority of your sales will come in that initial hit or within a few days of your e-mail but that depends a lot on the business that you’re in.

For example, we’re primarily e-mailing private owners of holiday accommodation and, in most cases, this isn’t their primary occupation. Therefore, if we send our marketing e-mails out Monday to Thursday we normally expect to get a lower immediate response than if we send them out Friday evening through to Sunday. However, that’s not always the case as our highest response ever was from an e-mail sent out on a Tuesday evening.

The season is also a factor so in our case if we send out the signup e-mails from June to August, we get get lower responses than if we send them out September through to February simply because the owners are just too busy to do much in the way of marketing whilst they’re in the peak season for guests.

Even the time of day can make a difference. This one is harder to call but generally your best bet is probably around 10am or 7pm on the principle that a workd-based target audience will have cleared up their overnight e-mails by 10am therefore yours will be on the top of the pile and likewise for a homebased audience at 7pm.

Whenever you do it though, don’t forget that many people file their e-mail for action later. In our own case, we often get a response from e-mail sent months earlier and, usually, would expect to get around 50% of the total response after quite a significant delay.

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