Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Best Day(s) to Send Email

The answer to this question, as with most things is: "It depends."

It used to be the general consensus that Monday was the WORST day to send emails, so as a result the volume of Monday emails went way down.

But then suddenly Monday became the BEST day to send email, since the volume was so light!

I found a good list of pros and cons in sending email for each day of the week, which appeared on the 60-Second Marketer, written by Jenn Abecassis.

Monday -
Pros: Office work has not filled inboxes yet.
Cons: People are in “work mode” and won’t be focused on non-work tasks.
Best Practice: Send emails late Monday morning, after people have cleaned the weekend spam from their inboxes.

Tuesday -
Pros: People have organized their week, and can find personal time for emails.
Cons: Emails poised for a weekend response may be too early.
Best Practice: Use Tuesday for emails that request action during the workweek.

Wednesday/Thursday -
Prose: People are planning their weekends and gearing up for personal time.
Cons: Time during the workweek is running short, and requested action may be pushed back to the following week, or even forgotten about.
Best Practice: Focus leisure and weekend notifications during these key weekend planning days.

Friday -
Pros: Studies indicate fewer total emails sent compared to the rest of the week, increasing visibility among the myriad of other messages.
Cons: People hurry to leave the office early, and may not take time to view non-work related emails.
Best Practice: Send emails early in the day to give consumers more time to take action. An unopened email from Friday will sort to the bottom of an inbox on Monday, and is often discarded.

Weekends -
Pros: People check emails on weekends, too, so weekends may have untapped potential.
Cons: A weekend email may seem overly-intrusive to some people.
Best Practice: If possible, try to avoid Sundays and focus on Saturdays, which may have a better response rate. (SK: Actually, if you are B2C, I would test Sundays myself -- we used to get great response on Sunday).

So, The BEST way to move forward is to:
  1. Use the guidelines above in making an initial educated guess
  2. Test to see whether your guess was right or not
  3. Once you've got the best day nailed down, try experimenting with what time of day works best
  4. Make sure you maintain accurate reports so you can benchmark your results moving forward. This is a good measurement of marketing effectiveness

Steve Kellogg
a Demand Generation/Marketing Automation Consultant, Astadia
a Eloqua Certified Marketing Best Practices Consultant

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1 comment:

  1. Early friday, I think is the best day to send the email for new products and featured content for many companies, I try to avoid emailing on Sunday and Monday.