Ready or not, the holiday season is here! It wouldn't be the holidays without a little last-minute shopping. Help make life a little easier for all of your customers by communicating shipping deadlines ahead of time so they don't have to go looking for shipping details.
At the height of holiday season, send your customers detailed information about shipping dates and policies. How long does shipping take? Can they order 2 items and save a few bucks on shipping?
Customers need to know for sure that their orders will arrive on time. For guaranteed Christmas delivery, here are the order deadlines:
For our first Tee Express Challenge, the top 10 teams who sell the most units from November 12 to December 4 11:59pm Pacific will win holiday gifts from the GearLaunch team!
Pro-tip: Send a series of reminder emails about order-by dates for Christmas delivery. For more effective communication, include the deadline in the header of all emails within two weeks of shipping deadlines.
First, share the order deadlines for delivery by December 23.
Then send a reminder at the last minute, to catch all the people who didn't see — or just completely forgot about — the first email.
A few things to consider when sending e-commerce emails:
1. Know who your customers are and when they normally read emails: Analyze your historical email data to see what days and times have the highest open and click-through rates.
2. Observe what your customers do in the time-frame of two hours after your email sending time: The vast majority of emails are read within the first 4 hours of delivery. Consider the whole time frame instead of focusing on a particular time of day.
3. Know when your customers usually make most of their online purchases: Don't focus on open rates; try to optimize for revenue. Analyze your existing customer base and find a trend on days and times they usually shop online. Compare this data with Google Analytics and Facebook Ads to nail the perfect email timing.
Let's look at some statistics that should help you get closer to the optimal sending time:
At first glance, it seems like the most optimal time to send to most subscribers is on a weekday.
According to MailChimp, the best time to send emails for e-commerce and retail is on the weekend.
Now let's zoom into the hourly level.
When we look at the typical distribution, it looks like the peak time to send emails is at 10am in the recipients' own time zones.
If we break the high-level time of day curve into content types, we see that the best time to send retail email is 8am-11am.
Note that retail also has more subscribers with optimal send times after business hours (not enough to shift the peak from the morning, though).
But of course, keep in mind that it's all about your audience. If your target audience is college students, the optimal send time will vary compared to sending it to someone who is retired.
College-aged recipients have an optimal send time distribution that is shifted to the right, with a peak at 1pm instead of the typical 10am.
Let's not forget about occupation. When we look at the graph below, we see some of the largest differences.
The optimal send times based on occupation vary drastically. Bartenders get a later start in the day, and their distribution is shifted right. For neonatal nurses, their schedules are unpredictable, so many nurses have optimal send times well past 8pm.
Always Be Testing
There's not an easy answer for what the optimal send times are. The best way to determine the optimal time is to formulate your own hypothesis based on what you know about your audience and then A/B test those send time hypothesis.