Blog/Best Practices

The Best Times to Schedule a Text Message Campaign (Updated)

Determining the optimal time to send to a list can improve your text campaign’s performance. Here’s what the data tells us and how to determine what works best for your business.

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The fact that text messages have a 98% open rate means it’s tempting to overlook the importance of when you schedule a campaign.

Yes, the average person checks their mobile phone 150 times a day

But you want someone to do more than just glance at your text. You want them to take action. So, the timing of your text messages definitely matters.

If you’ve ever looked for the answer to the best time to send SMS marketing campaigns, you’ve likely come across a whole lot of “it depends.”

There is no denying who you are and who you’re sending to impacts the best time for your marketing text messages. 

That doesn’t mean we can’t tackle the question at a high level and, more importantly, provide you with a framework to optimize your own send times.

In this article, we cover the following:

The Best Day to Send Marketing Text Messages

Hate Mondays? You’re not alone. 

The thinking goes that people are grumpier and more sleep-deprived at the beginning of the week, so Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays tend to be the best days for SMS and email campaigns. 

Is this actually true? Not exactly.

This study published in The Drum found that online sales were highest on Thursdays, narrowly beating Monday. 

If we take Instagram engagement as a good proxy for overall mobile marketing efforts, we can also see that the most consistent engagement can be found Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

It’s worth noting that some businesses have had success with sending text messages on the weekend because of less competition.

But, in general, it appears that Monday and Thursday are the best days to send your SMS campaigns. The least popular day to send a text is Sunday. 

The Best Time to Send Marketing Text Messages

After analyzing messaging data here at SimpleTexting, a common theme was present. 

The most common time to send a campaign is 12:00 pm, and the least popular day to send a text is Sunday. No matter the day of the week, noon remains the most popular time to send a text campaign.

We also found that among the messages with links, most clicks also occurred at 12. This revealed that near immediate action was taken by consumers once they received a message.

It makes sense. You want to avoid scheduling your text marketing messages too early in the morning or too late at night. 

After all, you are communicating quickly and directly with consumers and you want to respect their personal time. You don’t want to wake your customers who forgot to turn on “Do Not Disturb.” (On that topic, be wary of time zones when sending SMS messages nationally.)

It also makes sense to avoid sending text messages during rush hour and the times your customers are commuting to work.

From looking at general mobile engagement data from YouGov, it appears there’s an opportunity to connect with your subscribers in the evening before they hit the hay.

This is corroborated by data from SaleCycle’s recently-published 2020 E-Commerce Stats Report that shows the peak purchase time lies between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

If you sell online, you could try scheduling your texts between those hours. If you don’t, sticking to noon is a pretty safe bet.

A Framework for Deciding the Best Time to Send Bulk SMS

Ultimately the choice is based on your business, but there are two questions you can ask yourself to decide when to send a bulk text to your subscribers.

What Do You Want Your Customers to Do?

The most helpful tip for deciding when to send messages is determining when you’re most interested in your customers taking action. 

For example, if you’re a restaurant offering a lunchtime discount, think about scheduling your texts for the mid-morning, so that your offers will be on your customers’ minds when they’re deciding on lunch.

In some cases, like with event marketing, it can be better to send your messages days in advance. People like to plan for their weekends, so Thursday is a great day for promoting Saturday events.

If you sell online, you could use some of the data points we referenced above. Or if you use Google Analytics, look at a report on what days and times your website has its most visitors and purchases. (This article from Hallam explains how to do this.)

What Type of Message Are You Sending?

If you’re sending a coupon or promo code that expires you want to find the right balance between sending it too far in advance–leading to a lack of urgency–or sending it too late when not everyone is going to get a chance to act on it.

If you’re using text messages for appointment reminders, aim to send your message as close to 24 hours in advance as you can. That’s the best method for creating a “sticky” reminder. 

On the other hand, if you decide to use texts as a confirmation method for purchases, payments, or other orders, sending the text immediately is best practice.

Why You Should A/B Test When You Send Texts

By working link tracking into your text marketing strategy, you can test exactly what time works for your business. 

For example, run an SMS A/B test. By sending the same message at two different times, you can use the analytics gathered from the links to determine which time drove more engagement. You could do the same thing for days of the week too.

It’s normal to have to experiment a bit with send times before finding success with your text marketing campaigns. Try a variety of methods, and sooner or later, you’ll discover how your customers tick.

Schedule Every Text at the Best Time With SimpleTexting

Once you’ve determined what time works best for your audience, you can schedule a series of campaigns with SimpleTexting’s scheduled texts feature. 

You have the freedom to schedule your text messages for any date in the future. Here’s how it works.

Key Takeaway

While we hope this post helps put the age old “When do I send?” question to bed, we’re not holding our breath. As marketers, we’re fond of continuously tweaking and trying out new things. Long may that live. 

The TL;DR of the above is:

1. Send around mid morning/early afternoon during the work week…

2. …unless you know something about your audience, which you really should. In which case, ignore that and…

3. …answer the questions above or use A/B testing to determine your optimum time slot

Happy sending!

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