The best day and time to send your email marketing

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days The best day and time to send your email marketing I wrote a white paper in February called Whatever You Do, Don’t Send Your Email Marketing On… (shameless plug) but, in my usual fashion, it’s a pretty detailed document that is going to drive you Impulsive and Ambitious types crazy.

So here’s the short version with the summary of the most valuable data (and yes, for you Disciplined and Considered types, there is a link at the end of this article to get your free copy of the full whitepaper).

So, your latest email campaign is ready to send. You’ve got everything perfect. A subject line that grabs attention, an offer your customers surely can’t refuse. You’ve checked and double-checked, fixed and tweaked, and checked again. You’re ready to send your next email marketing effort out to your customer database.

STOP

Choosing the wrong day and time to press ‘send’ could sabotage all your hard work.

Given all the resource you’ve put into your email, you do want to do everything you can to maximise your results, right?

You do want an increase in visits to your site. You do want to get a new customer, a repeat purchase or a new lead.

Except if you choose the wrong day and time to hit that ‘send’ button, your email may just drown amongst a sea of other emails vying for your customer’s attention, instead of getting the great results you deserve.

So what time on what day tends to get the best results for email marketing?

Before you get all excited, remember to use a good dollop of common sense, rather than just following these findings from other companies to the letter.

Because if the studies say Monday mornings at 9am is the golden send time, but your campaign is about what to do in the weekend, a Thursday might be the smarter choice for you. What about if most of your database are business contacts? Then sending on a Saturday is not very clever, even if it’s one of the more popular days (it’s not, by the way).

The golden time

The first part of the golden send equation is to get the timing right.

An extensive study by Marketing Sherpa compared sending in the early morning (9am) to  lunchtime (12pm) to late afternoon (4pm).

The study found the 9am time slot far outperformed the other 2.

“The 9am click-through rates outperformed the 12pm emails by 10%, and gained 15% more clicks compared to the 4pm time slot. The 12pm emails only outperform­ed the 4pm email by 6%.”

For those still learning the lingo, your click-through rate is a measure of how many of your database actually clicked on a link in your email.

The most obvious reason why the morning out-performs later timed emails, is many people start their working day going through their emails. There are fewer interruptions so people are more likely to actually read and act on what they receive.

Another study by eROI agrees with Marketing Sherpa, that 9am is not just the peak time for companies to send emails, but also for opening and clicking on email (for every day except Tuesdays).

As the week goes on, the eROI study also showed people wait till later in the day to deal with their emails.

The golden day

That study by email marketing firm eROI, also looked into the best day to send email campaigns.

They monitored more than 7.7 million commercial emails sent by over 6,000 companies.

For some types of emails (such as the more news-focused), a high open-rate is a great metric to measure if you’re just concerned with people reading your email, but if you’re more interested in them taking action (such as generating sales or encouraging clicking through to your website), it’s those click-throughs that you need to keep your eye on.

Let’s take a quick look at how each day of the week performed:

MONDAY

A low volume of emails are sent on Mondays yet Monday got the highest click-through rate at 5.9% and tied with Thursday for the lowest unsubscribe rate at 0.1%.

TUESDAY

A biggest chunk of email traffic was sent on Tuesdays. Maybe this is one reason Tuesday got the 2nd lowest open rate at 25% and an overall low click-through rate of 3.4%.

WEDNESDAY

This was the 2nd most popular day to send email campaigns. Wednesday got the lowest open rate of the working week (22%) and the 4th lowest click-through rate (4.1%).

THURSDAY

Thursday was the 3rd busiest day but saw a nice lift in open rate (32.3%) the 2nd best after Monday. Thursday’s click-through rate wasn’t so great though, at 2.8%, the lowest of the week. Thursday did have the lowest unsubscribe rate though (tied with Monday).

FRIDAY

The lowest volume of emails were sent on Fridays, however Friday returned a great open rate placing it a close 3rd after Monday and Thursday. The click-through rate (4.4%) was the 2nd highest of the week, after Monday. Timing is extra important for Friday’s though, the study found very little was opened after midday on a Friday (Friday drinks anyone?).

Which days had the highest open rate?

The gold medal goes to Monday and silver goes to Thursday (with Wednesday coming in last).

Which days achieved the best click-through rate?

Monday takes the gold again, followed by Friday (with Thursday coming in last this time).

Another study, this time by MailerMailer, delved into the highest performing day (including weekends) comparing open rates and click-throughs.

You can check out the results in more detail in our whitepaper, but the results (again) saw Monday take the gold, with Sunday very close to gain the silver medal.

Saturday shared 2nd to last place with Tuesday and Wednesday performed the poorest of them all.

I won’t go into how pay day effects spending and email timing, as that’s another topic covered in more detail in the full whitepaper.

The reality is, the best statistics will always be your own.

So start paying attention to the day and time you send your campaigns and test the different results you get when you try a new day and time.

If you’re using a professional email marketing solution then you’ll get all the vital statistics for free (and no, I don’t mean the Chief from Asterix).

(drum roll please) The golden send equation is

Mondays at 9am

So, now you know the golden send equation – but remember this is not exactly the best kept secret!

More and more clever marketers have caught on so no doubt another day will soon take out the gold.

If you’d like help tweaking your email marketing, or want to get started with professional email marketing and building your database, please feel free to get in touch or find out more first.

So what day and time do you normally press send? Will you be trying a new ‘golden send equation’ for your next campaign?

PS – For your free copy of the full whitepaper with all the lovely details, click here.

If you found this article helpful, please retweet it (or click the green button top right). Follow Orchid on twitter to find out about new articles first.

copyright Anna Gervai for Orchid Web Design, this article may be republished with permission

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Comments

  1. Chris says:

    That’s all well and good if everyone on your mailing list is in the same timezone. If your list is international (or even if just a single country with multiple timezones like USA or Australia), then 9am Monday to you is 9pm on Sunday to some people on your list, etc.

    I speak from experience here; when I sold software CDs worldwide I sent a weekly email out to my international mailing list and trying to judge the best time to send email that would have the most impact on people from New Zealand, Australia, Japan, the South Pacific, USA, Canada, England, France and Germany (the countries with the most orders) was tricky.

    Unless you capture their timezone as part of them signing up to your mailing list and do a segmented send several times over the course of the day, you’re never going to get your email out to everyone at a specific time of the day in their timezone when you are dealing with a worldwide audience.

  2. admin says:

    Hi Chris,

    Great comment, thank you for sharing your experiences. And yes, you’re exactly ‘on the money’.

    There’s no point targeting your send by your own timezone, it has to be targeted to your customer’s timezone.

    We are big fans of MailChimp for email marketing here at Orchid for many reasons, including 2 features that solve this problem for global lists / multiple timezones (without forcing your subscriber to provide you with that info).

    The first is Geotargeting. This allows you to segment your list by the subscriber’s location. http://www.mailchimp.com/blog/geolocation-in-mailchimp/

    The second is TimeWarp. This allows you to designate an exact delivery time for your email based on the subscriber’s timezone. http://www.mailchimp.com/blog/timewarp-schedule-email-campaigns-by-recipient-timezone/

    Problem solved :)

    – Anna Gervai, Orchid

  3. Chris says:

    Awesome, thanks. I use MailChimp myself but it’s not really an issue for me at the present time. My current mailing list is for an NZ target audience website. There are some Aussies on the list as well but it doesn’t really matter so much when the few of them get the email.

  4. Really interesting info.. I always went for just after lunch and never on Monday.. so I will certainly change my habits now.

  5. Pingback: 11 Top Email Myths Debunked | Business Email Marketing Blog - Pinpointe

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