Toy or Tool? AudiencePoint

What is it? As we all know from our own inboxes, e-mail marketing is on the upswing. About 89 billion business e-mails are sent each day worldwide. According to a recent study, small and mid-sized businesses are spending up to 20% of their marketing budgets on this medium; more than on other tactic.

Marketing advisors will tell you that, as with other direct marketing media, your list, your subject line, and your offer are all critical factors in determining response rate. But time of day can also play a big role in whether or not someone clicks and contacts you.

AudiencePoint is a new analytical tool that enables businesses to profile their databases based on what time recipients are likely to open and respond to e-mails. It can be used as either a separate tool or integrated with current e-mail service providers (ESPs) like Constant Contact and ExactTarget.

What’s the value? Users can better understand when their prospects are opening their e-mails and what time of day each individual is most likely to respond. AudiencePoint reports boosts in open and click-through rates of up to 400% from some of their current clients. The tool is turnkey and AudiencePoint can pull data directly from an ESP or the business can hand off its file for analysis and send it back to the business with time-of-day data appending. Because AudiencePoint works with multiple ESPs, they are able to analyze data across industries and service providers.

What’s the downside? As with many analytical tools, the user must dedicate some time and resources to reviewing the data and figuring out how to best use it. (Costs vary, based on volume.) AudiencePoint is a new technology, so although early results have been positive, only time will tell which types of businesses see the best results. Companies that sell product, rather than service, may be better able to track immediate ROI from data appending.

The bottom line: Whether they use AudiencePoint or some other analytical tool, small and mid-sized businesses should start looking carefully at the “when” of their e-mail marketing!