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Getting the timing right can be the difference between an effective and ineffective email advertising message, and the marketing campaign as a whole. Yet achieving ideal timing for email messages can be extremely difficult.

Here are three keys to optimizing timing.

1. Quick followup
Followup is critical when it comes to email marketing. Such messages provide receipt confirmation and acknowledgement to customers, which many appreciate. The methods establish that the organization is paying attention to its customers and is committed to providing them with a high-quality experience. There are numerous situations in which a followup email is advisable, including when someone first subscribes to receive a newsletter or makes a purchase.

However, many firms either do not send such confirmation messages, or wait too long to respond. Delays can diminish the effectiveness of messages of many types – in addition to confirmations, triggered emails must be near-immediate. A recent eMarketer study, for example, found that response rates and conversions reduced substantially when organizations waited too long to act.

2. Avoiding the deluge
As important as it is for email marketers to be quick and responsive with many of their messages, it is just as vital that organizations do not overwhelm subscribers or customers with emails in a short period of time. While responsiveness and proactivity are appreciated, such a deluge will likely rub individuals the wrong way. It can come across as overbearing and grasping, and potentially a transgression.

The result will be that few, if any, of the emails are actually read by the subscribers. Instead, they will realize they cannot read all of the messages, and may decide to read none of them. If the messages had been less frequent, it is likely they would have been opened and read much more.

3. Regular is best
When it comes to newsletters and other update-based marketing messages, the most important rule regarding timing is regularity. Whether the emails are sent on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis, the timing should be consistent.

There are several reasons for this. For one, the recipient may have a negative reaction if he or she realizes that the last “monthly” newsletter arrived two or three months ago. Such delays make firms look unprofessional and disorganized.

Just as notably, maintaining a regular schedule can help marketers avoid going too long without creating such messages.