Mailbag: sending by timezone

We received this question recently from a customer:

When does WC plan on building sophisticated send controls and segmentation logic so that email can be scheduled based on time of day by time zone or by same day of week / time of day?

Glad you asked! We’ve already got that in our platform. Here’s the catch when it comes to sending by timezone. You must already be collecting time zone data at your point of intake. There is no email service provider in the world that can guess with any degree of accuracy what timezone a subscriber is in once they’ve already subscribed.

There is a solution for building a Javascript into your web forms that will attempt to detect a user’s timezone on a subscription form, which you can then pass into your database. You will need a developer’s help to integrate it into your website. Add the Timezone Detection script from Jon Nylander to your website via Javascript and then populate a hidden field named Timezone on your email subscription form.

Here’s a working example, which should tell you what time zone you’re in as you read this blog post:

Once you’ve collected timezone with your subscription forms and stored it with your database, all you need do is create different segmentations in the WhatCounts platform by that custom timezone field you’ve collected and send to the appropriate timezone segmentation at the times you want:

Scheduling email by timezone.

We hope this fairly technical tip is helpful to you as you grow your list.

If you need assistance implementing this and you’re a WhatCounts customer, talk to your account manager about hiring our Professional Services team to do the implementation for you. If you’re not a WhatCounts customer, consider becoming one today.

Christopher S. Penn
Director of Inbound Marketing, WhatCounts


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2 Responses to "Mailbag: sending by timezone"
  1. Steve Henderson says:

    Of course you must remember that in the EU you need to be transparent about what data you are collecting, why you are collecting it, what you are storing and how you are using it.
    In the UK, this is extended further by the 1988 Data Protection Act – the data you collect must also be appropriate for the action currently happening, and you must only store it and use it in a way which is consistent with the reason you originally collected, and if any of this is not explicit; it needs to be in line with what the user would reasonably expect.
    So, if you start collecting this stuff, make you you are open and honest about what you are collecting and why and show your customers how it benefits them – and most improtantly – give them a chance to opt out of having their personal/behavioural data collected and stored.

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