Revealed: the best time to send GDPR consent emails

email2Companies embarking on mass repermissioning campaigns in the run-up to GDPR D-Day on May 25 have been warned to avoid sending communications in the morning after analysis of over 1.4 billion email marketing messages showed that unsubscribe rates soar at this time of day.
SmartFocus studied user behaviour for a subset of aggregated, anonymised customer data from major UK-based retailers to try to determine the optimum point in time to send marketing email to increase reconfirmations and minimise unsubscribes.
The move follows dire warnings that many companies face the prospect of having their customer databases decimated by the new regulation unless they act now to ensure they have the right consents in place.
A report from W8 claimed that up to three quarters of the UK’s customer data held within business’ marketing databases could become obsolete once the regulation comes into force. Meanwhile, a separate study by FastMap and Consumer Intelligence recently predicted that the insurance industry would be one of those hit the hardest, with brands being forced to delete up to two thirds of their past customer records.
According to SmartFocus, the most likely time for unsubscribes is between 10:15am and 12:30pm, with the time period producing a 20% spike in unsubscribe rates compared with the rest of the day. In contrast, 6pm produced the fewest unsubscribes, 15% lower than the daily average and 35% below the peak.
The insight suggests that emails sent earlier in the day are more likely to be seen as an intrusion, as recipients are busy at work and going about their day. Consequently, emails sent at night will be seen in a much more positive light.
SmartFocus chief marketing officer Sarah Taylor said: “Timing is an important part of a successful email campaign and an opportunity to build a better customer relationship. Knowing when to contact your audience with a request for information or consent can make the difference between success and failure.
“This analysis, based on unprecedented access to anonymised email behaviour data, suggests that mornings and lunchtimes are increasingly seen as an intrusion. Whereas in the evening and after the working day, a marketing message will get a much more positive viewing.”

Related stories
GDPR ‘could wipe out 75% of UK customer databases’
Insurance firms face deleting ‘two-thirds of their data’
Fears grow as ‘millions plan to delete data under GDPR’
Firms face bombardment of data requests under GDPR
Up to 10 million eye GDPR data compensation pay-out

 

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