SmartFocus Study Reveals Optimum Time to Tackle GDPR Consenting

Mar 13, 2018


SmartFocus revealed findings that companies trying to reconfirm marketing preferences are at risk of triggering mass unsubscription requests, if they mail in the morning asking customers to make a decision. SmartFocus studied user behavior in relation to 1.4 billion email marketing messages sent by a subset of aggregated,anonymized customer data from major UK-based retailers. It revealed the optimum point in time to send marketing email to increase reconfirmations and minimize unsubscribes.

The most likely time for unsubscribes is between 10:15 a.m. and 12:3 p.m., with the time period producing a pronounced 20% spike in email unsubscribe rates compared with the rest of the day. Such a pronounced rejection could decimate an established marketing database while trying to confirm marketing preferences. Retailers and brands must avoid this time when contacting consumers about future communication preferences. In contrast, 6 p.m. produced the fewest unsubscribes, 15% lower than the daily average and 35% below the peak.

Other key findings included:

  • Most marketing emails (600,000 an hour) were opened between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Just half that volume are opened at 9 a.m., at the beginning of the business day
  • The number of unsubscribes is not always proportional to the number of emails sent
  • Before noon, the proportion of unsubscribes against emails sent can be up to 40% higher than other times of the day
  • Emails sent between 5 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. are the least likely to lead to unsubscribes

Companies must have the explicit consent of individuals to store and use their personal data. This means individuals must opt in and give permission for companies to send them marketing emails, rather than having a box pre-ticked for them.