Turns out that, as in life, timing is everything when it comes to marketing via e-mail or social media.
Yesmail Interactive, a Portland, Ore., marketing firm, tracked and analyzed the Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and e-mail campaigns of several clothing retailers over a three-month period to assess how effective they are in driving consumer engagement. The brands included: Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, American Apparel, American Eagle, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Diesel, Eddie Bauer, Express, Forever 21, Gap, Guess, H&M, J.Crew, Kenneth Cole, The Limited, Old Navy, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Urban Outfitters.
The results indicated that many social media and e-mail campaigns do not match up with consumers’ patterns for when and how they engage with brands. “While marketers have plenty of tools at their disposal to put these multichannel strategies in place, they have been slow to effectively harness the power of customer data available to them,” said Michael Fisher, president of Yesmail.
So what’s the best day of the week to run your campaign? In a comparison of the days when brands deploy digital campaigns and when consumers most interact with those campaigns via social channels, the findings showed that marketers are missing key opportunities to engage their target audience.
• Facebook campaigns achieve the highest level of engagement on Tuesdays, yet that day ranks fourth in terms of when actual campaigns are deployed.
• The majority of Twitter campaigns take place on Friday, which is the least-engaging day for those campaigns.
• The most interaction on YouTube occurs on Monday but it is the least-utilized weekday for campaign deployment.
“We also found that there are opportunities for marketers to utilize different types of content to engage consumers,” said Fisher. “The data revealed an upward trend in consumers’ interaction with video on Facebook, yet this format was only used in 6.5 percent of deployed campaigns.”
What is the best time of day to run your campaign? Yesmail’s report also showed a discrepancy between the time slot when campaigns achieved the most engagement and when retail brands deploy their campaigns:
• Facebook campaigns reached the highest level of interaction between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. EST, yet this time slot was the least-utilized by marketers. Instead, the most popular time to deploy campaigns was 11 a.m.-1 p.m. EST.
• More than 84 percent of Twitter campaigns occurred within regular work hours of 9 a.m.-7 p.m. EST, even though 5 a.m.-8 a.m. EST is the time frame with the highest level of customer engagement.
• Marketers tend to focus their YouTube campaigns during half of the day, missing possible engagement opportunities.
• A mere 3 percent of e-mails are sent after 6 p.m. EST, yet it is a fairly consistently utilized time slot for social campaigns.
How does e-mail impact social media campaigns? Yesmail’s research showed that if e-mail campaigns were sent out before social campaigns, those e-mails drive social engagement via share buttons and calls to action that promote interaction with the brand. When retailers’ e-mail campaign data was overlaid with social engagement data, the data showed a significant increase in engagement on social channels.
On Facebook, engagement grew by roughly 50 percent when one e-mail campaign was deployed on the same day and by 100 percent when two e-mail campaigns were deployed.
Twitter campaign engagement levels reached a 35 percent increase with one e-mail campaign and a 50 percent increase with two.
View the full report here. (Registration required.)