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Trends Open rates peak the day before a deadline, but should your strategy be that simple?

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photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

Every Tuesday for nearly five years, we dug into the data and shared a unique resort marketing insight. We called it Tuesday Trends. But the focus was on the data, not the action. This post is part of a new series that picks up where those datasets left off. One-by-one, the Inntopia Strategic Team will resurface our favorites and simply ask, “Okay, now what?

The Power of Deadlines

Resorts and hotels love a good deadline to drive urgency and get people to act. So a couple years ago we looked at deadline-related emails sent by more than 50 properties to see if we could find a sweet spot for timing these campaigns.

For this data set, the takeaway seemed pretty clear:

For the highest open and click rates, send an email the day before a deadline.

But even with a clear trend, it left us asking if the application of this dataset was as clear cut as the results.

So, now what?

Here’s what a few members of our strategic team suggested:

“It’s important to remember that maximizing opens/clicks is a precursor to the ultimate goal – conversion. Smart segmentation allows you to target the right message, at the right time, to the right audience – and maximize your success metrics. Over the years, we’ve seen really good results resending to contacts that did not open the first email. I like the strategy of sending an email to your audience one day before the deadline, and then following up on the day of deadline to contacts that did not open the previous day’s email.”

Brian Elliott
Director of Digital Strategy

“I tend to agree that the day before deadline is the sweet spot for raising awareness and giving people the opportunity to think about a potentially large purchase, but don’t stop there. Utilize advanced ESP functionality such as Send Time Optimization so that the email is delivered to the guest when they historically open and then don’t be afraid to experiment with a deadline day follow up for people who opened/clicked on the day before awareness message and have yet to book.”

Kurt Kinscherf
Director of Customer Insights

“The day before is a sweet spot, but we also know that you can send as late 3:00-4:00pm with no real dip in how many opens happen that day. If I were you, I’d split test a day-before campaign across 2-3 different times throughout the day just to see if there’s a more granular variance in open rates worth knowing about. Many decisions will be made in the evening, so saying ‘tomorrow’ at 4:00pm might just carry a bit more urgency while still leaving roughly the same amount of time to act.”

Gregg Blanchard
SVP Strategy

Got a dataset you’d like our thoughts on? Let us know.

Questions? Talk to a friendly Inntopian.

Whether you're just curious or want a closer look, we'd be happy to help.

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