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Sending a marketing email? This is when top UK retailers do it

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UK retailers prefer to send marketing emails at the beginning of the month rather than the end and in the morning rather than afternoon, new research has shown.

The analysis of 126,652 emails sent by IRUK Top500 retailers, compiled by Beetle for InternetRetailing, recorded the most common times that the firm received marketing emails it had signed up to.

The results throw up a few surprises and possibly some opportunities for retailers.

Which day of the month?

The analysis showed that 3.5% of the total, the highest figure, were received on the first day of the month.

While the number of emails sent was fairly consistent across most other days of the month, there was a notable drop off on the 29th, when only 2.98% of emails were received.

On the 30th the figure was even less at 2.9%.

Martin Shaw, Head of InternetRetailing’s research arm RetailX, says: “The peak on the first day of the month probably reflects a common intention to coincide with many consumers’ pay-days, but perhaps there’s an opportunity for some retailers to differentiate by sending their newsletters a day or two earlier when inboxes are less cluttered.”

What time of day?

The research also analysed the times of day emails were sent, finding that the morning was overwhelmingly more popular than the afternoon.

Nine AM was the most popular time, with 10.9% of the total received at this time. This was followed by 8AM with 10.2% and 10AM with 9.7%.

There was a marked dip in the early afternoon, between around 1PM and 3PM. However, between 4PM and 6PM the number of emails received sharply rose, with 5.5& of emails received at 6PM.

Emails tapered off from 6PM onwards, with only 3.3% of emails received from 8PM to 4AM.

Shaw of RetailX says: “This broadly follows the sending times shown to result in the highest open rates in some Top500 research carried out in conjunction with Return Path.

“Night emails received relatively low open rates in the UK and France compared to Germany, while morning emails were 11% more likely to be opened by consumers in the UK than their peers on the continent.”

Which day of the week?

The analysis showed Thursday was the most popular day of the week for emails, with 18% of emails sent then.

This was followed by Friday, which saw 15.5% of total emails received, and Wednesday, which saw 13.97%.

The least popular day to send emails was Sunday which only accounted for 0.005% of total emails, followed by Saturday, which accounted for 9.6%.

Shaw says: “Reflecting on the [Return Path research], we found emails sent to UK consumers on Sundays were more likely to be opened (by 11%) than on any other day of the week.

“Clearly there’s a need to have digital marketing teams on site and available when newsletters are sent but there’s an opportunity for many retailers if those hurdles can be overcome

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