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Sending emails based on the recipients' time zones

Xiao Hui Yang-Oracle
Xiao Hui Yang-Oracle Posts: 4 Employee
edited January 2016 in Dream It

As a multi-national company, we want to be able to send emails automatically based on time zones.   Right now we have to do this with a lot of decision steps and separate send steps and obviously don’t get emails out at the same time locally for everyone—we pick the big regions—because the program can get real messy real fast.  

So ideally, we will like to have this accomplished in a single step that would automatically determine (based on country or some other data point (ISP?) when to send an email.

For example, to send a global newsletter around the 10-11am local time globally. 

Thank you.

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Comments

  • Richa.Singh
    Richa.Singh Posts: 12 Red Ribbon

    Hi

    This is the biggest pain point we have with Eloqua.

    The email response rate and engagement rates would drastically improve - if we have this feature added in for our global campaigns.

    Best regards

    Richa

  • EmiliePKraft
    EmiliePKraft Posts: 16 Red Ribbon

    I made this request specifically on Friday, June 22, 2012 ("Eloqua Idea: "Phased Email Deployment by Time Zone" - Has been updated to status: Under Review") and am truly perplexed no progress has seemingly been made as of yet.

    Recommendation: Phased Email Deployment by Time Zone

    One very important item near and dear in the hearts of marketers relates to sending the right message to the right people...at the right time.

    Now, "the right time" can very well tie into buyer behavior, digital body language, etc.; however, this particular recommendation would help those who wish to deploy an email (or series of emails) the same time for each applicable time zone.

    In my mind, it would be ideal if Eloqua allowed users to view the total number of recipients by time zone for each distribution list or contact group created, and ultimately have Eloqua handle email deployment as previously described. I would be delighted to speak with anyone in Eloqua should the need arise.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    1. taha.sheikh
      6/22/2012 3:46 PM
      Hi David,

    Great idea, thanks for your post.  I've actually linked this to an item we already have in our product backlog to allow the ability to send email based on a recipients time zone.  Absolutely agree, "right time" has to factor in time zone to be truly effective.  We'll keep you posted on when this is prioritized for release.

    Thanks,

    Taha
    Eloqua Product Management

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    We send to broad regions TAM, EMEA, APAC but would be great improvement if could use time zones (e.g. scheduled for 11am LOCAL time and Eloqua did the rest). This would benefit all users not just global campaigns as West versus East coast open rates vary drastically.

  • Hello, We're considering building an integration with Eloqua to provide send time optimization / personalization and would like to understand more details on use cases and how people deploy their campaigns. 

  • 3266053
    3266053 Posts: 10 Green Ribbon

    Hello, We're considering building an integration with Eloqua to provide send time optimization / personalization and would like to understand more details on use cases and how people deploy their campaigns. 

    We would like to test the following scenario:

    John and Brett get sent an email at 9 a.m. ET last Wednesday. John immediately opens his email once received (9:05 a.m. ET). Brett is a little slower and doesn’t open his email until 3:20 p.m. on Wednesday. These activities and their corresponding time are saved in Eloqua.

    John and Brett are both going to be receiving an email on Friday. The default time to send this would be 9 a.m. Friday, but instead, we offset sending Brett’s email until 3:15 p.m. on Friday so it is on top of his inbox when he is likely to be checking it again. (Personalized send time)

  • 4Thought Marketing
    4Thought Marketing Posts: 57 Silver Trophy

    We would like to test the following scenario:

    John and Brett get sent an email at 9 a.m. ET last Wednesday. John immediately opens his email once received (9:05 a.m. ET). Brett is a little slower and doesn’t open his email until 3:20 p.m. on Wednesday. These activities and their corresponding time are saved in Eloqua.

    John and Brett are both going to be receiving an email on Friday. The default time to send this would be 9 a.m. Friday, but instead, we offset sending Brett’s email until 3:15 p.m. on Friday so it is on top of his inbox when he is likely to be checking it again. (Personalized send time)

    Hi @3266053,

    For your scenario I would set up something in the campaign to send people who generally open emails at certain times down different paths of the campaign using shared filters to decide. Then the email at the end of each path needs to be configured to send at different times of the day. I have done this for contacts based on region to send for a good time per timezone. I have suggested in this post if there would be a way simplify the scheduling options on emails rather than in the campaign, but that will not save too much time in this case.

    That is the easy bit though... The harder bit will be marking the contacts as morning, early afternoon or late afternoon people. This I would suggest would need some sort of program built to update a contact, or CDO, field after an email has been opened or clicked. I would need to look into the options here, but I am sure there would be some way to do that. It just depends on how we would want to do that.

    I hope this helps.

    Regards

    Chris Metcalfe

    4Thought Marketing - Marketing Automation Specialst

  • 3266053
    3266053 Posts: 10 Green Ribbon

    Hi @3266053,

    For your scenario I would set up something in the campaign to send people who generally open emails at certain times down different paths of the campaign using shared filters to decide. Then the email at the end of each path needs to be configured to send at different times of the day. I have done this for contacts based on region to send for a good time per timezone. I have suggested in this post if there would be a way simplify the scheduling options on emails rather than in the campaign, but that will not save too much time in this case.

    That is the easy bit though... The harder bit will be marking the contacts as morning, early afternoon or late afternoon people. This I would suggest would need some sort of program built to update a contact, or CDO, field after an email has been opened or clicked. I would need to look into the options here, but I am sure there would be some way to do that. It just depends on how we would want to do that.

    I hope this helps.

    Regards

    Chris Metcalfe

    4Thought Marketing - Marketing Automation Specialst

    Flagging the contacts a certain way in the CDO is exactly where we run into the issue, it would need to be a logic based program; and doing this in a scalable manner without the functionality seems unattainable.

  • 4Thought Marketing
    4Thought Marketing Posts: 57 Silver Trophy

    Flagging the contacts a certain way in the CDO is exactly where we run into the issue, it would need to be a logic based program; and doing this in a scalable manner without the functionality seems unattainable.

    The only thing I could think of would be to use an app. This app would be fed by people clicking on or opening emails. The app would then add a date stamp and from that have logic to apply morning or afternoon on a CDO. This would need to be a custom app as I don't see anything in the app cloud that could do it. I do not know if that solution would be scalable for you or not.

    Regards,

    Chris

  • 3266053
    3266053 Posts: 10 Green Ribbon

    The only thing I could think of would be to use an app. This app would be fed by people clicking on or opening emails. The app would then add a date stamp and from that have logic to apply morning or afternoon on a CDO. This would need to be a custom app as I don't see anything in the app cloud that could do it. I do not know if that solution would be scalable for you or not.

    Regards,

    Chris

    It could be an app, but I'm still shocked at the lack of testing and optimization features in Eloqua. ExactTarget out of the box has more features for email optimization.

    I don't want another app to tie in, I just want Eloqua to build this feature getting up to speed with other marketing automation platforms.

    Thanks for the input though.

  • 4Thought Marketing
    4Thought Marketing Posts: 57 Silver Trophy

    It could be an app, but I'm still shocked at the lack of testing and optimization features in Eloqua. ExactTarget out of the box has more features for email optimization.

    I don't want another app to tie in, I just want Eloqua to build this feature getting up to speed with other marketing automation platforms.

    Thanks for the input though.

    No problem @3266053,

    One of the issues Oracle may have is if they add lots of out of the box options, would be that the majority of the community will either not use them, or want to customize them greatly, so the effort vs. reward for implementing them will not be so high. I agree more stuff out of the box will be great, but the flexibility Eloqua has to do just about anything you can think off, and if it can't, you can add an app to help - that is really powerful. So as with everything it is a trade off sometimes.

    Chris

  • Cathy Danahy
    Cathy Danahy Posts: 61 Silver Trophy

    No problem @3266053,

    One of the issues Oracle may have is if they add lots of out of the box options, would be that the majority of the community will either not use them, or want to customize them greatly, so the effort vs. reward for implementing them will not be so high. I agree more stuff out of the box will be great, but the flexibility Eloqua has to do just about anything you can think off, and if it can't, you can add an app to help - that is really powerful. So as with everything it is a trade off sometimes.

    Chris

    I recall SilverPop used the Visitor Profile to determine the best time to 'send' the email based on the recipients behavior when they were most likely to Open and Click through on the emails.  The Content Binger, might get a ton of emails all at or around the same time.  As digital consumers we see this now everywhere from Facebook, LinkedIn to you name it.

  • Ankit Vohra
    Ankit Vohra Posts: 5 Red Ribbon

    A good idea, but I am not sure how the Oracle team will identify to resolve this as I can only see to have buckets of time zones wrt countries or region/ else to work on the cookies to get the time zone information.

    And possible this might be in a form of opt-in app as many of the users will need to first bucket their contact information accordingly.

    Since as of now we can use the scheduling option, but good to see this implemented.

    Scheduling.JPG

    Thanks!

  • Cheli
    Cheli Posts: 57 Gold Badge

    So this feature request speaks (to me at least) of a different function and set up than what Mike7thsense wants.   We are more in line with how EmiliePKraft wants this work out. 

    Right now with the 3-4 region set up we have, we have to use filters and 3-4 email send steps that are using the exact same email... just so that it gets to someone relatively during their local time of day. 

    So ditto what Emilie said... make it much easier!

  • 4Thought Marketing
    4Thought Marketing Posts: 57 Silver Trophy

    So this feature request speaks (to me at least) of a different function and set up than what Mike7thsense wants.   We are more in line with how EmiliePKraft wants this work out. 

    Right now with the 3-4 region set up we have, we have to use filters and 3-4 email send steps that are using the exact same email... just so that it gets to someone relatively during their local time of day. 

    So ditto what Emilie said... make it much easier!

    Hi all,

    I created this idea a while back that may also be a possible solution. The basic idea is to have a single set and forget option in an email group to reference the country/region and sent at specified times. I am not sure if the email group is the best place, but I can't think of any other place to put it. That gives some flexibility and saves lot's of configuration time in each campaign.

    Maybe it will help.

    Regards

    Chris

  • 3214459
    3214459 Posts: 2

    Dear all, I really we will be able to send our emails based on local time. As our list consist of people from different time zone. Not as effective for us if we can only select one timezone for one segment.

    cheers!

    Gary

  • Debiprasad Dey
    Debiprasad Dey Posts: 18 Green Ribbon

    Hello,

    It seams like the requirement is to send email to customers of Specific time and preferred time, so to have good chance of opening it and other activity. I feel this can be achieved using custom build app. I summarized my view below.

    1)  Have customer Time Zone in contact level along with preferred time to get Email

    2)  Segment to provide contacts to Custom App followed by Email Step

    3)  Back end logic to filter out customers for Time Zones to Local time

    4) Sync only those contacts which are to be targeted now

    5) Contacts will flow to Email Step depending upon Time Zone

    This is just a idea I never tried in my projects ,believe should work.

    Regards

    Debiprasad

  • Alexander Huzar
    Alexander Huzar Posts: 80 Red Ribbon

    https://docs.marketo.com/display/public/DOCS/Release+Notes%3A+Fall+%2717

    "Recipient Time Zone

    With this new feature, you can now hold and deliver email according to local time zones. Email and engagement programs can be configured to be delivered in the recipients' time zones, eliminating the need to create multiple programs—send once and Marketo will automatically hold the email until the correct local time. Lift email metrics, observe local practices, and save time by using a single program globally."

    image2017-11-29%208%3A45%3A47.png?version=1&modificationDate=1511973948000&api=v2

    Disclaimer: I'm not a fan of Marketo, but I will point out features that it has that Eloqua should have had a long time ago. It's things like this that are the reason why certain people think Marketo is better/easier and makes it infinitely more difficult to advocate for Eloqua to senior leadership. Just because you can create a convoluted campaign with 24 email paths, one for each time zone, this does not mean that this is easy, desirable or easy to do. Furthermore, if you take that logic you can do time zone specific email sending in any platform, even HubSpot/MailChimp, and sorry, but I'm not going to pay a partner for this. So when asked if Eloqua can send to time zones, the answer, unfortunately, is a plain "no".

    I think this this feature will be quite easy to implement - have a new "Time Zone" system field, determine the values for this by doing a visitor IP reverse lookup (you can see this in E10 by going to E9 interfaces and looking at visitor profile fields where time zone is one of those, but somehow not exposed in E10 segmentation/filters), if no visitors are linked, look at country, state, city, Zip/Postal. Failing that, just default to GMT +/-0. You can also ask people for their time zone in form fields and it would be more seamless if you were to add it into a progressive profiling field group (that I would like to see not display any field if all fields are filled, but that's another feature request).

  • Vashant Kumar
    Vashant Kumar Posts: 26 Blue Ribbon

    We can reduce the effort with saving of Newsletter Campaign Template. With doing this we can save campaign as template which we can re-use in future campaigns to overcome timezone setup every in every campaign.

    Regards,

    Vashant

  • Hi,

    Here I have tried the following Campaign flow to sending single email to different time zone contacts.

    Steps:

    After the Segments step, add Compare Contact Field with Country specific and linked to Email then schedule with country specific time zone.

    If targeted audience not meet with Compare Contact Field = "Country : values" then they will redirect to next Country check.

    ASEAN Check.png

    Regards,

    Ragu

  • Alexander Huzar
    Alexander Huzar Posts: 80 Red Ribbon

    Hi,

    Here I have tried the following Campaign flow to sending single email to different time zone contacts.

    Steps:

    After the Segments step, add Compare Contact Field with Country specific and linked to Email then schedule with country specific time zone.

    If targeted audience not meet with Compare Contact Field = "Country : values" then they will redirect to next Country check.

    ASEAN Check.png

    Regards,

    Ragu

    So, if we have 30-40 email send steps on a campaign canvas like most enterprise clients do, multiplying this by the number of countries those are possible being sent to is insane. Also take into account that large countries like Canada and USA have multiple time zones and if going by state, there's 50 states and 14 territories, just splitting US by time zone is ridiculous and no one is ever going to do this. The work-around being presented here is a start-up mentality solution that is not even a work-around for enterprises. There are numerous Eloqua clients who use different techniques like API, custom fields for date comparison, and other means to deploy emails at the right time (zone).

    If Eloqua is not going to offer this - fine, however, guys, please offer suggestions that work for where you have 20+ email send steps on a canvas because doing this on-canvas is not going to work (not practical).

  • Debiprasad Dey
    Debiprasad Dey Posts: 18 Green Ribbon

    So, if we have 30-40 email send steps on a campaign canvas like most enterprise clients do, multiplying this by the number of countries those are possible being sent to is insane. Also take into account that large countries like Canada and USA have multiple time zones and if going by state, there's 50 states and 14 territories, just splitting US by time zone is ridiculous and no one is ever going to do this. The work-around being presented here is a start-up mentality solution that is not even a work-around for enterprises. There are numerous Eloqua clients who use different techniques like API, custom fields for date comparison, and other means to deploy emails at the right time (zone).

    If Eloqua is not going to offer this - fine, however, guys, please offer suggestions that work for where you have 20+ email send steps on a canvas because doing this on-canvas is not going to work (not practical).

    Hi Alexander,

    As you mentioned more email steps are involved in campaign canvas and checking for lot many Time Zone will be a tedious task. The approach I see is through Custom Build App to pass only list of contacts to the email step as per the time zone, considering the Email Language is same or can be handled in the campaign itself. Assuming that user's time zone is captured at contact level let have a app to check the Time Zone for the segment members and only synch those contact whose specific time to send email is matched to EST for example. So this App can be reused in multiple campaigns to target customers of different Time Zone

  • Alexander Huzar
    Alexander Huzar Posts: 80 Red Ribbon

    Hi Alexander,

    As you mentioned more email steps are involved in campaign canvas and checking for lot many Time Zone will be a tedious task. The approach I see is through Custom Build App to pass only list of contacts to the email step as per the time zone, considering the Email Language is same or can be handled in the campaign itself. Assuming that user's time zone is captured at contact level let have a app to check the Time Zone for the segment members and only synch those contact whose specific time to send email is matched to EST for example. So this App can be reused in multiple campaigns to target customers of different Time Zone

    That's not a good answer. Anything you can imagine can be done with a custom app. Custom apps cost money. Almost every idea on this forum can probably be accomplished via custom app.

    At the end of the day, it is C-level execs and not developers who make decisions and they don't care what the details of the marketing automation tool are. They look at it high-level - can it do X, Y and Z? Yes? Great. No? Let's move on, what's the total cost? The key Eloqua competitor, Marketo, has been doing this for over a year now (https://docs.marketo.com/display/public/DOCS/Release+Notes%3A+Fall+%2717 ). This is a scenario of a death by a thousand cuts if the choice is to iterate the UI instead of taking on core functionality with new releases and fixing long-standing bugs (so bad that they're feature requests, not bugs) like data cards being edited while CDO record services is running, contacts getting stuck on app steps indefinitely, "not" checkbox being removed when you move around decision rules in program canvas, etc. This is why I was so elated to see the comment by @Kamil Erden - Oracle-Oracle about the work on the send time optimization (STO) as this is an AI-based approach to this problem that goes above and beyond timezone-based sending, also because it's so hard to identify someone's time zone and even if you do you're still doing a "spray-n-pray" approach to email. This solution will "move the needle" in terms of ROI and will help Eloqua regain market leadership in this key area because like I said, anyone can make or recommend a custom solution, but what will win client contracts is an out-of-the-box solution.

  • David Gutelius
    David Gutelius Posts: 34 Bronze Badge
    edited April 2019

    not only leverages historical per-contact send time preferences but also adapts dynamically as individual preferences change. It doesn't matter where in the world contacts are sitting, and the need for tortured, per-TZ and localization strategies goes away.

    Post edited by Unknown User on
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