Authors: ‘Time’ Is of the Essence

Okay, it’s not like me to write a headline that’s a play-on-words (in fact it’s generally a web no-no). But I couldn’t resist 🙂

The purpose of this post is to point out how the time of day that you choose to do things on the web can make a world of difference. So next time you want to post a blog entry at 3 in the morning or go onto Facebook at 10 am, keep these things in mind….

  • Have you ever opened an email when you’re busy, then closed it and said, “I’ll read that another time”? And did you actually take the time to go back and re-read it? Probably not. took it upon themselves to test what time of day people were most likely to not only open an email, but read it and click through to its site. They found that executives and entrepreneurs on the west coast were more likely to read email late at night, while those on the east coast were responded better early in the morning. So keep seniority level and geography in mind next time you send an email to potential readers.
  • What time are your readers on Facebook? That’s when you should be posting status updates. Depending on how many friends your Facebook friends have, your comments may only be appearing on their wall for a half hour or less. So make sure to post when you know your friends are online and active. Depending on the age of your audience, that can vary. But evening hours are usually your best bet.
  • If you have a Google Adwords account, listen up! One of the nice features Google offers as part of this account is a daily spending limit. If you hit that limit on any given day, your ads will stop running. Which can be great …. except for the fact that your ads may stop running just when your readers are searching for your book! If you dig into your website traffic statistics, you can discover which time of day you’re getting the most visitors to your website. If it happens to be later in the day (and the evening is the most common time for web use), then make sure your Google ads aren’t expiring before the end of the business day. To do that (and still keep your daily limit), you can set specific hours that your ads will run — say after 3 PM. That would ensure that you won’t run out of funds when it matters most.

These are just three examples of how time of day matters, and how putting your time, money, and effort into marketing your book and your website at the wrong time of day can be ineffective. So it’s simple: test, test, test. Figure out who your audience is. Send emails at different times of the day. Post on your Facebook page at different times of the day. And pay close attention to which efforts get the most response. Eventually, you’ll be able to find the sweet spot on the clock.