How do time zones affect autoresponder send windows?

When comparing the send windows you've set for your autoresponders to the times reported for subscribers in your control panel, you may see what appears to be an incorrect sending time.

If your account was created after 02/03/2020, the Follow Up Series feature will not be present within your account as this feature has been deprecated. Creating an automated series of messages can be done with Campaigns.

For example, you have may have set a window of 6:00AM to 9:00AM for one of your follow up messages, with the "Send messages based on each subscriber's local time" box checked:

Send Window section

Later, when reviewing your subscribers you may come across a subscriber who was sent a followup at a time reported shortly after 9:00 PM, which on surface level would seem to have missed your send window schedule:

Subscriber Activity section

This type of discrepancy may be due to either or both of the following reasons:

  1. Your subscriber is not located in the Eastern Time Zone

    The "Send messages based on each subscriber's local time" checkbox ensures that your send windows are applied in a way that is geographically aware for your subscribers. If you've checked this box, it will affect the sending and reporting times in a way that may seem confusing.For a message you'd like to be sent between 9:00AM and 12:00PM, instead of sending it at 10:00 PM Eastern Time (which might be 3:00 AM in the United Kingdom, for example), we'll send it during that window in each subscriber's own time zone.

    A subscribers time zone is determined by the IP address that is captured for them when their information is submitted to your list. However, since all times reported in your control panel are based on Eastern Time, the message may appear to have been sent too early or late, while it was actually sent during an appropriate time in your subscriber's time zone.

  2. Send windows are not always 100% exact (but they are very close)

    In limited cases, a message may be sent outside its set window, though this should not be an expected common occurrence.

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