The three ‘T’s of customer engagement: Timing

In our online world that is so driven by social media, it can be hard to achieve cut-through to your target market. Your customers are constantly bombarded by a stream of messages from friends, family and companies.

One thing that can be critical in ensuring that you reach your audience and grab their attention is getting your timing right. Finding the best time to post or to send an email can hugely increase the number of people who see your message.

What is the right timing?

There isn’t one correct answer to this question. The right time will vary depending on your business, your target market, and what marketing channels you are using. You need to find the right solution that best meets your needs.

OK, but how do I do that?

The answer to this is the same as the answer to so many things – research and data. The right timing for your company can be best worked out by a bit of experimentation. Plan out a series of hypotheses, which you can then test against.

A simple way of doing this is to start with what you think might be the best time. So, for example, you might expect that late Friday afternoons would be a bad time to send your email newsletter out. What day might be a good day? If you have existing historical data, try and look for patterns that show greater engagement.

Once you’ve chosen what you think is the right time, then it’s time to test. You’ll need to test quite a few times in order for any results to be a reliable indication. For example, this might involve sending your monthly newsletter out on a Wednesday at 2.00pm for 5 or 6 months; or a month of posting on Facebook every Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon.

Once you have some data in place, you’ve got a benchmark to test against. So then it’s time to test against another likely time, to see which is most popular.

When doing this testing, don’t forget to factor in other things that might be affecting results, like popularity of content. If you share an article that your audience really likes, keep in mind the content itself might be driving the results, not the day/time.

As with any kind of A/B testing, this will be a slow process that you gradually refine by analysing data. It is worthwhile doing, though, in order to better understand your users’ habits, and reduce the number of your messages that get lost in the online noise.