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What Times and Days Do Email Promotions Generate the Most Sales for Online Retailers?
Time

When should you send your email marketing messages to get the best results and the most conversions for your ecommerce site? A new study by Retention Science has some useful insights about how to get the most value out of your email offers. Retention Science analyzed 100 email campaigns, 20 million users and 100 million online transactions and here’s what they found:

  • Most companies send their promotional emails at the wrong time. Consumers tend to shop online in the afternoon and evening (65 percent). However, most promotional emails are sent first thing in the morning, so they reach consumers’ inboxes at a time when they’re not in a shopping mood. For best results, send your emails in the afternoon (38% of conversions occur then) or evening (27% of conversions take place). You shouldn’t ignore the morning, since 28.5% of conversions take place then; however, sending marketing emails late at night is pretty much a waste of time—only 6.5% of conversions occur in the wee hours.
  • Weekends are a wash. While you might think the weekend—when consumers have free time to shop—would be the best time to send marketing emails, Retention Science found just the opposite. Saturday was the lowest-performing day of the week, with just 3 percent conversion rates, followed by Sunday with 6 percent. Instead, send your promotional emails on Tuesday (28 percent conversion rate) or Friday (26 percent conversion rate). Wednesday had a 12% conversion rate and Thursday, 17 percent.
  • When in doubt, offer free shipping. Even when the dollar savings is less, free shipping is more effective as a marketing tool than percentage-off discounts. Retention Science found that free shipping offers are twice as effective as price-reduction offers in converting prospects to buyers.
  • Don’t stop seeking new subscribers. New subscribers to your email newsletters are valuable! Most conversions resulting from subscription email newsletters take place during the first 14 days of the subscription period (a whopping 89 percent). The first and third days of subscription deliver the highest conversion rates, at 23 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Conversion rates drop off steadily from that point to hover at about 2 percent. You may not even need to send new subscribers any type of offer, since they’re likely primed to buy from you—but if you find new subscriber conversion rates are lower than this average, consider testing some offers. Also segment your subscribers—long-term subscribers may need bigger discounts or more exciting offers to convert compared to newer ones who are motivated to buy without promotional offers.

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