Monday is a bad day to send most emails. Wednesday is a great day to send most emails. Morning emails may get lower open rates than afternoon emails. The best times to send email are at noon or four in the afternoon Eastern Standard Time. These are all basic rules of email sending time, but are they the right rules for your email program? In this section, we'll cover figuring out the best day and time to send your email.
Why Test Email Sending Time and Date?
We've talked about how your email doesn't really matter if nobody opens it. That's largely determined by the email subject line, but what if you send your email when none of your desired targets are actually online checking email? You risk the chance that they'll simply delete you or potentially leave you unopened for long periods of time (perhaps longer than your offer is good for). There's generally going to be a day and a time for your email to perform at its best. Figuring out when that is can improve your email marketing campaign's performance significantly.
Types of Email Sending Time and Date Tests
It may seem basic, but the email sending time and date tests that you'll want to run are most often the ones below:
- Day of Week: There's a general rule that Monday and Friday aren't great days to send email. However, it's possible that your email will do well on a Friday. What if your users are mostly individuals who hang out in the office on Friday's looking for ways to kill time? While Wednesday is considered a great emailing sending day, what if your demographic tends to be traveling for work on Wednesdays? The only way that you'll know what is the best day to send email for your email campaign is to cycle through and try them all. The main point is that you want to send your email so that your users receive it when they're online and checking email. While internet activity is low on the weekend, your offer or email may be entirely relevant to the weekend and therefore it will work best when sent on a Saturday. Consider what days your users both want and are available to receive your email, then try those days to see what performs best.
- Time of Day: Sometimes, it's best to be in a user's inbox first thing in the morning so that they see your email when they first check their email. Sometimes, you want to try to catch users at their inbox during lunch or the end of the work day. Sometimes, it honestly won't matter what time of day you send your email. The results will be the same. Again, take the time to think about when your users will want to receive and be able to receive your email. Then try sending at those times.
- Surprise versus Set Schedule: You'll also want to consider sending your email at variable times versus having a set delivery time for email that your subscribers are aware of. Sometimes, letting users know that you send email at three o'clock Eastern Standard Time on a Thursday means that users will be looking for your email. On the other hand, sometimes not having a set schedule means that your email gets noticed more when it arrives. You'll certainly want to consider, if not explore, both options.
Best Practices for Email Sending Time and Date Tests
As always, make sure that your A/B split is even. Younger people will be online more often, and older people may be tied to a more regular email schedule. Be sure that your list is an even split of all of your database.
Be sure to try your email sending time and date tests for several times. Sometimes, there are factors that you cannot control for such as ISP slowdowns, holidays, and unexpected news events that keep users offline. All of those factors may impact the data from your test. Be sure to try at least several times before being comfortable with your final data.
Think outside of the box! Just because most case studies say to send on Monday or Wednesday at noon or four o'clock Eastern Standard Time, that doesn't mean that that's what will be best for you. Take the time to think about when you might see the best results.