March 7, 2008

When is the best day to send?

by Caroline Smith Riddle, Community Marketing Manager

Many thanks to all of you who completed our poll, "When is the best day of the week to send your email campaign?" The results are in, and the results are mixed!

Chart responses

Although 41.4% of respondents have chosen Tuesday as the best day to send their email campaign, there is no consensus or industry accepted best day to send. Why?

 Let's dig down a bit further into the results. Over 60% of respondents found that Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to send, whereas Friday and Saturday ranked lowest.

  • Monday - 8.6%
  • Tuesday - 41.4%
  • Wednesday - 20.7%
  • Thursday - 8.6%
  • Friday - 1.7%
  • Saturday - 1.7%
  • Sunday - 3.4%
  • Still Testing - 13.8%

The best day to send is very personal for your campaign, if there were a universally accepted best day to send, it would soon become cannibalized by an onslaught of email volume. Your ideal send day is best determined through testing, testing, testing. Looking at these results, you could surmise that your users are receiving less email volume Thursday - Sunday. Have you tested sending your campaign on one of these days? When testing, be sure to think outside of the box, and in your reader's shoes. When are your messages most relevant and more likely to be read during the week. Other factors to consider:

  • Holidays - Tuesday maybe your best day to send, but if it falls on a widely recognized holiday, look forward to your message becoming "bacn" on Wednesday morning.
  • Seasonality - During the warm summer months, your users maybe less likely to read emails over nice sunny weekends spent outside and far away from email.
  • Mobile Users - With an increased number of users reading their emails on a Blackberry, PDA, or iPhone, the more likely you are able to reach them during the weekend.
  • Urgency - Often times it maybe valuable to break your cycle if you want to convey urgency for your email offer or message. The relevancy of a weekend sale loses it's luster if you send it out on a Monday, 5 days before the sale begins.

However, the best day to send is only half the battle. Your next question should be what time of day to send. Look forward to another poll asking just that.

Caroline Smith
Marketing Program Manager at Bronto

About the Author
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Caroline Smith Riddle, Community Marketing Manager

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Comments

I've also noticed that Tuesday/Wednesday is the universal day to post everything. All the big online magazines that I follow post the most and best articles on those days (Wired, Mashable, TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, InfoWorld, etc). Also you will notice that the most articles hit the front page of Social Bookmarking sites like Digg, Mixx, and Sphinn on those days.

At this point I'm ready to challenge the assumption that those are the best days to post, simply because those are the two days that the internet is flooded with the most new content. I feel like Thursday and Friday are filled with trying to sort out everything that happened on those two days. Mondays are... well they are Mondays. It definitely makes complete sense that these be the two days to post, but I bet you might get lucky sending things on Sunday afternoon as there are a lot of individuals who use Sunday evenings to catch up.

But then again who wants to work on Sundays... :)

Kyle -

Thanks for the comment! I think your point is spot on, if the wave of sends continues to occur on these days, we'll soon agree that these are the worst days to send. I can personally attest to being a weekend "reader", in that emails I receive over the weekend often get the most visibility since my attention is not torn between other tasks and an onslaught of work emails.

Let's face it, many of us will never receive as many work emails over the weekend as we do during the week, which lends the weekend to an ideal time to send an email campaign.

Hmm...good thinking Kyle, you may have just started a new trend!

-Caroline

Thinking about it, you wouldn't necessarily need to work the weekend to send something out then. Just design it on Friday and schedule to send on Sunday around 2PM. It also might be appealing to people because they could potentially think "wow this person is working overtime through the weekend for my attention, maybe this is something I should check out". I'm probably reaching here, but maybe not.

If nothing else it's right there in your mailbox Monday morning to get someone thinking about it for the rest of the week.

You know, when you are getting so much fun and joy from your"work", then is doesn't matter when you send your stuff.
Make yourself so important that whenever you send a mail you get an immediate response.
Be the one when boring people they think its their fault.
If people or clients find your mail pertinent, fun and/or informative they will always reply quickly. Make sure it carries beneficial and valuable content!
So write only when what you have to say meets the criteria.
The Baldchemist

I'd like to reiterate what the original post mentioned around "best day/time to send."

"The best day to send is very personal for your campaign, if there were a universally accepted best day to send, it would soon become cannibalized by an onslaught of email volume. Your ideal send day is best determined through testing, testing, testing."

This is critical. I've seen tons of studies about best day to send, best time for opens, for click-throughs, for conversions. As Caroline mentions in the original post - "best" is very personal. I'd add, "best" is also very relative. Best for one campaign to one list/segment may be bad for another.

One more thing: "Best" *anything* becomes a non-issue when you send timely, relevant, targeted email. It's as easy as that....

dj at bronto

Hi all,

We send alot of emails for British Telecom, and have what I wouild consider to be some of the best email response rates, and also conversion rates - I've seen anywhere in the industry.

We send to personal email addresses, and typically not work addresses - and after at least 3 quarters of testing,. we've worked out that sending Thursday afternoon - with Friday, Saturday and Sunday to mature - provide the best results. All of our highest performing sends have been sent Thursday PM.

Tuesday, Wednesday for me is industry 'accepted' speak - but for me, it's not necessarily backed up by any substantial empirical evidence - other then common sense 'hunch'.

Thanks!

Joe

There are probably many factor that could determine what day is best to send out information. Doing you own tests over a good period of time might start showing some trends.

Testing is the key here. It sounds like your poll was a general survey. I have done work for a client who owns a restaurant and we have discovered that Thursdays created the best response.

Presumably it is due to the "flyer" we send out on those days for a "dinner special" for Thurs/Fri and Sat night only. Additionally, we also offer a theme night and usually when we send an email out, it is the ones that are sent out 3 days before the theme night that generates the most replies.

I suppose it all depends on what kind of product or service you are selling with the email. You want your target to read them and deciding when the best mindset to encourage them to open your email certainly needs to be tested for.

There are several great comments here already that explains a few views. Like the telephone bill, payday is usually Friday and people have to be reminded to pay their bills.

Then there's the comment about Monday's well Mondays.

Tuesday? Why? In our country, I think it would be on Sunday or Monday. Sunday is the day we prepare for the first day of work. For people who don't have the time to connect with the Internet on working days. They prefer to open their email on weekends. I think it depends upon on the kinds of people we are dealing with. Anyway, great information, I will surely remember the information provided.

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