A common question that companies doing email marketing ask is: what is the best day of the week to send out our emails? Should our email marketing campaign be on a specific day to get better opens or click throughs?
We’ve already covered how often to send emails, so now let’s address exactly when is the best time for those mass email eblasts.
Interestingly, while there has been a heck of a lot of research done into email marketing and days of the week, time of day, week of the months, etc. — despite all this research, there isn’t a clear concrete answer. In fact, a lot of the data changes radically from year to year.
As in all things, it depends on your email list, your customers, and the content of your email marketing campaign.
Here’s what we do know:
Email Opens by Day of the Week
The highest percentage of email opens generally happens at the beginning of the week. Monday – Wednesday is when people are most likely to go through all of their emails.
This is also when the majority of mass emails are sent out. Some speculate that part of the reason for more opens early in the week is because of the generally greater volume of emails sent, but more likely it’s the opposite — email marketers are sending emails when they’re most opened.
Email Click Throughs by Day of the Week
Despite the fact that the early week yields the largest open percentage, later in the week and specifically the weekend, generally has the largest percentage of click throughs from email campaigns. In fact, Monday is often one of the worst days for click throughs. The logic here is typically that users have more time to go through their emails and read them in depth.
While during the beginning of the week people are trying to clear out their email boxes and more likely to shuffle through and delete emails in an attempt to get on top of their workload, later in the week the pace slows down a bit and people are perhaps more eager for a distraction from their day-to-day routine.
Time of Day Factors
People have also done research into the best time of day to send emails. This research is a bit more murky, but in general it seems that emails sent in the middle of the day — around lunch time — have the highest open rate.
Again the logic is that at the beginning of the day users are clearing out their inbox and more likely to delete mass mails. At the end of the day and email is more likely to be saved for the next morning, at which point it’s subjected to the early day purging.
Putting it Together
It’s generally agreed that the statistically ideal times to send out mass email campaigns is Tuesday or Wednesday, in the middle of the day.
Optimal Email Time Depends on Your Users and Your Content
Ultimately, while we can speak to some statistical generalities — more email opens early in the week, more email click throughs later in the week, and more of both in the middle of the day — the right answer really depends on both the content of your email campaign and on your users.
If your email is about hot spots to visit over the weekend, the end of the week is going to be more relevant and probably yield more opens than early in the week. If you’re targeting B2B emails, you probably want to target that Tuesday/Wednesday area, while if you’re targeting consumers the end of the week is likely more attractive — when they have more time and when they’re more likely to be making purchases.
Ideally you’ll do internal testing with your own list. Experiment by sending your emails on different days of the week and measuring the click-through and open rates. Note that this only works if you’re sending similar emails and sending to the exact same list with all tests — and even then you’ll want to test each day several times to average out the odd email that is more attractive to users.
You may well discover that for your email campaign and your readers, a non-standard day works best. Only testing with your email campaign on your email list can tell you for certain what the best day and time of day to send emails is.
Other Email Marketing Posts:
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