Online marketing: better before lunch

Contrary to marketers' popular belief, web offers actually taste best first thing in the morning...

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Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

That's according to a new survey by online marketer Pure360, which analysed over 660,000 emails sent by 34 companies, and found that 16.5% of them were opened between 9am and 10am.

The theory is that people enjoy the boost they get from shopping for bargains or planning outings, and that getting this lift early leaves them suitably amped up for the day ahead. It's as if people will happily bound over the hurdles placed by a day in the office, but only once they've taken a run-up on Amazon.

And this rule apparently applies just as much to stuff they wouldn't normally be thinking about until later - 27% of all restaurant promotions and 19% of emails touting live events were opened in that first hour.

Which is perhaps not the best news for recession-hit employers, who may prefer to see their staff working from the moment they arrive and saving their indulgent online meandering for the lunch hour. Apparently such idealism isn't well placed. The survey found that only 9% of e-mails were opened between noon and 2pm. And bad news for marketers too: 62% of those opened at lunch were news or magazine alerts, not two-for-one offers on posh nosh or box-sets of Generation Kill.

After lunch, there's apparently a clear shift in people's method of work avoidance. As people enter their ‘post-lunch slump', with digestive systems fixed on breaking down Greggs sausage rolls and reheated bolognese, they start responding to mail that connects with their apathy: such as messages that push property and careers. The survey found that 42% of e-mails relating to financial services were opened in the afternoon.

But before bosses start getting too despondent about their chances of keeping their team's minds on task amidst all this canny marketing, there is some good news: 48% of all marketing e-mails were opened outside of office hours. Wow, that's almost half. Now to start working on that other 52%. At least once you've checked out that neat little suburban three-bedder.

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