Our recent research on the best time-of-day to send emails raised some questions about the best day-of-the-week to send newsletters. So we researched the same sample of emails sent from the GetResponse platform and came up with some interesting findings.
[Update February 2018]: If you’re looking for the latest data on the best time to send emails, check out the all new Email Marketing Benchmarks report.
1. Best day to send email by engagement rates
The results clearly show that the majority of inbox traffic and activities occur on the working days – with the peak on Thursday. This is the top day for all the metrics: percent sent, open rates and CTR.
There’s a slight decrease in the number of outbound emails sent on Saturday and Sunday, but the results are above 10%, proving that quite a large number of email marketers take advantage of the lower traffic on weekends.
However, the corresponding engagement metrics for messages sent on particular days (open ratio and CTR) show that subscribers are most active from Monday to Friday, leaving weekends free for other activities.
* GetResponse analyzed 21 million messages sent from US accounts in the 1st quarter of 2012
2. Email “open tail”
As our last research proved, a large portion of subscribers read your email the same day they receive it. Most of them read it within the first 60 minutes, and after 24 hours the chances that your newsletter will be opened are close to zero. This means that your emails can’t wait in the inbox for too long; they certainly won’t last over the weekend.
3. Email weekly timetable
Just as knowing the daily routines of your audience can help you estimate the best time of day to send, knowing their weekly and monthly routines can be useful too.
Monday’s results — the lowest except for weekends — may indicate that people are busy getting up-to-speed from the weekend. Thursday’s results — the peak in open rates and CTR — show that this is when people browse their inbox with more engagement. The slight fall-off on Friday may be because the weekend is right around the corner.
That’s the rule – but it needs a more customized approach. If payday is on Monday, the results might surge. If you’re in the entertainment industry – Friday is when people start planning their weekend and will jump on your weekend offers. Your industry segment and organization type has unique characteristics that might make Thursday the best day. So it’s always worthwhile to test, analyze and compare your campaigns.
4. Email performance by the calendar
There are certain top days throughout the year that always generate more inbox traffic and higher open rates. Those peaks are typically around top events, shopping peaks, and national holidays. They generate higher ROI, but competition is more intense too. So you need advance planning and more sophisticated solutions to stand out from the crowd. Earlier this year we equipped you with a Promo Campaign Planner that might help you managing your campaign calendar.
I’m writing these words a week before Thanksgiving and a month before Christmas — the two most profitable periods of the year. This is the time when marketers arm their brands with special offers, deals and bonuses — and a time of increased inbox traffic. It’s clearly visible in our day-by-day analysis of those periods.
*GetResponse analyzed all U.S. paid accounts started after 2010.
In 2011 the top days for sending emails were: the day before Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in November, and each of the 5-day periods preceding Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. This is the time when the number of messages sent increases by approximately 40%.
These figures clearly indicate that if you don’t want to be swept aside by your competitors – now is the time to start gearing up for the coming rush periods. And if you’re still in the phase of looking for inspiration, start with last year’s tips from our experts.
And stay tuned: more tips are coming soon!