The question “What is the best time or day to send email newsletters?” has been the subject of debate for many years. Researchers have performed studies with the single goal of finding the Ultimate Email Day and the Ultimate Email Time.
I love it when people who have nothing to do with my email campaign think they have found THE best time and day for me to send my campaigns. Simply love it!
The Magic Minute
For the sake of argument, let’s say there is such a day and time. Let’s assume there is one single minute in the whole week that defines the pinnacle of email timing. Don’t you think that if there was such a moment, email marketers everywhere would be sending their campaigns at this very moment? Wouldn’t that mean that in one minute, you would receive all of the newsletters that find their way to your inbox every week? It would be awfully quiet the rest of the week.
No email campaign is the same
Even though various email campaigns might have some similarities, fact of the matter is: your campaign is a unique combination of your product / service / message and your subscribers. So even if 80% of the email campaigns out there perform best when being sent on a Wednesday at 3PM, that doesn’t necessarily mean this is the best time for your campaign.
How DO you find your personal Ultimate Email Time then?
Remember these words:
Timing Trumps Time
Consider your message, and consider your subscribers. How do they relate to each other? Could your message result in your subscriber taking a specific action at a specific day or time? For example: do you sell tickets for events that only happen on weekends? Then you could send a regular promotional email on Tuesday, and a last-minute huge-discount almost-giving-the-tickets-away-for-free email blast on Friday. In this case it would make no sense whatsoever to send both of these campaigns on Wednesday (our hypothetical Ultimate Email Day).
How about when it’s less obvious?
1 – Use common sense.
2 – Experiment.
First of all, it’s not very useful to send a B2B campaign on a Sunday or a holiday. This is just common sense, you don’t need any line charts or bar graphs to tell you this. With B2C campaigns it might be less straightforward: we live in a 24/7 economy where geographical and political borders hardly mean anything anymore when it comes to delivering your product or service to your customers.
However, if you’re the owner of a brick and mortar store, you don’t want to send your special offer campaign on a Monday. You want to wait until at least Wednesday / Thursday, to make sure your offer receives the right amount of attention close to the weekend, when people actually have time to visit your store.
Second, you need to be bold. If you feel Friday could be a good day for your email campaign, go ahead and try it. See what happens to your open and click rates. If you think your campaign will achieve the highest open and click rates between 4PM and 6PM, try it. Again, see what happens to your campaign results.
You should always remember that “day” and “time” are two separate entities. What I mean, is that you can’t focus on the right day first and on the right time second. 9AM on a Wednesday could be better for your campaign than any time on a Friday, but 5PM on a Wednesday might be worse than any time on a Friday. So plan your testing carefully.