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New in STO: we have a pilot project to use STO in email nodes in the Automation Center.
In this article:
- What is Send Time Optimization?
- How does it work?
- Are there any limitations?
- Why is this good for my customers and for me?
- Supported Functionality
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.
- Send Time Optimization can currently only be enabled for ad hoc email campaigns. It cannot be used if the Advanced Scheduling options are used.
- 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.
During our pilot phase we found that STO could, under certain circumstances, affect email sending across an entire environment if too many campaigns are launched at the same time.
While we fix this issue, we have implemented a temporary limit on STO launches. For this reason, it may happen that you are not allowed to enable STO for a particular campaign. If so, you will be alerted via a message on the Scheduling page and in the Notification Center.
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.