You put a lot of effort into your email campaigns. Writing copy, designing graphics, even tracking down email addresses all take significant time and effort. It’s understandable, therefore, that you want to pick the best possible time for sending out those bulk emails. But when is that time? Well, the answer (as usual in the marketing world) depends on a number of factors. Here are a few that should help you narrow down your choices.
1. For open rates, go early – Studies show that open rates are highest early in the week (Mon – Wed). Consumers are likely clearing their inboxes after a weekend of infrequent email-checking, but these high open rates are useful if you have an important announcement or a B2B email to send. There is a downside, of course, and that is the fact that click through rates are lowest early in the week.
2. For browsing, go late – Clickthrough rates are highest late in the week and on the weekends, likely because consumers have far more time to spend reading emails and are more likely to be shopping for things. Sending an email on Friday afternoon may be a good time for browsing as it is more likely to be opened, then remembered on the weekend. You can also send an email autoresponder message over the weekend to remind people of an email they should have received during the week. This is a good reinforcement mechanism.
3. Avoid Sunday – You may notice that you get very few autoresponder messages on Sundays. There’s a reason for this, and it’s because Sunday is the day people are least likely to check emails. Think of all the things you do on a typical Sunday – spend time with family, watch/play sports, go to church. I’d sure rather be doing these things than checking emails, and most people agree. Wait until Monday morning to send an important email.
One caveat – If you have to send something unpleasant, then the old PR trick of sending a negative press release on Sunday may do the trick. When nobody is paying attention, negative announcements will get less traction and will often be overlooked.