As an ecommerce retailer, you know the importance of connecting with customers through direct outreach like emails and texts. And with high open rates -- 95% within three minutes to be exact -- SMS marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your customers. But timing is everything. You risk annoying your customers and losing subscribers if you send an SMS message at the wrong time.
We've run the data and have seen patterns that reveal the best day and time to send SMS marketing messages. But there are nuances. Every ecommerce brand, and every text campaign, is different, and you should run tests to determine the best timing for each text you send.
What is the best time to send SMS marketing?
After analyzing millions of texts brands have sent through the Emotive platform, we've found that the best time to send text messages to subscribers is 12 pm Eastern on Thursdays and Fridays.
But every ecommerce brand should run tests to see what days and times are most effective for each type of text message campaign they send.
Things like your audience, product, campaign goals, customer behavior, and time of year should all be considered when timing marketing messages to your subscribers.
How often should you text your customers?
It's no secret that SMS marketing is one of the most effective channels for ecommerce brands. But with great power comes great responsibility. You don't want to plague your customers with too many texts, or they'll unsubscribe in a heartbeat. So frequency is also important to consider when thinking about text timing.
Sure, you could send texts every Thursday and Friday at noon Eastern, but that'd probably be too close together if you're not texting at any other time during the week. Customers will likely feel annoyed hearing from you again so soon. So if you're consistently sending two texts per week, you're probably better off spacing them out.
Your frequency might change depending on your goals and your audience. For example, if you're running a time-sensitive promotion, you might text your subscribers every day until it expires. Or, if you're simply trying to keep your brand top-of-mind, you might text once a week or even once a month.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how often you should text your customers. But to strike the right balance, consider your overall flow of SMS messages, your products, and how your audience is engaging with your texts.
If you're sending messages multiple times a week and getting low engagement, you'll want to consider scaling back frequency or changing up the type of content you send.
Best practices for timing your SMS messages
By following these general guidelines, you can make sure you're not overdoing it with your SMS marketing campaigns. And that means more happy customers, fewer opt-outs, and more sales for your ecommerce business.
Text during waking hours
One time you don't want to test texting customers is when they're sleeping. And It can feel rude to receive a text in the middle of the night! Particularly if subscribers don't turn their phone on silent.
The TCPA even prohibits businesses from texting customers between 9 pm and 8 am in the subscriber's timezone. And some states have stricter laws.
When you text during waking hours, your subscribers will be more likely to see and engage with your message.
Consider what kind of text you're sending
Every ecommerce brand should consider what kind of text message they're sending before they hit send. That will dictate when and how often you should send it.
Subscription confirmation: When a customer subscribes to your SMS list, send a subscription confirmation right away, particularly if you've promised something like a discount for signing up!
Promotional messages: These are special offers, sales, or discounts that you want to share with your customers. Promotional messages should be timely so customers know they need to act fast. But they should only be sent during regular waking hours. For example, if your sale ends on a Tuesday, you should consider sending a reminder the day before and the day of, even if you've found your best text engagement is later in the week.
Transactional texts: These are updates on orders, shipping, or returns. Customers will appreciate being kept in the loop on the status of their orders. Send these as soon as there's an update.
Keep the calendar in mind
When planning your text campaigns, keep the calendar in mind. You'll want to avoid sending promotional texts on widely celebrated holidays when people are probably busy or spending time with family.
But you can also use the calendar to your advantage. For example, Black Friday is the biggest day for shopping. So you should develop an SMS strategy leading up to it to make sure your audience knows about your deals.
You can also time messages with paychecks. Many people get paid at the end of the month and are more likely to buy then.
Adapt to your audience
When determining how often to text, it's also important to consider your audience.
If you have well-defined audience personas, you can use that to change the timing and frequency of your texts. For example, if they're busy professionals, they may appreciate fewer texts, so they're not constantly bombarded with messages. And you'll want to consider sending texts before or after work hours.
However, if they're stay-at-home parents, they may have more time to read and engage with your texts throughout the day.
If you don't know this information, you can segment your customers based on how often they engage with your SMS marketing messages. Send more texts to your most engaged customer segments and fewer to folks who are paying less attention.
Automate based on customer behavior
Another way to optimally time your texts is to introduce behavior-based flows to your SMS marketing strategy. Beyond sending bulk SMS campaigns to your whole list, automated flows let you send messages to each customer at the right time based on their actions.
For example, if a customer added a product to their cart but didn't purchase it, you can text them the next day. Remind them about the product they showed interested in and tell them about any deals they can take advantage of.
Or, if a customer recently purchased but didn't join your loyalty program, you can send a quick text reminding them of the perks of becoming a VIP member.
Test your way to success
Finally, test, test, test! The only way to know what works for your audience is to try out different timing and see what gets the best results.
You'll want to test different days, times, and frequencies. Then adjust as needed based on the results you see.
Keep your SMS marketing campaign goals in mind when testing. For example, if you're promoting a sale, you will be focused on conversions. So if you get a lot of clicks but zero sales, something needs to change, whether that's your messaging or timing.
Compare results for different SMS campaign types to find the best timing for each.
Optimize SMS timing with Emotive
Finding the best time to send SMS marketing messages manually can be a lot of work. So use a text message marketing platform to help you find the best times for your customers.
Emotive takes time zones into account, so you can rest easy knowing your messages will go out at the perfect time -- no matter where your customers are.
A/B testing capabilities mean you can test different days and times to see what works best for your business. And easy reporting features allow you to make informed decisions about your SMS marketing strategy.
Additionally, Emotive's best-in-class SMS software enables you to send one-off texts and automated flows and engage subscribers through conversational SMS. White glove services help you define your strategy, write copy, and optimize your SMS campaigns.
With Emotive, you can hit the mark with every campaign. Learn more and sign up for a demo today.