Find windows of opportunity, not best times

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At this week’s MarketingProfs B2B Forum, I had the privilege to teach a four hour Google Analytics intensive workshop in which I showed some of my most frequently used and advanced techniques for making Google Analytics work for you. At one point, we had a discussion about the best time for sending an email, and I showed a basic report for identifying when a marketing channel was most effective.


The big takeaway from that discussion is disabusing the notion of a best time entirely. There are no single best times to do anything. Rather, it’s important to understand that there are windows of opportunity, periods of time throughout the hours, days, and weeks when your marketing efforts will yield greater results, and periods of time when they will yield lesser results. These will be less “targets”, such as 2 PM on a Tuesday, and more periods, such as “try to be active around 11-3 for sure, and test other periods as appropriate”.

Even more important, one of the most vital things you can do is to segment your audiences as best as you can to see how different portions of your audience behave. For example, if you have a segment of, say, CMOs, chances are they open and read their emails at a different time than, say, procurement managers. Assuming that there’s one best time to do anything is naive at best. Find the windows of opportunity scattered through the hours and days in your audience personas and market accordingly.

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