Email Marketing – What Day / Time is Best?
You may be wondering one of two things, “what is this guy talking about, timing of day/hour?” or “I know what’s best because I have read some reports”. I wrote this to say that none of it matters to you. The why is below. I had an online advertising startup in the 90’s. We created a banner ad network as well as a permission based email network. Clients would pay us to either reach the inboxes of particular audiences or to run their own newsletters.
What Times Worked?
We found that on certain days and times the number of emails opened was higher or lower. However the caveat is that we are talking about emails opened and not necessarily conversions. In some instances you may be happy with opens (branding campaigns I guess) but usually what is desired is the call to action is acted upon resulting in some sort of conversion. Interestingly enough we found Thursdays in the afternoon to have the highest open rates, that was 10 years ago. A study two years ago by Aweber found the same results, but again keep reading as it may be useless information for you.
A 2008 study.
Monday – 13.67%
Tuesday – 13.21%
Wednesday – 14.07%
Thursday – 14.52%
Friday – 13.25%
Saturday – 12.09%
Sunday – 13.26%
Also the time was that 2-3PM Eastern Time also had the largest open rate.
However none of this matters to you.
What Day/Time Should You Send Your Newsletter?
I happen to be a big-disbeliever in information I read. I always want to run my own tests and either validate or disprove what I have been told by studies like the above. The study above is correct in the aggregate and matches what I found after running an advertising network for many years. That is, that in the aggregate the open rates are higher on Thursday afternoons (EST).
Don’t Believe It
But when does the aggregate matter to you? The answer is rarely (I want to say never but that’s not entirely true). We operate multiple sites in completely different industries which have entirely different audiences. The audiences vary in gender, age, income, education, employment, etc. We have found that each one has completely different reactions (open rates, click rates, call to action conversion rates) depending on the time and day. Therefore we send our newsletters out on different days and times depending on the audiences.
Your Audience is Unique
Therefore the reason I say that the aggregate does not matter to you is that your audience is unique. You need to determine the best day and time to send your newsletter and it may surprise you.
Using a system like Aweber’s which tracks open rates and clicks, you can run your own tests. Ultimately you will want to track the open, click and conversion rates. Keep a spreadsheet with a matrix of days and times. Then send your newsletter, or other correspondence, on a different day and time. Track the open, click and conversion rates for each. Once you have narrowed in on days and times that have the best conversions for you then test again to validate your findings.
I am a big believer in testing, measuring and analyzing. Below you can test drive Aweber with a free trial, or use any of the other online newsletter tools to automate the process and start your own tests. Good luck.
Give Aweber or Go Daddy a Try
I use Aweber for our newsletters, you can also try the godaddy email for marketing as I have heard that is a good solution as well. It automates everything for you. There are templates for your newsletter such that you only have to add the text and it sends both text or html. It takes care of the sign up forms for you as well as the unsubscribes. The emails are sent in a matter of minutes. Also you will see the breakdown of open rates and clicks on links, as well as which link was clicked. You can set your newsletter to be sent in advance, choose a day and time and it will be sent accordingly. They also have an auto-responder – a nice to have along with the newsletter functionality.
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