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Not What, but When Should You Send E-Newsletters?

You and/or your team have worked hard for weeks to prepare your e-newsletter content. You’ve edited the copy several times, come up with clever titles and masterfully drafted an email subject line to really grab your audience’s attention.  Maybe you did not stop there and went the extra mile to pick out that perfect piece of clip art that really conveys the essence of your message. You have created a true e-masterpiece.  (“I call trademark!”)  Now it is time to send out your e-newsletter to the world… but when?  I mean, which day?  What time of day?  Morning? (too early)  Afternoon? (too busy)  Night?  (too sleepy).  So when should you send out your e-newsletter, er…  e-masterpiece?

Conventional wisdom says Tuesdays through Thursdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  is best.  So, let’s say Wednesday at noon is best for you.  Now, send!  Right?  No, wait.  Maybe there are some other factors to consider when deciding when to send –  like your audience.

There are lots of statistics available from many sources on which days and what times have the highest open rates (open rates refer to the total percentage of all recipients in your list that actually opened up your email).  Take the example below as reported from MailChimp’s study that analyzed more than a billion emails.  This content is very informative and provides great insight into more than a billion emails that have been sent and tracked, however, these times and dates may not work best for your clients and potential clients.

Audience Factors to Consider:

  1. Personal or Work E-mail
    • Do you have your clients’ work or personal email?
    • Are your clients likely to open your email during regular work hours?
    • Are they more likely to open after work?
  2. Nights and Weekends –Are your clients likely to open your emails at night or over the weekend?
  3. Seasonal – Are there seasonal events that would influence behavior?
  4. Deadlines – Are there deadlines that could peak interest?

Email Opens by Time of Day

Best time of day to send an email.

Email Opens by Day of Week

Best day of the week to send an email.

From looking at these charts, it looks like Thursday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. recipients are more likely to open emails than at any other time of the week. Or is that closer to 3:00 p.m.?  Well, as I mentioned before, there are other factors to consider.  Either time might be a great starting point for your campaign.  Maybe try to think about your clients and when they are most likely to open your e-newsletters and then pick two dates – maybe a Tuesday early afternoon and a Thursday late afternoon.  If you are feeling adventurous, maybe even try sending one on a Saturday afternoon, just make sure you keep track of your data and review it a day or two after the launch to look for trends.

If you feel like you have found the best time to send your e-masterpiece, but want to continue to improve your open rates, I recommend you try A/B Split Email Testing. Click here to read more on this subject.

Scott Dine
About the Author
With years of experience in marketing and information technology, Scott has a passion for helping clients realize their ultimate potential. He does this by ensuring every Catalyst client receives outstanding marketing support and he works diligently to implement the latest online technology and keep clients abreast on recent marketing trends of CPA firms.