Alita Harvey-Rodriguez, managing director of digital consulting firm Milk It Academy, addressed the NoVacancy hotels and hospitality conference in Sydney on Wednesday (24 July) on the subject of dynamic email content.
According to Ms Harvey-Rodriguez, almost four in five (79 per cent) of consumers admit they are more likely to engage with a promotional offer if it is personalised to them.
But it was questions from attendees about when and how often to send electronic direct messages (EDMs) to customers where Tuesdays came to the fore.
The digital marketer said that Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days of the week on which to send EDMs. Tuesdays, she said, are when people are most often planning their weekend activities, while Thursdays are payday for many employees.
She then went on to explain that 11am is recognised as the best time of day to send EDMs, followed closely by 2pm, when people are in a post-lunch “food coma”.
How frequently should EDMs be sent?
Ms Harvey-Rodriguez added that in Australia, the optimal time frame between sending EDMs is seven days — which is considerably longer than is seen in the US, where she said consumers are generally happy to receive these emails every one to three days.
However, she cautioned that the ideal frequency will ultimately depend on exactly what the business is trying to achieve.
And when it comes to abandoned shopping carts or online purchases, a reminder email or alert tends to be best sent one hour later.
According to Ms Harvey-Rodriguez, the abandoned cart reminder “works very well” for virtually every industry.
Not all customers are the same
But there is a caveat to this, Ms Harvey-Rodriguez said, which is that not all customers are the same.
“This is best practice, but that doesn’t mean it’s your best practice.”
She cited the example of one client she had worked with which sells to new mothers. The “best practice” method was failing to deliver the anticipated cut-through.
Looking into traffic data, she said they noticed a substantial spike at 2am — when mums would be up with their baby, often to feed them.
So, they shifted the abandoned shopping cart email to 2am, which swiftly delivered a three-fold increase in ROI.
Other ways to boost the effectiveness of digital marketing
Ms Harvey-Rodriguez shared some other tips for getting the most out of digital marketing:
- Incorporate a countdown clock on an offer that is for a limited time only, to create a sense of urgency.
- Send existing customers a special offer on their birthday or other relevant anniversary. For birthdays, she said this delivers a 26 per cent increase in transaction rates, making it a “quick win”.
- Determine what data you have about your customers, and then use these insights to engage with them. “By the time you get to conversion, you should have a reasonable amount of data about that customer.”
- At the most basic level, address emails to the customer individually, which she said are 26 per cent more likely to be opened than those which are not.
- Ensure the title case of your database is correct. Addressing a customer in all capitals, if that is how their name was inputted into the system, will come across as “yelling at them”.