Dayparting & Mobile Messaging: Pushing for Peak Performance [Monetizing Mobile Series]

When a mobile notification is sent really matters. Our clients often ask which point in the day and what day of the week to send messages for peak mobile engagement. A brand’s audience and the engagement of that audience are unique, so we can’t answer that broadly — but we can give guidelines and examples to help.

“Dayparting,” or the practice of dividing the day into several parts and providing unique programming during each, helps increase the likelihood of a message being seen and acted upon by the target audience at the time that they are most engaged online.


Active Mobile Users by Hour of Day from Sampled Urban Airship Data

Dayparting, combined with understanding which day of the week users are most active, helps brands know the best time to capture a user’s attention.

Context is King

But not so fast — you read the above charts, but just because mobile usage peaks at certain hours doesn’t mean you should send your message at those times. Mobile is not one-size fits all.

As you might expect, different audience segments will respond to notifications differently.

Take, for example, a daily deal children’s clothing retailer that messages users at 6 a.m. with the intent of targeting parents before their kids wake up and items are sold out. On the other hand, a music streaming service might target messaging users at the end of the day on Friday to prime their customer for parties over the weekend. It’s about your audience and the intent of the message; different times work better for different brands.

Your Audience + Action

Using audience segmentation and custom events can help pinpoint when to send to maximize response rates.

Are there “gap times” in the audience’s day? Common ones are: lunch hour, the daily commute, after the kids are in bed, etc. Those might be good — or bad — times to send, depending on your audience and your message.

Are there habits you believe your audience might have, such as checking sports scores more on weekends or news upon waking up in the morning? Test by targeting those times to check engagement rates.

We built Urban Airship Insight so brands could better understand when users were engaging with their app, and then test their hypotheses for times that create the highest conversion rates.

Make It a Habit and Test Engagement

For users, knowing they will be getting something on a regular basis creates higher engagement rates. Timing that knowledge with the right time of day makes your bond with your customer even stronger.

Naturally, some of our customers get concerned about over-messaging. With Insight, you can now see how many users opt out within an hour of a message send. This allows you to better gauge if messages are causing people to opt out at a higher rate than other actions.

Getting Started

Data-driven insights are necessary to make the right decisions about when to send notifications, whether in-app or push. By starting to understand your user’s behaviors, you can craft messaging based on that knowledge to reach higher engagement levels and ensure you’re providing your mobile audience with what they need.  

Already using Urban Airship Engage? Sign up for a free trial of Insight to put your data to use toward achieving your mobile messaging goals. And, if you’re not on Engage yet to power your mobile messaging, we have a free starter edition of that too!