Does cold weather affect email?

You bet it does.

Even in South Carolina, where it was 9 degrees this morning and schools were delayed for three hours, life was a bit chaotic – and quiet at the same time.

Weather events affect people in several ways:

1. School’s out so parents can’t work for the day; only emergent emails get answered by phone.

2. Employees use the excuse of dangerous temperatures not to drive in; today’s emails get deleted tomorrow.

3. Employees come in to work but use weather as an excuse to be unproductive; nothing gets done.

4. Employees who are at work can’t do very much because of #s 1, 2, and 3, and so they wait by their inbox for something to do; work that would otherwise never have gotten done gets started!

I’m not going to point fingers, but you know who you are.

If your business depends on email, this can affect you two ways:

1. Your prospect’s not working, and so your email goes unopened.

2. Your prospect is working but no one else is, so has time to open your email.

So is it a shot in the dark to email during a weather event? Depends on your prospects. If they’re professionals who are electronically savvy (they have a mobile device and aren’t afraid to use it), can’t hurt to email on a day impacted by weather; they can answer from wherever they are. If they’re emergency responders, federal contractors, public servants, 3PL, transporters, you should probably stay away from severe weather days. If they’re manufacturers, one day is probably like the next.

We read a lot about the right time to send an email – the most optimal time at which your email will be opened and read. But, truth be told, I don’t think it’s as much about when you send it, as how often. Getting someone to open your email is a result of persistence, not luck. Being in the right place at the right time because you are persistent can bring you luck, but you can’t bank on luck as a business development tool.

Do you feel lucky today?

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