Statistics is not just a hard word to say but also a challenging thing to wrap your brain around from a marketing perspective. You can learn a lot about your visitors and “potential” visitors by reviewing your website traffic, visitor behavior patterns, newsletter/social media posting data and even tracking the flow of those visitors through your site. (You ARE using web tracking software, right!?) The problem arises with what you are to DO with that info.
As an example of this, we were having a discussion last week, about the best (most valuable) time of day to publish an online newsletter. It is understood that the “industry standard” for this is some time around 11am on Tuesdays. People are not dealing with Monday morning “back-log” and have caught themselves up from the weekend. The understanding is that the viewer will be more receptive to reading an article than any other time of the week.
But what if YOUR statistics tell you that your newsletters get the best response (highest open-rate) on Thursdays at 2PM. Do you buck the norm and stick with what works or lean toward the “best practices” and trust the industry? The answer, in my humble opinion, is to trust what YOU know will work. If you know that your readers are more likely to open your items at “time-A”, then stick with that. Just like in the world of real estate, every area of the country is different. Your business is different than the “industry standard”, especially since we’re in a resort/vacation area. As far as the “norm”, all bets are off.
The only, fairly important, caveat is it is imperative that you do a little testing. Yes, this means more work and likely means a few newsletters (or Facebook/Twitter/blog/etc. postings) will not get the most exposure. But the only way to know for sure is to try a few out and keep track of your results. Your newsletter software will help you with this and there are multiple tools available to help you track this on all of your social media accounts as well. See how you stack up against the “norm” and stick with what works!