What is the Best Time of Day to Use an Online Texting Service?

June 13, 2018 | Back to the Blog

What is the Best Time of Day to Use an Online Texting Service?

What’s the best time of the day to text your customers?

And are there specific days of the week that work better for your engagement than others?

Since the secret to boosting sales with an online texting service is reaching your customers at just the right moment, the timing of your messages is crucial.

So if you’re struggling to answer these questions, this guide will help you uncover a time frame that works for both you and your subscriber list.

Do this and your messages will always be opened and read.

But to get to that point, you first need to:

Know Your Customer

Before you take any advice on when to text your customers, you should have a better understanding of your audience first.

Specifically, you need to know when they’re most available.

While this guide will give you a few helpful hints, they’re based on general best practices and not on your specific customers.

Since only you can answer questions about your target audience, think about who you’re really trying to reach.

Are you messaging busy moms who are selling part-time on the side?

Or does your business market to other businesses during standard 9–5 hours?

Knowing your customers inside and out — including how their typical day is structured — can help you narrow down the perfect time to communicate with them.

So your first step is to figure out your customer’s schedule:

  • Do they commute to a job or are they carpooling kids around?
  • Are they a typical office worker with a 30-60 minute lunch break?
  • Are they remote workers or entrepreneurs who start later in the day?
  • What activities might they enjoy outside of their normal daily routine?

Take your customer persona and create a typical schedule for them.

SMS marketing: Take your customer persona and create a typical schedule for them.

Jot down the hours and obligations they’ll have each day and identify times when they may be too busy to text or give their full attention to your messages.

Some of those times could be:

  • During school or work commutes (unless they use public transportation, in which case this would be an idea time to reach out)
  • On Monday mornings when their schedule is packed with meetings
  • Too early in the morning or too late in the evening

If you’re dealing with customers in other time zones, that last situation is one trap you can easily fall into if you’re not careful.

Text too early or too late and you’ll not only annoy your customers but you may risk closing this line of communication altogether when they unsubscribe from your list.

That’s why narrowing down your target audience’s schedule is key.

Once you have this planned out, take a step back to identify all the blocks of downtime your customer has, which should lead you to the best time to text them.

Combine this information with these next tips and you’ll be one step closer to uncovering your texting sweet spot.

4 Tips for Narrowing Down the Best Time to Text

With a better understanding of your customer’s schedule, you can now use that intel to help your business.

Use these four tips to uncover the best time to text for both of you:

#1: Time Your Texts Around Your Busy and Slow Times

For restaurants and cafes, sending out a text before your customers choose a lunch spot is key to ensuring you have a packed house.

You’ll likely benefit from sending daily lunch specials at least 1-2 hours before the rush hits so people can make plans.

Similarly, if you’re typically busy during lunch but slow at dinner, you could use text messages to let your customers know what’s going on at night to drum up more reservations.

So if your business sees similar influxes throughout the day, send out a text 1-2 hours before you want your customers to take action and you’ll bring in steadier sales.

If your business relies on customer appointments, this next type of text will be super helpful for you.

#2: Use the 24-Hour Rule for Appointment Reminders

Timing your appointment reminders can be tricky: send one too far in advance and your customers may forget; send one too late and you’ll need to scramble to fill an appointment if someone cancels.

That’s why a reminder text at least 24 hours in advance is a great way to stay on top of your appointment calendar.

However, you don’t want to be a stickler with this 24-hour time frame.

Let’s say you have a 3pm appointment and you send out your reminder text at that time the day before. If your customer cancels, that only gives him or her two hours to call to reschedule (assuming your business closes at 5pm).

And if they end up reaching you the following morning, you may not have enough time to fill the appointment space.

A better approach is to send reminder texts early on the day before an appointment.

This gives both you and your customer enough wiggle room to reschedule if need be.

But what happens if your business doesn’t have periods that are busier than others and you don’t take appointments?

This next tip is for you:

#3: Select General Windows of Time

There are also two general stretches of time that may be helpful for narrowing down when to text your customers:

  • Between 9am and 2pm, when people are most likely to be working, will allow your messages to reach subscribers just before and during their lunch break.
  • Between 6pm and 8pm, which is when most people are home for the day and start to wind down.

Now, you can fine-tune these chunks of time even further.

For instance, if you’re not texting lunch specials, you’re better off saving your message for a break rather than during work. So within the 9am to 2pm window, 12pm–2pm is actually better for you.

Similarly, a busy office worker who wakes up at 4am for a 5am commute may not be as open to your 8pm message as they would be to one sent at 6pm.

But parents of small children may not be able to focus until the kids are in bed around the 8 o’clock hour.

See why it’s so important to figure out your customer’s schedule first?

Use this information and your target customer’s estimated schedule to learn your best times of the day to text.

It’s also smart to think about which days of the week work best when it comes to sending messages at just the right time.

#4: Choose the Right Day of the Week

In the same way you’re narrowing down times, you should also take proper consideration with the days you’re texting your customers too.

If you’re sending weekend ideas or events, a Friday text will see more engagement than a Monday or Tuesday send.

On the flipside, sending messages Tuesday through Thursday works well for most full-time employees. They won’t be distracted by their jam-packed schedules on Monday or the Friday start of the weekend.

Again, it’s all about finding what works best for your specific audience.

Start Experimenting to See What Works Best

After you finish your initial research and start implementing these tips, you’ll be ready to experiment and fine tune your window of texting opportunity even further.

While it may seem like a few extra steps, this plan is the best way to help your messages finally get noticed and read upon receipt. If you’re not already using an online texting service to keep in touch with your customers, try it out with this free 14-day trial now. 

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