Many years ago someone wrote on the Web that the best time to send email campaigns is mid-morning on Tuesdays. I have absolutely no idea where this (apparent) fact came from but I assure you that it is incorrect. Well, to be honest, it may actually sometimes be the best time to send. Let me explain further.
Why email marketing send time is so important
The first question should really be what defines the best day and time to send an email campaign and how do we measure the results. Quite simply, in email marketing we’re concerned with the basics of open rates (what proportion of recipients opened our email) and click rates (what proportion clicked a link in our campaign). These of course are elementary, although very important, measures. We could also, if we wanted to, also measure using the value of sales of number of sales resulting from our campaign.
As we aim for high open and click rates (and high sales) we need to understand what contributes to these positive outcomes. The subject line, a prominent call to action, good design and other factors contribute to good open and click rates. The day of week and the time of day that we send campaigns also directly influence open and click rates. To measure when the best time of day and day of week is to send campaigns we therefore need to look at the effect these variables have on open and click rates.
What data tells us about the best time and day to send an email campaign
There is alot of data available showing which days and times produce the best open and click rates.It becomes very apparent when looking at the data, and talking to people that use MailChimp, that there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to optimal send times. Your industry, the demographics of your recipients, the country of your subscribers and many other factors will affect when it’s best to click send on your email campaign.
Unfortunately there is just so much data available that we could analyse the thousands of studies and be none the wiser. The sheer volume of data and the variances in data findings make coming to a conclusion in regards to your specific best day and time to send elusive.
The best way to find your best day and time to send email campaigns
After working with hundreds of organisations in helping them get better results from email marketing I strongly believe there is a simple way to determine your best time and day to send. The key to it all is that more people will open your email within the first hour of you sending the campaign than after that hour. We also know that people that don’t take action on an email on the first read are unlikely to take action at all. Put all this together and it becomes obvious that the best time and day to send is when your recipients are in the right frame of mind to action your call to action.
For example, if you hold holiday classes for kids you wouldn’t want to send on a Tuesday at 10 a.m. The reason that this is a bad time is that the consumer is likely to be at work and not be in the right frame of mind to book their child on your holiday camp (remember that if the recipient doesn’t action on first read then we’re unlikely to make the sale).
If you pay for a MailChimp subscription then A/B testing (also called multivariate testing) to send your campaign to your contacts at varying times can help determine your best day and times to send.
In short, you know your recipients best; send when your contacts are in the right frame of mind to action your message.