Email Marketing

Send Time Optimization vs. View Time Optimization: An Email Marketer’s Guide

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The savviest (and most successful) email marketers are constantly innovating and finding new ways to provide value to not just their subscribers, but to their companies.

Still believe Send Time Optimization is the best engagement driver for marketers? If so, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to use technology like View Time Optimization to transform email into a game changer for your business. 

Let’s dive into why this is.

What is Send Time Optimization?

Send Time Optimization uses data science to determine when your subscribers are most likely to engage with your emails, and then sends them at that optimal time.

Here are a few of the biggest drawbacks of Send Time Optimization:

  • Send Time Optimization is offered from some, but not all, email service providers (ESPs) and sending platforms (e.g., Mailchimp Send Time Optimization)
  • Send Time Optimization determines the optimal time to send email campaigns based on past subscriber interactions, which means messages may not be delivered at the actual time subscribers open their inbox
  • Send Time Optimization requires subscriber-level contact data tracking
  • The chances that your message is delivered at the same time as other senders’ email campaigns is higher, since many senders use the same strategy

The moral of the story is this: Send Time Optimization is simply a best guess. This technology isn’t designed to ensure your email is being delivered to your recipient when they’re active. Instead, email Send Time Optimization uses engagement data to determine a behavior pattern, and informs email marketers which time is most likely to be an active period for a user. 

Can an ESP automatically schedule an email deployment using this best guess? Sure. But still, with Send Time Optimization, there’s no guarantee the recipient is active at the time of send and no guarantee you’ll be anywhere near the top of their inbox.

What is View Time Optimization?

View Time Optimization is a unique, proprietary Yahoo solution offered by Validity. The technology is fully integrated into Everest, giving you all the tools and data you need to optimize your email campaigns in a single platform.

By combining Everest and View Time Optimization, you can maximize the number of messages delivered to Yahoo inboxes. View Time Optimization puts email at top positions when users are active—with certainty.

Here are a few of the benefits of View Time Optimization:

  • Email campaigns are delivered as soon as a subscriber opens their inbox, so there’s no determining an optimal time to send based on past subscriber engagement data
  • No personal contact data is tracked or shared
  • Subscribers often open their inboxes multiple times throughout the day, giving Yahoo several opportunities to place senders’ email campaigns in one of the top spots in their list

The main benefit? There’s no guesswork required with View Time Optimization. Senders can use View Time Optimization to deliver mail to users who are perusing their inbox with purpose, right when they are engaged—which means email campaigns are up to two times more likely to be opened than messages in the third inbox spot and below.

“View Time Optimization truly only delivers the mail when the user is actually active,” stresses Marcel Becker, Senior Director of Product Management at Yahoo. 

This means you can rest assured your email is breaking through the noise of an unusually crowded customer inbox. No guessing required to determine the optimal time to send messages. For the senders Validity typically works with, this could mean up to 45 percent more views per campaign than average.

“It’s true Send Time Optimization attempts to do what View Time Optimization does, but without actual user activity triggering delivery, it can’t come close,” said Becker.

For senders like Jen Partin, Senior Email Marketing Manager at Hickory Farms (a Validity customer), View Time Optimization has made a huge difference when it comes to catching subscribers’ attention in the inbox during peak sales periods.

“Our business is seasonal; we have strong holiday goals and are always fighting for space in the inbox. Anything we can do to get our message lifted is important,” said Jen. “We were hesitant at first to use VTO on important days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday, when we knew we would be sending multiple emails a day, but it worked.”

View Time Optimization can be used with any email service provider

Why limit your options by the ESP you use? View Time Optimization does not require a specific sending platform, creating the ability to supplement your current program with new technology and possibilities. There’s no need to switch or be limited by the sending options your ESP provides to you.

View Time Optimization is offered as part of Validity’s Everest email intelligence and optimization platform. With Everest’s detailed competitive intelligence, design tools to optimize for different clients and devices, reputation monitoring, and so much more, Everest lets you rely on your ESP to do what it’s intended to do: send your emails, not restrict which technologies you can use to optimize your success.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. “Email has the highest ROI of any communication channel for businesses,” states Will Conway, Strategic Advisor at Mailgun. According to Conway, View Time Optimization significantly increases return “because the hardest part is guaranteed,” giving customers “the benefits of better opens and clicks right out of the gate.”

Best use cases for View Time Optimization

View Time Optimization can be used for a wide variety of email campaigns. However, it can be especially useful when it comes to boosting deliverability and winning back subscribers.

Win-back campaigns, or re-engagement campaigns, are used to target segments of your audience that haven’t been engaging with your content for a specified period of time. These campaigns are sent with the goal of encouraging subscribers to start engaging with your content again.

Some examples of re-engagement campaigns include:

  • Reminding subscribers of your program’s value by providing discounts
  • Promoting your preference center so subscribers know they have a say in what types of emails they receive and/or how often they receive them
  • Offering other ways to stay connected, such as signing up for your SMS program

With re-engagement campaigns, you’ll need all the help you can get to pique subscribers’ interest since they haven’t been clicking on your emails for some time. View Time Optimization gives your campaigns that extra visibility, increasing the chances that subscribers will choose to open them and see what you have to say. Learn more about pre-send email tips and increasing email open rates.

Plus, with View Time Optimization, you can feel confident that the engagement data you receive on your re-engagement campaigns is as accurate as possible.

Don’t miss out on that top spot in the inbox!

The average human attention span is 8.25 seconds, which means you only have a short period of time to grab subscribers’ attention in the inbox. Where your message lands in the inbox can make the difference between content that converts, and content that never gets seen.

Don’t waste your time creating campaigns that will never see the light of day. View Time Optimization can give you the advantage you need over your competitors to reel subscribers in as soon as they open their inbox! 

Ready to try this innovative technology for yourself? Click here to learn more about View Time Optimization (and how it works alongside the rest of the features included in the Everest platform to boost your deliverability) today.

Then, learn best practices to boost your email performance by downloading the Ultimate Email Marketing Toolkit.