Guide to Best time to send an Email Campaign or Newsletter
Beautiful content, check. Segemented list to target audience, yes. Found an enticing subject line, yep. What’s missing? You may not have thought about it, however:
I often get asked about what is the best time of the week and day to send out your Email Campaigns. The real answer is it depends, but there are some rules of thumb in the industry that I’d like to give you:
- Avoid Mondays. The general consensus is that should avoid sending out email blasts on Mondays since everyone is playing catcup with their Emails and yours may be lost in the shuffle! They march into the office and are flooded with emails they’ve collected over the past few days. On the other hand, they might be sharp and ready to read something fresh.
- Avoid Weekends. Depending on the age of your audience, typically weekends are the days when folks are out running errands and going on adventures. Weekends tend to have low open rates, so most marketers avoid them like the plague. However, if your audience has an older age demographics, they may actually enjoy some weekend reading.
- Invitations to an Event or Seminar. While 23% of emails are opened within 60 minutes after being sent, there are some lingerers who may not check out your email until a day or two later. To be safe, send out event-oriented emails 3-5 days prior to an event. You may even want to send a reminder the day before to those who have not yet opened the Email.
- Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday have traditionally been favorite days to send email campaigns, as email marketers seek to avoid the Monday angst and Friday’s itchy-feet. MailChimp confirms that Tuesday and Thursday are the two most popular days to send email newsletters.
Prime targeting is then to try to send Mid-week and Mid-day (1-3pm or 9-11am). Those times are when working professionals are most alert and is a safe bet.
MailChimp suggests 2 pm as the optimal send time based on their data. So if you were to ask me, what is the standard practice for a weekly Newsletters, I’d say Thursday at 2pm.
Time Personalization: However, you have to know your audience, you can even ask them when they would like to receive their Newsletters, so the time too can be personalized for each Email, or rather give them 3 options and let them choose. Then you can schedule your Campaigns according to their preference.
Our Konversation Lite software has scheduled mailouts enabled, so just program your Campaign in, and this important metric for handling timing and boosting engagement is in-built.
However, general practice might not work for your audience. This is why testing, trials and experimentation is so key.
Worst Time to send Campaigns
Tuesday & Wednesday between 8 to 10am is bound to have a lot of traffic, and is thus as a general rule not considered an optimal time.
However, this will vary depending on your contact list, as Friday, Saturday and Monday are not generally recomended. However, if your audience expects your Newsletter on a given regular time, then they will adapt.
Since an increasingly high % of your contacts will be opening their Emails on mobile, tablet, smartwatch devices, it matters less than it used to some argue, how you time your campaigns.
So you have to ask yourself, is my audience using desktop PCs at work or are they mobile users who may actually appreciate at 10pm Campaign launch and this may reach them outside of normal hours where there may be more competition in their inbox.
Millenial Mobile Launch Time Strategy
These days most millenials have smartphones and other gadgets, so if you have demogratic data, you can make a segement to send your Campaign just to those contacts born between 1981-1997 (2015) late at night on Thursday and see if that works better. These days it’s all about content appropropriate to the segment and personalization.
The theory being, Millenials are often active on their mobile devices or tablets late at night and will thus be more curious to open it then, than at regular times when they are busy at work, depending of course on the product, content and services you offer.
- Adapt to time-zone of your contacts, segmenting your Campaign based on country or geographical region can help with this.
- If you work in the Entertainment Industry, Friday may be a great choice (though not recommended usually).
- If you are targeting a young or tech-savy crowd, Campaigns late at night may be a good option to try!
- Want to target rural areas of cold-weather climates, the weekend may get higher open rates than you may expect.
- Know your audience, adapt your subject-line also to the time of day you are sending it. A subject line that may be approrpriate for an office crowd may not work for a tech-savy freelance or entrapreneural list.
- Email opens tend to peak at 2pm, however that’s across industries.
Trends by Industry (2014)
For an Email in the inbox to be opened, remember you are competing against:
1) The recipient’s busy schedule
2) Other Emails
3) Social Networks
4) If your Email appears attractive (think subject line) depending on the device the recipient is using
5) If the time of the day that they receive it is congruent with what your Email is offering
I hope this article gave you some insight into timing your Email Marketing Campaigns, newsletters or promotions. Do share & comment what works best for you in your experience?