This is a question we get asked a lot. And the answer, as you might expect, is it depends. Every client is different, and that’s why testing and experimentation are so important. But there is a wealth of useful information out there that provides some useful guidance.
As one of the largest email newsletter platforms out there MailChimp is able to churn through a vast amount of data, and they’ve discovered from this some clear trends.
So first of all – what is the best day of the week to send an email newsletter? As the chart below shows weekdays are the best days to send out email newsletters. There’s a peak on Thursday and there’s a sharp drop-off over the weekend.
So does this mean you definitely shouldn’t ever send out newsletters over the weekend? Well, no. One of the most influential newsletters in Silicon Valley, and one of my personal favourites, is by Benedict Evans, with a subscriber list of over 50,000, and it goes out on… Sundays. I think it works for him too – there are less distractions on a Sunday, and everyone has email on their phones. I suspect Benedict gets more engagement as a result.
MailChimp actually looked at different categories and how they compare to the average on weekends, as shown below.
So what about the best time of day to send an email newsletter? Again, results will vary depending on your specific audience, but there are definite trends. Here’s what MailChimp found in their dataset:
Naturally, we don’t like to rely on one dataset, so here’s an analysis by another popular email platform, Campaign Monitor, which found similar results:
There’s a clear peak at 10am in both data sets, which we can imagine coincides with people having settled down at work with a nice cup of coffee after dealing with immediate priorities.
Of course, results will vary depending on who you’re targeting. Not everyone has a 9-5 desk job. If your target customers are students or retirees the chart above may look rather different, as shown below.
The same applies to occupation…
See the original research by MailChimp here. Take a look at how to write great email subject lines. And see our previous post about MailChimp’s brilliantly effective sponsorship of the popular podcast Serial.