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More Thoughts on Timing Tweets, Emails

Timing emails and Tweets is a subject of intense interest to marketers and brands. With consumers bombarded with content, there is only a small window of time - a fleeting moment in the case of a Tweet - to make your voice heard. With Tweets the stakes are high - few consumers use lists or other organizing devices to keep on track with Tweets so if they are not online when you Tweet, that is that. On the other hand, it is relatively easy to send a Tweet again - but then you run the risk of annoying the vigilant readers.

Opinions about the best time to send a Tweet range from 9:00AM Pacific Time to 4:01PM Eastern, according to an earlier article in MarketingVox.

Twice is Better?

Now Mark Suster at Cloud Ave. weighs in with his experiments in timing Tweets - specifically on the question of how many times is too much. Sometimes he would send a Tweet at 7pm and then again at 7.30am the next morning. "I wanted to see two things: Would the second (or sometimes even third Tweet) convert enough people to my blog to make it worth potentially annoying some people on Twitter? And would I get a reaction from the Twitter community telling me it was too much?"

His conclusion? If your goal is to send a Tweet that converts to people to a blog post sending more than one Tweet is recommended. "I would assert that people following you by definition are more likely to want to see content from you and therefore you're better off sending 2 versus 1 Tweets."

For a recent Tweet, 399 people clicked on his link on Twitter the at 7pm. For the second Tweet sent at 7am, 244 had clicked on it by 8.30am. "This number often passes the first number by the end of the day. If I sent out a third Tweet later (I didn’t) it likely would get about 50% as much as the morning one. This means that there are still many people who haven’t seen it and would like to."

Still, though, he advises, vary the time of day just to shake it up a bit. He also points to a strategy used by Babak Nivi at VentureHacks, who sends out multiple Tweets linking to the same story but with different text. "What he does is pulls out specific quotes from the story and then Tweets those but linking back to the same story. I find that this is more palatable for me than seeing the same Tweet 4 times (but has the downside of potentially driving people your blog post that they may have already seen)."

Email Timing

Email marketers face the same hand wringing over timing - with even greater stakes. Unlike Tweets, emailers cannot resend the same or even similar messages without seriously annoying customers. New research from Experian Marketing Services gives marketers some clues as to the best time to send an email. It found that almost half (47%) of transactions and three-quarters of opens and clicks occur within one day of the email receipt and that response times for transactions and revenue were found to vary by industry.

Companies in the Business Products and Services vertical tend to have the quickest customer response, with 52% of transactions and 79% of revenue received in the first day. In comparison to all other industries, Travel was the slowest with only 13% of transactions and 11% of revenue occurring on day one.

Experian CheetahMail's research also found that using time-limited offers in subject lines shows the quickest response time of all, with 59% of transactions in day one, while coupons demonstrate much slower response, with only 36% of transactions the first day. Abandoned-cart emails generate quick transaction responses with 52% received on day one, while also generating higher revenue per email in the long term. Meanwhile, welcome email recipients appear to require more time to make purchases, with only 33% of transactions occurring the first day.

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