How Are Brands Using Smart Send Time?


Improving your email open rates can seem like a tricky thing. After all, there are only so many things you can do to convince your subscribers to open your email. 

Many people think of subject lines and preview text as the main tools that help you to improve your open rates. And while they certainly have a big impact on open rates, there’s another incredibly useful tool at your disposal: the time when your subscribers receive your emails.  

Picking the right send time for your emails can help you see a noticeable lift in your open rates. But exactly how much of a lift can you expect to see? 

Earlier this year, we released Smart Send Time (SST), which uses our custom-developed smart optimization technique to learn the behaviors of your email recipients to tell you exactly when to send future messages to maximize your open rates. It also continually adapts to any changes in your customers’ behavior, so the best time to send your emails automatically changes as your customers’ behavior changes.

Following the release of this new feature, we collected real data from companies that used Smart Send Time to find the best time to send emails to their subscribers. More than 2,000 brands have used this new send time optimization feature to send 518 million emails across 11,600 campaigns since it debuted.  

For the first 1,000 brands that used Smart Send Time, we compared two sets of data: the open rates for those emails they sent at the optimal send time and the open rates for those emails sent at the times brands had been previously been sending their emails. 

To make the comparison, we used the results of the 24-hour exploratory send that the brands used while getting started with this feature. We also translated the send times of their previously sent emails into the local time zones of their recipients for the comparison since with Smart Send Time, you send all emails to recipients in their local time. 

Across all 1,000 brands, we saw an eight percent median lift between their optimal send time and their previous sending habits. Here’s a look at what brands in different industries saw, on average:

Industry Lift in Open Rates
Fashion and apparel 8%
Beauty and cosmetics 8%
Garden and home goods 7%
Jewelry and accessories 9%
Health and fitness 9%
Food and beverage 8%
Computers and electronics 6%
Sports and recreation 7%
Arts and crafts 6%
Smoking and related products 10%
Automotive and parts 7%

Across industries, you can see that these brands clearly benefitted by using Smart Send Time to find the most optimal time to send their emails to subscribers. 

Data also shows that, overall, brands saw average email open rates of 15.7 percent—a 33 percent improvement over the average benchmark open rate of 11.8 percent—by using Smart Send Time.  

The experiments don’t stop once you’ve used Smart Send Time once, though. By continuing to use this feature after you’ve found your brand’s best send time, you’ll continuously optimize your results to guarantee you’re always sending your emails at the best possible time for your recipients.

There’s much more to come with Smart Send Time. In early 2020, we’ll share a new reporting tool that will let you track what’s happening with this feature—why you’re seeing the results you’re seeing and what type of open rate lifts you can expect to see by using your optimal send time. In one place, you’ll be able to see open rates by the hour and how your conversions compare so you can help your revenue grow as your open rates grow. Stay tuned for more!

If you haven’t yet used Smart Send Time, give it a try. Learn more about how to get started with this feature. 


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