Article first published February 2005, updated April 2019
A question we often get asked by our customers is, “What’s the best day and time to send our clients newsletters?”
Read on to discover what some of the more popular research out there is telling us, keeping in mind that this research is conducted across a range of markets, so it might not always be right for you or your recipients.
When is the Best Day to Send Email Newsletters?
In July 2004, delivery consultancy Return Path analyzed over 3.4 million email messages and found that email sent on Monday is more likely to get opened, and anytime between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. is the best time of the day to send. These findings were later confirmed by media company Marketing Sherpa.
Today, however, it was revealed that this might no longer be the case and that emails sent from Wednesday to Friday maximized open rates.
Which one’s right for you?
The optimal delivery time will depend on what you’re sending and who you’re sending to.
One of email’s strengths is that it’s very testable. You should use the time of day and day of week as variables in your tests.
Try splitting your subscribers into 2 separate subscriber lists and sending to one half at one day and time and one half at another. Run a comparison of your results in the Reporting section and learn from what you see.
Running tests like this over the course of a few campaigns is the only way to really know when you should and shouldn’t be sending.
Source: Pretty Good Emails
How to discover your subscribers’ preferred time?
If spending your resources running A/B tests with your actual customers isn’t something you want to do, there are other methods for discovering the best day of the week to send email blasts.
Using these methods can also help you to figure out how often you should be sending marketing emails.
Here are just a few of the options you have at your disposal.
Instead of taking your time sending emails to your audience at a time and day when they might not respond, you might want to just put out a survey. This way, you don’t have to segment your audience doing tests and potentially hurt your open rates.
When making a survey, be sure you keep it simple and intuitive. If someone starts your survey but got confused about what’s expected of them, he/she will immediately drop out.
You also want to make sure the survey is short. People will give you a moment of their time, but nothing more. Plus, you don’t want to risk turning off potential survey takers because, the more people who take your survey, the more accurate the numbers will be.
Perhaps, the most hands-off and user-friendly way to understand your customers’ behavior is with a preference center.
Instead of wasting time sending emails to separate groups or trying to convince people to take an email survey, you merely establish a place on your website where users can set their own schedule for receiving emails.
Preference centers work great because customers can use them at a time of their own choosing. It’s not a survey that will be quickly piled on by the customer’s next ten emails and lost forever. You can set specific options to give your customers incredibly specific power over their inbox.
For instance, if you want to know if you should send emails on weekends, let them choose between that and weekdays. If you’re looking for a specific day, give them seven options.
Having great content in your emails isn’t enough. You need to make sure the great content can be seen.
While there are suggestions for when to send emails, the numbers are going to vary based on specific demographics.
For example, average email open rates by day for animal services is about 15%, while the number for education is about 24%.
To figure out the best times to reach your demographic, you have a few options:
- A/B Testing
- Preference Center
Any three of these methods—used alone or together—can bring you much closer to understanding your demographic and getting your great content seen.
Now that you know the best day to send email newsletters, you can focus entirely on content. Here are some examples of the best newsletters from 2018.