When is the best time to send an email newsletter?

When done correctly, sending an email newsletter to your contact list will lead to a spike in your website traffic, enquiries and leads.

Something that a lot of marketers do is simply send an email newsletter when it has been signed off, regardless of the time of day or day of the week. Does this sound familiar?

Did you know that sending your newsletter at the right time of day and day of the week can significantly increase your newsletters performance?

Do all businesses perform the same?

The trouble is there is no blanket day or time of the day that is best to send your email newsletter, because every businesses customers will perform differently.

In my last business, a B2B selling predominantly to office based staff, we knew that a Thursday at 10am or 2pm were the best times to send an email. We knew that Mondays and Fridays were the worst performing days (excluding Sunday and Saturday) to send an email with significantly lower open rates and click through rates.

After reviewing the data it was easy to understand why those days and times did and didn’t work.

Monday – catching up from the weekend, reporting, meetings
Friday – who works properly on a Friday?

10am after clearing your inbox from the day before
2pm checking email after lunch before focusing on the afternoons work

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To understand which day of the week is best to send an email newsletter you will have to simply test it. Don’t worry, testing the best day or time to send your email is easy to implement.

How to test which day or time is best to send an email newsletter?

Firstly as with all tests we are going to start with an assumption. This client is a B2B, supplying wholesale hairdressing and beauty products to salons.

Generally hairdressers and beauticians are open from Tuesday to Saturday, opening and closing time varies.

Assumption –

  • The customers will have their phones with them so they can order at any time any day
  • Fridays and Saturdays are generally busy days for these customers so they are unlikely to be on their phones on these days as they are often too busy to even grab a sandwich
  • Monday salons are closed
  • We assumed that Tuesday would be the best day to send the email

In order to get a true and accurate test, split your email database over the days of the week. Most of us aren’t lucky enough to have a large enough customer database to do this with.

An alternative method would be to split your data over two days, you ideally need at least 2000 contacts in each group in order for the test to give solid insight.

Remember that all content in the emails should be identical, any variations could upset your data.

Measuring success of your email newsletter send

The main KPIs to measure the success of your email sends are –

  • Open rate
  • Click through rate
  • Unsubscribe rate

Here are the results of a split day sent. This was monitored over 2 email sends.

MONDAY SENDTUESDAY SENDVARIANCE
Open rate21.1%30.6%45%
Click through rate7.3%2.6%-64%
Unsubscribe rate13.2%49.3%273%

The open rate for Tuesday was 45% higher than Monday. This ties back to the initial assumption that Monday is a day off as a result less people will be looking at their email.

If we were only using the open rate Tuesday would be considered the best performing day.

Oh no…

The uplift of performance between Monday and Tuesday doesn’t translate to the performance of the CTR and unsubscribe rate.

Despite the lower open rate, the click through rate for Monday performed well above Tuesday, driving 46% more clicks to the website.

On a Monday less customers are looking at their email, those that are, are more likely to go through to the website as they have time to restock.

This week’s winner is Monday!

By identifying the most effective day to send your email and sending those days you will be sending emails on a consistent basis, this also helps the performance of your emails newsletter in its own right.

If you would like help to understand when is the best day and time to send your email newsletter then get in touch.

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