Timing is Everything: Leveraging Adaptive Sending and Posting to Optimize Impact

Avatar Act-On
Email Marketing
Marketing Automation

Ever pull into a full parking lot and get a front row spot because someone just happened to be pulling out? Great timing brings great advantages! For marketers, maximizing engagement with your prospects and customers can feel a lot like getting that ideal parking spot – sometimes you get lucky and send out a social post or email to a target contact at the perfect time. Score!

What if you were able to rely less on luck and also improve ‒ and even perfect ‒ your timing? Well, although I’m sorry to say that there’s no app to get you the best parking spot every time, there’s now a better way for you to know how to time your interactions with your target audiences.

Act-On’s Adaptive Journey’s vision is coming to life and I’m excited to be sharing some of our tech and products teams’ great progress on this front. Specifically, I’m referring to the release for all customers of our new Adaptive Social Posting, along with the private beta for Adaptive Sending that begins soon.

For those of you who weren’t able to make it to Act-On’s San Francisco I♥Marketing event (don’t worry, if you’re on the east coast we have one in New York on August 8) to hear about these advancements in person, I thought I’d take a moment to highlight our product’s two very helpful new capabilities.

Adaptive Sending – solving the age-old dilemma of when to send that email

A common outbound marketing dilemma is figuring out when to send that email. You can read one blog post that says the best open- or click-through rates are on a Sunday at 6 pm … and then read another that claims Tuesday at 10 am is best. Most marketers try to take into account these published best practices while also leveraging their own results from past campaigns. They also do a little A/B testing and ‒ let’s face it ‒ guesswork.

The problem, however, is that the buying journey for each individual can easily look like this:

In the above picture, the interaction times are very different for Ben (morning) vs. Beth (afternoon/evening).

Act-On is solving this all-over-the-map buyers’ journey challenge by not only having a platform that tracks, scores, measures, and connects all of these interactions, but also automatically learns from them. What we call “Adaptive Sending” includes the following main tenets:

  1. Assess each individual’s interaction times.
  2. Predict the best time each person should receive an email (within a campaign that may include thousands of contacts).
  3. Do all of this with one-click simplicity.

This sort of capability goes beyond just adjusting send times for time zones ‒ a function we already do today and that some vendors in this space consider “smartsend” functionality. It also goes beyond just looking at past behaviors and engagement in aggregate to provide one generally recommended send time for all recipients; our tailored-to-the-individual approach is something few vendors do. In addition, Adaptive Sending doesn’t just leverage past email interaction data (opens, click-throughs, etc.), it also takes into consideration each prospect and customer’s past engagement times with your company, such as visits to your website and landing pages and social engagement.

It’s easy to see why we think Adaptive Sending will be a big deal: The impact of a 6% vs. a 3% click-through or conversion rate can be monumental across all campaigns.

Adaptive Social Posting solving the common inbound marketing dilemma of when to post

As in the outbound marketing activity of emailing a contact, marketers have the similar challenge of determining the best times to post on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. They can look across their past campaigns for clues, of course. They can also consult research, but it always seems to tell a different story. However, with the new Adaptive Social Posting capability, which is now available to all of our customers to flip on in Labs, Act-On will be constantly learning when your target audience has engaged with you the most on the social web and when they’ve shared or liked or commented or clicked through your past posts the most. It only takes a simple one-click step to leverage this functionality in our out-of-the-box social capabilities (see example below).

This innovative system takes the guesswork out of social posting and allows our customers to drive more impressions and engagement ‒and ultimately greater conversion rates.

There’s much more to come as we drive forward with our Adaptive Journeys vision. I’m looking forward to seeing customers start leveraging some of these great capabilities … and then reap the gains!