Email marketing software makes it easy enough to work out the best time of the week and day to send emails to ensure the highest open rates. All you need to do is to study the returns and the peaks and troughs will be apparent. When we come to identifying long term cyclical events which have a significant effect on particular rates then things get a little more complicated.
This complication is a bit of a bonus for us. Despite the fact it is really just ‘one small step’, most people are unwilling to make an extra effort, leaving a gap for you to exploit.
Again, and unsurprisingly, we will depend on email marketing returns but in this case we need to examine them in a slightly different manner. The most popular method is to illustrate the statistics by way of a graph with, for instance, completion rates on the vertical 'Y' axis and time on the horizontal 'X' axis. When starting out it is probably best to run with a 14 month 'Y' axis although as experience increases you might well feel that a different length of time is more useful to your specific business and product.
If, after taking email marketing campaigns into consideration, the line is perfectly horizontal then you can ignore the rest of this article, but for the majority of us there will be peaks and troughs. These might seem insignificant but before going to do something else, work out how an extra 1% in completion rate will affect your ROI.
Each peak will be there for a reason. Nothing just happens. What can be extremely helpful here is to pull down the statistics for the previous 14 months and see if there is a similar, or even identical, peak. If there is then it shows that the peak is down to something happening at a particular time of the year. All you have to do is to find out what it is.
The type of product you produce will probably help you here. If you sell skiing equipment then one would assume that there would be a boost in sales on the approach to winter. So in that case the peak you should be looking for is one outside the easily predicted one.
Outside occurrences can have a significant effect. For instance the rugby union and soccer seasons are just about to end and it is possible that this might generate a peak in, for instance, lighter outdoor clothing as fans suddenly discover that there are two days in each weekend.
Even if you cannot work out the precise reason for the peak, a concentrated email marketing campaign a little before the expected time will give significant ROI.
The real bonus comes when you to discover the cause. Perhaps your B2B sales increase in February. You work out that this might be due to the financial year ending with budgets being underspent (if that is possible) and there is a little rush to buy. Or perhaps the reverse happening with the start of April, managers deciding to get in early with a demand for essentials.
Whilst cyclical peaks require a little extra work to exploit, because so few businesses do so, you might get a significant percentage increase in completions.