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Use Twitter to tell you when to send your Email Newsletter Advanced, Email Marketing, Email Newsletter Templates, Email Statistics, Email Tracking, Ezine, Increasing Response, Sending Newsletters, Testing

You can get vastly different results from your email newsletter depending on what day and time you send it.
Guesswork, testing different times/days and carefully monitoring your email stats is normally the best way to find out but i have a great shortcut for you…Twitter!

This is how you do it.

  • First, go to http://search.twitter.com and type in a few keywords related to your industry. In this example the marketing manager of a hotel wants to target people looking for ‘hotels in Dublin’. This search shows all the people on Twitter talking about and looking for Hotels in Dublin.

Twitters search results for Hotels in Dublin

  • Twitter very nicely gives you an RSS feed of these results in the top right hand corner. Copy the URL of this link.
  • If you have not already, sign up for a Google reader account.
  • Click the ADD A SUBSCRIPTION button in Google reader. Then paste in the URL of the Twitter RSS feed.

Google reader showing Twitter search results

  • Click SHOW DETAILS in the top right corner and you will see a blank graph. After a few days this will show some fantastic data on what day of the week, month and time that people where talking about “Hotels in Dublin”.
  • This is a great time to send out an email offer about Hotels in Dublin.

Twitter graph on best time to send an email

Twitter graph on best time to send an email newsletter

Happy emailing.
Tell us how you normally find the best time to send your email?

Thanks to Chris S Penn for this great tip.

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30 Comments

  1. Bernie Goldbach

    November 30, 2009 @ 4:31 pm

    I’ve heard Christopher Penn talking about clever ways to use Twitter. Isn’t Marketing Over Coffee one of the best business podcasts on the planet?

  2. admin

    November 30, 2009 @ 4:36 pm

    I never miss it Bernie, absolutely the best podcast on the planet.

  3. Crampee

    November 30, 2009 @ 10:26 pm

    Thanks for this great post. Just enabled my search. I look forward to seeing the results!

  4. Dennis Dalangin

    November 30, 2009 @ 11:41 pm

    Great post! I am looking into utilizing it now for my clients!

  5. Umbraco Developer

    December 1, 2009 @ 2:06 am

    Hi,

    Thanks for posting, what a great idea :) I am just looking into Campaign Monitor integration with a couple of other developers and information like this is really good for our clients and prompts new ideas :)

    Cheers,

    Chris

  6. Kristof

    December 1, 2009 @ 5:13 am

    This is a great tip on how to use Google reader to dig into deeper results. Unfortunately, there is a total disconnect between the time people are talking on Twitter and finding the optimum time to send an e-mail newsletter. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other.

    If you’re looking to find the best time to talk to people about certain topics on Twitter, then this is a great way to find that information. The drawback is that these are statistics for people talking on twitter as a whole, which may or may not correspond to the people who are actually following your updates on Twitter. If you want to find out those specific statistics, then you need to use a completely different analytic’s tool that will specifically track what your followers are talking about and when.

    Statistically speaking, the ideal time to send an e-mail newsletter is Monday or Tuesday with the best time being first thing in the morning or noon time. Even then, it’s the subject line that will determine the open rate — not generalized statistics about Twitter usage. Of course, these “ideals” are based on a wide range of studies. That said, the only way for you to determine the “best time” to send your e-mail newsletter is to conduct your own tracking.

  7. Abi Clowes

    December 1, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

    I always find this a fascinating topic and everyone seems to have a different opinion on when the best time is to send email marketing newsletters or campaigns. I like the suggestion of using a Twitter as a more analytical tool than just giving status updates – it shows a wider appeal and area for its growth.

    On the timing debate – i’ll throw my opinions into the mix and they have changed since we did some research into our clients’ activity (including some biggies like innocent, Seatwave and The FT) – we focussed on the time of day and it came up that first thing was just a black hole for campaigns as was lunchtimes – for the full paper go to http://bit.ly/6udxYR

  8. Kristof

    December 1, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

    @Abi Clowes

    Exactly to my point. You conducted your own tracking to determine the best time to send YOUR email newsletter. Every list will be different depending the list, the subject and the content offered.

    Curious, did you A/B test against different times of day and time of day v. subject line? One determines reach while the other determines the actual open rate. I seen blackhole’s myself only to realize it was the subject line creating it.

  9. admin

    December 2, 2009 @ 12:48 am

    Hi Kristof, i absolutly agree you need to test. The tip above is a great starting point on where you should start testing.
    Thanks for sharing the study Abi, are the results broken down by industry type?

    Alan

  10. Kristof

    December 2, 2009 @ 3:54 am

    @Alan

    Here are two charts published by eMarketer.com on email marketing open rates by industry. One for North America and the second for worldwide. The articles themselves are no longer accessible unless you have a subscription.

    Worldwide http://twitpic.com/rsbhw
    North America http://twitpic.com/rsbin

  11. Nathan Acosta

    December 2, 2009 @ 10:54 am

    Brilliant. Has its mentioned limitations but can definitely help put things into perspective. Thanks!

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    December 4, 2009 @ 7:24 pm

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  15. Patrick Steenks

    December 7, 2009 @ 10:20 pm

    Great tip!

    Unfortunately not (yet) very relevant for Dutch people, because of the limited amount of Twitter usage. But I can imagine this further taking off in the near future.

    Thanks for sharing.

  16. Ted Goas

    December 7, 2009 @ 11:11 pm

    Great tip. Do you think it’s possible to do something like this in an iGoogle start page?

    I agree with @Kristof, though. Really no connect between Twitter discussions and email. Though following Twitter trends could be help decide what day / time is best to update a site and tweet about it.

  17. Matt

    December 8, 2009 @ 4:49 am

    Nice idea! I’ll try it right now.

    Thanks.

  18. Susanne Sassen / Moshi-Toshi E-mailmarketing

    December 8, 2009 @ 9:59 am

    It’s really interesting to see Twitter (in combination with Google Reader) can be used to find out what’s the best time and day to send a mailing.) It’s a pretty simple way to find out when there is the most ‘talk’ about a certain subject on Twitter. Nevertheless I do agree with one of the comments above that when there is ‘talk’ about a certain subject on Twitter it doesnt necessary mean that people open they’re mailings/newsletters at the same time.

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  20. MT

    December 15, 2009 @ 10:47 pm

    Love it! never thought of using Twitter like this, very clever.

  21. bampairtrading

    December 21, 2009 @ 3:29 am

    Thanks so much! This is a fantastic news that we can use Twitter to help us with finding our best time to mail.

    Started to set up my searches already. :-)

    Very helpful!

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  28. Leo

    August 9, 2010 @ 12:30 am

    You can also use RowFeeder (https://rowfeeder.com/) to do the same thing and you can even get demographic & location data from their pre-built charts & graphs to be even more targeted! :)

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