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Best Weeks to Send Email, Google MUM, Facebook Brand Engagement

Inbox Insights from Trust Insights

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When Should You Send Emails?

One of our favorite things to look at are behavioral searches; these are searches people do that indicate a clear intent. Most of us, most of the time, don’t kill time by searching for things on Google randomly. We Google stuff because we need an answer of some kind, and the questions we ask can indicate a certain level of intent.

Of the behavioral searches, one of the most telling is the family of “out of office searches”, such as Outlook out of office, Gmail out of office, Office 365 out of office, etc. When someone searches for these terms, it’s for a specific reason: they need to remember how to turn on their out of office autoreplies.

Why would someone need to do that? Logically, you turn on your out of office… before going out of office. Vacations, holidays, etc. are the times we do this most. Logically, if people are searching for this term with great frequency, it means that people are about to leave the office… and that means we probably shouldn’t email them heavily, because they won’t read it. By extension, the times when people search for this family of queries the least indicates people are going to be in the office, and thus more likely to read what we send them.

Let’s see when people will be in or out of the office in the months ahead:

Out of office chart

We see the general search in blue, Outlook-related searches in red, and Gmail-related searches in yellow. Gmail searches are a good proxy for consumers, whereas Outlook searches are a good proxy for business folks. We see that consumers search for this family of terms much more in the summers, whereas business folks take time off for the summer but also at year end for various holidays.

If we were to extract the data, we’d want to schedule big email campaigns during the following weeks, when the valleys are deepest on these charts:

  • Q3 2021: September 5-19
  • Q4 2021: October 24-31
  • Q1 2022: January 9-16

These are the weeks when people are likely to have the lowest search volume, so they’ll be more around and able to read our emails.

Use this data to help tune your own email and marketing campaigns in the weeks and months ahead. Regardless of whether someone’s headed for the Maldives or just a staycation in the back yard, lots of people want to turn off email for a little while.

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Binge Watch and Listen

In this episode of In-Ear Insights, Katie and Chris dig into the announcements around Google’s newly announced AI model for advanced search, MUM, or the multitask unified model. Learn what MUM is, why it should matter to content producers, and how to think about adapting your content strategy to deal with what could be a very big change to SEO.

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Data Diaries - Interesting Data We Found

In this week’s Data Diaries, we dig into Facebook’s unpaid engagement data for brands. Brands have had a rough go of it the last few years on Facebook; the company has made it clear that brands need to pay-for-play. Have things improved this year?

Facebook brand engagement data

That would appear to be a no. Just this year alone, engagement has gone from a maximum of 0.0217% for brands to a new low of 0.0061%. To put that in context – because those are really tiny numbers – 0.0217% is the same as saying 1 out of every 4,604 fans has engaged with your content. That’s the maximum median engagement brands have achieved in 2021 on their content. The minimum, 0.0061%, is the same as saying 1 out of every 16,463 fans has engaged with your content. That’s an intrayear decline of 72%.

At that point, things like print ads, trade shows, and highway billboards are likely to outperform Facebook for unpaid social media. On the unpaid side, you’re likely to achieve greater engagement standing on the sidewalk with paper brochures to hand out than you are with unpaid content on Facebook.

If Facebook is essential to your marketing, be prepared to pay. If it’s not, do the bare minimum to maintain a social presence there (use a good scheduling tool to automate it) but otherwise put your time and effort somewhere else.

Methodology: Trust Insights used data from Facebook’s Crowdtangle software to extract 4,345,052 posts from 3,008 Brand Pages on Facebook. Brand Pages were selected and curated by Facebook and augmented by Trust Insights. The timeframe of the data is January 1, 2021 – June 6, 2021. The date of study is June 9, 2021. Trust Insights is the sole sponsor of the study and neither gave nor received compensation for data used, beyond applicable service fees to software vendors, and declares no competing interests.

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