A few weeks ago I wrote a blog on the best lengths for just about everything
I’m following up this week with one about the best times to send a newsletter. I wrestle with this one all of the time. It used to be that Tues/Wed at 10am were the best times. People were at work, settled in and past that first email assault, less likely to delete your email.
But the rules have changed; we’re now online 24/7
Now our newsletters are being routed directly to a Promotions folders—not our primary inboxes–and people are online 24/7. I just googled, and there doesn’t seem to be anything conclusive about the best time to send a newsletter–it depends on your audience and what kinds of results you’re expecting to generate. If your industry is retail or real estate, Friday or Saturday morning may be the best days, to capitalize on weekend shopping activity.
Send educational email earlier in the week, actionable emails later
I like this–send educational email earlier in the week—those that inform or share information. If you’re looking for the best click-through rates, you just might get better results by sending your newsletter later in the week. This goes against everything we’ve been taught, but the highest click-through rates actually occur over the weekend. Email volumes are lower over and people finally have time read their email. If you want your audience to perform an action like signing up for a webinar or taking a survey, Saturday or Sunday afternoons might be primetime.
The highest engagement rates are in the evening
There’s another school of thought about that Tues/Wed @ 10am email. While most people check their emails in the morning, they’re trying to start their day on a productive note. This means anything non-critical-mission will likely be trashed or archived without being read. While your newsletter may have value, it’s not going to be a priority; yet people could take a few minutes in the afternoon and thoughtfully read this—which could explain why the highest email open rates are actually in the afternoon and evening. The highest engagement rates are in the evening—8:00pm-midnight. Back to our original premise–people are online all of the time.
Something else to keep in mind: emails are read within 1 hour of receiving
Most Opens occur within an hour of receiving, so spend some time thinking about your audience and what kind of action you’re soliciting. I’m rethinking my whole strategy and plan to test some different times. It will require doing this over a period of a few months and looking at the results, but they should tell a story.