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Send Time Optimization: What It Is & How To Use It

With the influx of emails flooding our inboxes daily, making sure your message stands out and captures your audience’s attention is crucial. Sending messages at the time when your user is most likely to engage with your emails can really improve your visibility and email deliverability. This is where Send Time Optimization (STO) comes into play.

STO is a powerful tool that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to determine the optimal time to send emails to each recipient. It aims to maximize open rates and engagement, thereby increasing the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

In this article, we will delve into the concept of STO, exploring its benefits, how it works across different platforms, and how you can start sending emails at the optimal time using STO. 

This guide will provide valuable insights into enhancing your email marketing strategy with STO. 

Overview of Send Time Optimization

Send Time Optimization is a powerful tool in the arsenal of email marketers. It leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to determine the optimal time to send emails to each recipient. The goal is to boost email open rates and engagement, thereby increasing the effectiveness of email campaigns.

What Are The Benefits Of Send Time Optimization?

STO can help you achieve your email marketing goals more efficiently and effectively by ensuring that your recipients are sent when they are most likely to engage with them. Here are some key benefits of using STO: 

Improved Open Rates

One of the primary benefits of STO is the potential for improved open rates. By sending emails at the optimal time when recipients are most likely to be checking their inbox, you increase the likelihood of your emails being opened. For instance, Freshworks’ Freddy STO has been shown to improve email open rates by 5 to 10%.

Increased Visibility

With the average customer receiving at least 120 business emails per day, it’s easy for your emails to get lost in the clutter. STO can help your emails stand out by ensuring they arrive when your recipients are most likely to be engaging with their inbox.

Enhanced Engagement

By sending emails at the optimal time, you not only increase the likelihood of your emails being opened but also improve the chances of your recipients engaging with your content. This could mean clicking on links, responding to calls to action, or forwarding the email to others.

Personalized Experience

STO allows for a more personalized experience for your recipients. Instead of sending emails at a generic time that may not be convenient for your recipients, STO ensures that emails are sent at a time that is most likely to suit each recipient’s schedule. This level of personalization can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Efficient Use of Resources

By ensuring that your emails are sent at the most optimal time, STO allows you to make the most efficient use of your resources. This not only applies to your email marketing efforts but also to your broader marketing strategy, as improved email open and engagement rates can lead to increased traffic to your website, more leads, and ultimately, more conversions.

Global Reach

For businesses with contacts across multiple geo-locations, STO can help ensure that your emails are sent at the most suitable time for each recipient, regardless of their time zone. This can be particularly beneficial for global email campaigns.

STO offers numerous benefits that can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. By ensuring that your emails are sent when your recipients are most likely to engage with them, STO can help you achieve your email marketing goals more efficiently and effectively.

How Does Send Time Optimization Work?

STO aims to maximize the likelihood of your emails being opened and engaged with. STO works by analyzing recipient behavior and using this data to determine the optimal time to send emails. Here’s a look at how STO works in different platforms:

oracle

Oracle Responsys

Oracle Responsys uses a predictive model that takes into account each recipient’s past email behavior, including opens and clicks. This model is used to determine the optimal time to send an email to each individual recipient, thereby maximizing the likelihood of the email being opened and clicked.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp’s STO feature uses data from billions of emails to predict when your audience is most likely to be checking their email. It determines the best time to send your campaign within a 24-hour window, ensuring that your email arrives just when your audience is most likely to see it.

mailgun

Mailgun

Mailgun’s STO holds your emails until your recipient is most likely to be engaging with their inbox. It works across all major inbox providers, like Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo, and uses machine learning to analyze your contacts’ behavior and identify the times when they are most responsive.

Emarys

Emarsys

Emarsys offers an AI-driven solution that analyzes email responses of every recipient in relation to campaign launch time. It then sends the next email at the optimal time for them. It uses machine learning to analyze your contacts’ behavior and identify the times when they are most responsive, regardless of time zone, language, or region.

salesforce

Einstein Send Time Optimization

Einstein Send Time Optimization, a feature offered by Salesforce, uses machine learning to determine the optimal time to send messages, aiming to increase user engagement with emails and push notifications. It analyzes each contact’s latest engagement data weekly to update its sending model. If there’s insufficient data for a contact, a generalized model based on enterprise-wide sending data is used. This feature, which can be activated for your business unit, collects data from about 20 factors and uses 90 days of engagement data to decide the best time within the next 24 hours to send an email to each contact. It’s included with Corporate and Enterprise Editions or available as an add-on purchase to Pro Edition.

Freshworks

Freshworks’ Freddy STO

Freshworks’ Freddy STO uses ML-driven models to predict the optimal send time for emails. It uses past user engagement data to enrich contact information and determines the right send time for your prospects. The AI calculates an optimal time based on the prospects’ similarity with existing contacts and sends the timed emails accordingly. Freddy STO operates on two levels: when you want your emails to be delivered on a specific date, and when your email schedule is flexible and delivery is over a specific time period.

How To Start Sending Emails At The Optimal Time

To start sending emails at the optimal time, you’ll need to leverage Send Time Optimization (STO) features offered by various email marketing platforms. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use STO:

First, you’ll need to sign up for one of the following email marketing platforms that offer STO:

  • Oracle Responsys: Once you’ve signed up for Oracle Responsys, you can enable STO in your account and apply it to your email campaigns. Oracle’s STO uses a predictive model based on the recipient’s past email behavior to automatically determine the optimal send time for each recipient.

  • Mailchimp: After signing up for Mailchimp, you can select the STO feature when setting up your email campaign. In the “When should we send?” section, choose the “Let Mailchimp optimize send time” option. Mailchimp will then determine the best time to send your campaign within a 24-hour window based on data from billions of emails.

  • Mailgun: Once you’ve signed up for Mailgun, you can enable STO in your account. Mailgun will hold your emails until your recipient is most likely to be engaging with their inbox. It uses machine learning to analyze your contacts’ behavior and identify the times when they are most responsive.

  • Emarsys: After signing up for Emarsys, you can enable STO in your account and apply it to your email campaigns. Emarsys’ STO is an AI-driven solution that analyzes email responses of every recipient in relation to campaign launch time and sends the next email at the optimal time for each recipient.

  • Einstein STO: To use Einstein STO in Salesforce, you first need to activate it for your business unit. Once activated, you can use the Einstein STO Journey Builder activity to send messages at the time each contact is most likely to engage. If Einstein lacks sufficient data to create a model for a contact, it will use a generalized model based on your enterprise’s sending data. You can also use Einstein STO in Automation Studio in a Send Email activity, which uses machine learning and 90 days of engagement data to determine the best time within the next 24 hours to send an email to each contact.

  • Freshworks’ Freddy STO: Once you’ve signed up for Freshworks, you can enable Freddy STO in your account. Freddy STO uses ML-driven models to predict the optimal send time for emails. It uses past user engagement data to enrich contact information and determines the right send time for your prospects. The AI calculates an optimal time based on the prospects

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