If you checked out our last blog post, you know the importance of reinventing your online presence. But keeping your brand fresh isn’t just about website optimization, it’s about testing and improving your outreach tactics – and getting to know your customers and their digital habits on a personal level. No realm of advertising applies to this better than email marketing.
Optimal Email Send Times:
Do They Even Exist?
If you checked out our last blog post, you know the importance of reinventing your online presence. But keeping your brand fresh isn’t just about website optimization, it’s about testing and improving your outreach tactics – and getting to know your customers and their digital habits on a personal level. No realm of advertising applies to this better than email marketing. When one of our clients asks “What is the best day of the week to send an email?” although we would we like to say we’ve found the Holy Grail of send times, it simply does not exist. The more you research email benchmarks, the more you realize there isn’t one widely held belief that all advertisers should follow. Opinions online from experts run the gamut. But don’t be fooled.
It isn’t surprising from our perspective to see how many of our clients share the same certainty that Tuesday mornings are the be-all-end-all send time for emails. But if each customer base is unique, is there really a way to determine one perfect send time for all brands around the world? Our answer: definitely not. As an agency, we simply can’t give a conclusive answer to any client regarding an ideal send time until we uncover the behaviors of their subscriber list, and only theirs.
Here is a snapshot of just how varied the results can be from source-to-source:
“Saturday and Sunday are considered family and leisure time so weekend results are still lower. Tuesday is a busy day for senders with top percentage of sent and favorable open rates. The top CTR is produced by messages sent on Fridays, probably because these messages get engagement on weekend days as well.”
“We wanted to determine the best time to send an email to increase the chance of receiving a response. 11AM EST was the winner here.”
“Data from MailerMailer also suggests that sending emails in the late morning during work hours gets the best percentage of opens. Send your emails at 10AM.”
“Tuesday’s emails have an overall open rate of about 18%, the highest open rate compared to the other weekdays. Interestingly, Saturday has the highest open rate overall, at 18.3%. But we need to take into account Saturday’s low volume of email. This makes Tuesday the winner for most emails opened, compared to any other day of the week.”
To crack the code, we set out on a three-week initiative for one of our clients, to establish their best time of day and day of week that would align with the email behaviors of their consumers.
We tested in week 1, 10AM from Monday through Sunday. In week 2, we tested 3PM for seven consecutive days. Finally in week 3, we tested 8:30PM on each day of the week. What we found was against the grain compared to what others have written about in the online space, both highs and lows. From an overall time of day standpoint, 10AM was the lowest performer. Monday was the weakest day of the week, followed by Tuesday. To our surprise, in several cases we found Sundays to have some of the highest engagement rates, combined with some of the highest post-email conversion rates as well. Specifically, Sunday at 8:30PM showed both; the highest open rate and highest revenue generated. Second highest engagement came from our Thursday at 8:30PM test. Wednesday came in third place with 3:00PM being the ideal time to deploy.
Our client was satisfied in the end, with three consecutive weeks of testing. As an agency, we don’t think three weeks is enough to come to a clear winner. We’re proposing to resurrect this exercise and expand our test window from three weeks to eight, so we can garner more consistent results since our content during our test series changed from week to week. We haven’t met too many companies that believe in emailing on the weekend, but until an advertiser does extensive testing, common research found online is almost meaningless until you test the waters using your own audience as the litmus test.