Target Individuals for Personalised Email Marketing
A recent survey by SimplyRelevance has found that targeting individuals with personalised email works better than targeting consumer ‘segments’. While many marketers believe that email targeting can be carried out using basic segmentation, such as by gender, it was found that this was generally insufficient.
This is because individuals have certain windows in their day when they are receptive to taking action. The study found that outside of this window, email was never acting upon and these hours varied by person to person.
The report calls this the “magic hour” and it can be worked out by looking at key demographics such as gender, age and income. This means that by examining data held about consumers, email marketers can better judge when it the best time to send personalised mail.
Add modern marketing tools into the mix and you have a powerful combination of software and data in which to work with.
It was found that consumers open email at certain times of the day, with some opening 23 out of the 24 hours in a day and others less. Men tend to open email on average within 8 time periods per day, while women averaged 7. However, opening mail doesn’t necessarily lead to action and just 62% click through to a site during any one single hour in the day.
Men tended to click through more often in the early mornings from 4am to 9am, while women do so in the afternoons to evening between the hours of 10am and 9pm. Looking at every hour that people check their mail, it was found that all consumers tend to prefer to take action in just one of them. 57% of men and 66% of woman prefer to do the latter, while 22% of men and 19% of women click through in 2 hour time periods.
High earners, gender and income
The study found that people on high incomes, over $150,000, tended to click more often in the very early mornings between 5am and 8am, while those on incomes of $75,000 or less were more active in the 9am to 8pm time period.
When adding further optimisation, such as purchase history, age, household composition, social engagement and income, this can help marketers to achieve results quickly and increase sales. This means that customers can be contacted at their preferred time of day, instead of just one set time period, such as noon, when many customers won’t see the mail.
As the graph below shows, the optimum time for clicks is in the morning, with 5am to 11am being the best window of opportunity, peaking at 9am. However, men preferred early mornings while women also clicked through in the afternoons more than their male counterparts.
This means that “if only one email campaign is sent per day [by marketers], it will miss more than half of their target customers.”
A similar situation was found when clicks were based on income and it’s likely that by sticking to once a day, marketers are in danger of losing a large proportion of the target audience they want to reach.
Marketing still finding applying data difficult
The research discovered that marketers still find it difficult to apply data to personalise email campaigns. Individualised customer messages mean that engagement can be significantly increased and not to get to grips with demographic data means that marketers are in danger of missing out on “the single greatest opportunity for almost any company to increase revenue”.
By analysing data in order to make informed decisions then personalising and sending in the right hours of the day, marketers will have a much better conversion rate. However, this is dependent on customising subject lines for individuals and alongside software partners that can help to tackle analysis with a view to harnessing data resources.
This, the report says, means that especially if they also work with an email customisation expert, marketers can increase sales by 30% or more.
Examining this data is essential to success then and marketing automation software means that email can easily be scheduled to go out to different groups at different times.