New in July, 2018:
- STO can be enabled for the final mailing after A/B testing, in Advanced Scheduling.
What is Send Time Optimization?
Send Time Optimization (STO) staggers email campaign launches over 24 hours and sends each email at a time after which the recipient is most likely to open it.
How does it work?
It uses machine learning to analyze your contacts’ behavior and identify the times when they are most responsive. This is independent of time zone, language or region. The contacts are then divided among 12 child campaigns, sent on the hour at two-hour intervals.
For new contacts with no behavior history, their first emails will be sent at a time calculated on the basis of your account’s aggregate historical data on open times. But the algorithm analyzes new responses for every contact on a daily basis and updates its model accordingly. This means that we will have more accurate data over time. Our research shows that, after sending 10 send time optimized campaigns, you can expect around 2-12% increase not only in opens, but also in clicks and purchases.
So that you can measure the benefits of STO, a control group is also created for each campaign. The engagement results of this control group are used as benchmarks against which STO results are compared. This is done completely automatically, so you do not need to devote time and effort to performing A/B testing on your own.
Are there any limitations?
- Send Time Optimization can currently only be enabled for ad hoc email campaigns and for batch email nodes in Automation Center programs that do not start with a transactional entry node.
- Currently, the option Do not send to duplicate email addresses, which you can select in the Email Settings step when creating your campaign, does not apply to STO campaigns.
- The campaign launch cannot be scheduled for the current day, the earliest available option offered in the date picker is the following day.
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. Turning STO on too early can actually result in a decline in your engagement results.
Why is this good for my customers and for me?
You want to maximize the chances that your emails will engage your customers. Send Time Optimization is designed to help you achieve just that. For your customers, this is one more example of how you are treating them as an individual, strengthening their loyalty to your brand and improving their experience.