Nearly one in four email messages sent on Cyber Monday failed to reach the inbox, according to a ClickZ article citing findings by deliverability services firm Pivotal Veracity.
According to Pivotal Veracity, only 76.2 percent of the emails sent out on what has become one of the busiest e-commerce days of the year were actually delivered, compared to deliverability percentages generally reported to be in the 80s to mid-90s.
Pivotal Veracity attributes the lower deliverability to an unmanageably high volume of messages going out almost simultaneously on Cyber Monday. The most popular time to send was between noon and 2 p.m. Central Time.
"It’s not so much a matter of what marketers did wrong individually, but what they did wrong collectively," Pivotal Veracity’s Len Schneyer was quoted as saying. "They all sent at what appears to be the exact same time…" As a result, Internet Service Providers were forced to take stiffer measures than usual to contend with the volume of email that required processing.
Marketers are always looking for the best day and time to send email in order to get the best response. But even if there’s an optimal day to send your message, there’s no one best time for everyone on your list. Your subscribers are all different. Because your message is most likely to be spotted when it’s at or near the top of the inbox rather than buried somewhere toward the middle, the best time to send a message isn’t a specific hour that applies across your list, but rather, when someone is most likely to be in their inbox.
If more marketers had been able to optimize their send times on Cyber Monday so that they coincided with when their recipients were most likely to be checking their inboxes instead of blasting them all out during a two-hour window, they may have been able to avoid the glut of email that caused the drop in deliverability.
As an aside, in our 2009 Cyber Monday report due out tomorrow, Silverpop clients, many of whom presumably also used our Send Time Optimization feature, did considerably better than the industry averages cited by Pivotal Veracity, scoring deliverability percentages in the high 90s.