Timing Your Sponsorship Pitch For Peak Response Rates
Ask 10 sponsorship salespeople when the best time to pitch is and you'll likely get 10 different answers ranging from a specific day of the week, to the hour of day when inbox's are most likely to be open to a time of year when spending decisions are being made. Though the substance of your pitch is always the most paramount consideration, there are some easy tips and tricks you can institute to ensure your pitch is more likely to be read than others.
1. Send your pitch between 9AM and 11AM in the recipient's own time zone, according to MailChimp and Hubspot's studies, which say this time block offers the highest open rates no matter which day you're sending.
2. For sending to inconvenient time zones and ensuring you time your pitch right, use the 'Send Later' or scheduling option. Since your pitch might be tens or even hundreds of emails deep in the inbox if you send over the weekend, auto-scheduling each of those emails for 10am on Monday might give you an optimal open rate.
3. Monitor your own open rates and clicks so that you can develop and test your own assumptions. There are many tools such as Streak, that let you know when, where, how many times your email has been viewed and more. Don't let this data go to waste as you develop and hone your pitching strategy! Compare your open rates at different days and times of the day and benchmark it against the average for your industry (typically 15-25%).
4. Pitch your sponsorship opp 8 weeks minimum before your event. This is pretty standard stuff, but can go up or down a bit depending on the ask, expected activation and planning that will be involved with that activation.
5. Be aware of big macro events in the business your pitching. If you're pitching Intuit (parent of TurboTax), March or April is probably too late to be pitching since the biggest spend is in the tax season (Q1). If it's a fitness sponsor you seek, think about pitching well in advance of the New Year. To determine the best timing for each prospect, get inside the business mindset of your prospect and think about seasonality from their own perspective.
6. Q4 - the widely held theory is that Q4 is often when spending budgets are made for the following year and in some cases, remaining budget even needs to be spent for the current calendar year is up. While this may slightly tilt the odds in your favor, if you're opportunity delivers the goods (ROI/ROO), sponsors can generally find the funds no matter what season it is.
7. For B2B emails, Tuesdays tend to be the best day of the week for clicks and responses. While you may not like working on the weekend, you may also want to consider that Saturdays deliver high open rates likely due to low competition.
The short answer to all of this: Tuesday 10 AM!