3 Important Tips About Timing Your Promotions

Best Times to Send Offers to Customers via Email, SMS and Mobile App Push Notifications

Sending out promotional offers to your customers, whether by email, text message or mobile app, can be hit-or-miss. You can track how many recipients actually claim the offer, test different offers or different wording. But would you get more claims by changing it up and sending your offers on a different day or at a different time?

A study by FiveStars examined this issue by studying over 7 million promotional offers and claim rates. Here’s what they found.

The Best Times to Send Offers to Customers

What Day of the Week Should You Send Promotions?

Mondays and Tuesdays are the days that are most likely to get a high response rate. The response rate drops a little bit every day after that, and reaches its lowest levels on Saturdays and Sundays.

While most companies in the study send promotions on Fridays and Saturdays, FiveStars says it’s better to send promotions on Mondays and Tuesdays, when there’s less clutter in recipients’ inboxes.

Bonus: Mondays and Tuesdays are typically slow days for many businesses, such as retailers and restaurants, so sending promotions could boost your business at the times you need it most.

What Time of Day Should You Send Promotions?

Again, the conventional wisdom may not be so wise. Most marketers in the survey send promotional messages in the morning, concentrating them between 8 a.m. and noon. However, the study found recipients are actually more likely to respond to promotional messages around 3 p.m.

The report didn’t offer an explanation for this, but I can think of a few.  Most office workers experience an afternoon energy slump, making 3 p.m. a popular time to check email or play around on your phone. Schools also get out around this time, so parents picking up their kids are frequently spending time on their phones.

Afternoon promotions are especially effective on busy shopping days, such as the upcoming sales frenzy of the holiday shopping season. With more promotional messages than usual hitting most consumers, messages sent at this time stand a better chance of getting noticed.

Are There Any Exceptions?

There are a few industry exceptions to the general rules.

  • Coffee shops in the study got the best response to promotions in the morning (not surprising, since that’s when most people get coffee). What is surprising: they also get strong response in the evenings, so if you own a coffeehouse, try sending some emails during rush hour and see what happens.
  • Casual restaurants, on the other hand, get the best results after 4 p.m., making that a good time to send your promotional messages.
  • Retail stores should send promotional messages in the early afternoon — that’s when their customers are most likely to claim the promotion.

By timing your promotions right, you can get maximum results from your efforts.

What have you found is the most effective time to send promotions?

Promotions Photo via Shutterstock

Rieva Lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is a Columnist for Small Business Trends covering employment, retail trends and women in business. She is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her blog, SmallBizDaily, to get the scoop on business trends and free TrendCast reports.