The question revolves around whether or not time of day makes a difference in the click-through rates for e-mail campaigns. Not surprisingly, they came to the conclusion that time of day does indeed matter!
The first step is to use analytics to narrow down the choice of times to test. You are using analytics, right? No? Then shame on you! In this day of Google Analytics (which is free BTW) there is no reason to not use Analytics to analyze the performance of your site. Most tools will show you the busiest hours on your site. The example used showed that 9 am & noon were the busiest hours with Tuesday being the busiest day of the week. With this info in hand they moved onto the next step.
Next you have to determine how to best segment your audience. Since this is a time based test, they chose to segment by time zone. You could just as easily have done it by state or network or anything else. EMM allows you a great flexibility in doing this via the Custom Query feature in each campaign. In this case they chose the two busiest hours and an off-peak hour to test against.
The next step would be to actually send the A/B/C tests. Because the only variable they wanted in this test was the time, the subject line and body of the message remained the same. EMM is perfect for this since the administrative interface refers to messages by a unique title you can name that makes sense rather than referring to the subject line alone. After the emails were sent they went back and evaluated the results by the click-through rates; another area where EMM shines. No need to go to a paid service to track click-through rates when this is built into the product. Conversion was less important since the content of the message and the landing pages were the same.
What were the results you ask? Does it really matter? I would argue that is doesn’t matter much as their customers are different than yours and mine. The only way that we can make assumptions about GENERAL buying trends is to compare the data across multiple customer bases.
It is more important that you take the time to run a test like this yourself and report your results here in a comment so we can all benefit from the shared knowledge.
At Over The Top and Exhibit A Communications, I've programmed solutions for Google as well as at least one other company that was later acquired by Google.
I've been CTO of an Internet SaaS company and spent my time pretty evenly between guiding the future technical strategy of the company, architecting software solutions for my dev teams, designing and running a data center to service our clients world-wide as well as being a technical evangalist/sales engineer to our media clients large and small.
I've also been Chief Photographer of the Daily Sun/Post newspaper back when it was a 5-day a week daily newspaper.
I also spent a great many years as a beach lifeguardfor the City of San Clemente as well as Jr. Lifeguard instructor and then as it's program coordinator.
Private Pilot with Instrument rating and proud husband of soon to be 25 years (and counting).