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The Many Arguments to Timing a Campaign

Facebook posts made by retail brands during the overnight hours of 8 PM to 7 AM drive 20% more user engagement, in terms of like and comment rates, than posts made between 8 AM and 7 PM, according to a new report from Buddy Media. It is the latest of a series - a large, ever-expanding series - of data points offered up to the marketing industry about the best time to send a campaign.

Twitter, Email

Similar analysis has been done for Twitter, although in this case the opinions tend to be widely divergent. Perhaps the area with the greatest amount of data is, not surprisingly, email marketing, among the most mature forms of online advertising. Here too, at least according to analysis by Exact Target the optimal day/time to send an email seems to be a moving target.

Monday may be seen as the best day by many firms but Exact Target has found it consistently ranks 5th or 6th in the terms of open rates, based data from the company's 2004 Markeitng Response Rate Study. A study in 2005 found that Friday was the best day to send email to get a high open rate. There are other factors as well to consider.

Live Chat As Well

A recent live chat promoted in an email by Ann Taylor Loft got the recipient - Kristen Gregory, manager of Strategic Services at Bronto Software - thinking about this form of online marketing and its role in email marketing. In short, she wrote in a blog post, live chats are a good idea to get consumers to engage with the brand, but the timing of the email promoting the chat needs to be carefully considered. Subscribers need ample notice and Gregory only got the email at 3:38 pm the day of the chat session, which began at 4 pm.

Even weather can play a role, marketers have found.

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