Once Send Time Optimization (STO) is enabled for your account, it will appear on the Scheduling page of the eligible email campaigns, and in the Send email node of Automation Center programs.
You turn STO on and off via the toggle switch, and can use it for campaigns launched immediately or those schedule for a later date.
As Send Time Optimization needs past contact behavior data to determine the optimal sending times, we do not recommend using STO until you have at least 1 month of email campaign history. If you turn STO on too early, it will distribute contacts randomly among the child launches and this can actually result in a decline in responses.
Once you feel you have enough launched email campaigns, you should start to use STO for all your ad hoc batch campaigns. It will take a number of campaigns before STO has learned enough about the response habits of your customers. Until then, response rates will vary and may even appear to decline. You will be notified on the Send Time Optimization Dashboard widget when the model has become stable enough for the reporting to be statistically relevant.
For more information, read the Send Time Optimization - FAQ.
Launching an email campaign with STO
When your email campaign is ready to launch, activate Send Time Optimization on the Scheduling page. You then have two options:
- Launch now - Emarsys will immediately create a control group comprising 10% of the launch list, and then calculate the optimal sending times for the remaining contacts. Once the calculations are finished, the campaign will be launched to the control group and the first STO launch will take place on the next even hour. The remaining contacts will be divided into 11 further launches every two hours.
- Launch at - Emarsys will launch the campaign to the control group at the time you specify in the scheduling. The 12 STO launches will be spread evenly throughout that calendar day and will start at 00:00 am in the timezone defined in the account that launches the campaigns.
This feature can currently only be enabled for ad hoc email campaigns. It cannot be used if the Advanced Scheduling options are used.
The earliest available option offered in the date picker is the following day; you cannot schedule a launch for later in the current day.
STO needs to calculate the launch time for every contact in your launch list. When sending your first campaign, you should allow at least two hours for the initial calculations.
For subsequent campaigns, the time it takes for STO to calculate the best sending times may range from a few minutes to two hours. The actual calculation time depends on the size of your database as well as the complexity of the contact segment and the launch list.
Monitoring the performance of STO campaigns
On the Dashboard
The Send Time Optimization widget on the account Dashboard compares the response rates of STO campaigns against those of their control groups.