Best day of the week for sending marketing emails? [Infographic]

Please tell us which day(s) you think are best and why

Which day of the week is best for sending email?” has been a common question since marketers started email marketing. As with a lot of questions about good practice, the right answer is : “it depends“, but it’s fun to speculate. The answer especially depends on whether you are marketing to a consumer or business audience. Regardless, it’s definitely something you should trial and test.

Here is some of the latest research on the best day of the week to send an email from Get Response. What do you make of it? It would be more useful split out by sector, but it still prompts interesting questions of which day is best – for me it suggests:

  • Tuesday may get the best response – this is what I’ve often seen in B2B marketing, it perhaps reflects Monday/Friday being meeting days. Tuesday is usually peak day for web traffic too.
  • Fewer emails are sent on Friday and the weekend, so there is less competition  in the inbox then potentially, so more chance for the email to be seen. But this is offset by lower open rates suggesting that people are perhaps less engaged at the weekend.
  • Sending emails on Friday could be good since there is relatively little competition and you can pick up at home use. This is when we send our weekly roundup emails – it fits what we want to offer too.

best-day-of-week-to-send-email

I was thinking about this question when I originally wrote post this because I was reviewing new data from the excellent Retail Email Blog which has a regular index of the best day of the week to send an email based on popularity of different days amongst US retailers. Here is their latest compilation which shows a fairly even distribution, but with Monday, Thursday and Friday being higher. Although this is a US, retail focus, let me know your throughs for different markets.

As food for thought, here are some reasons way it may be good to select or test each day based on this data and my experience:

  • Saturday – Well this is the lowest volume day of the week, so you have the least competition!
  • Sunday – I don’t understand why this is so high compared to Saturday – it does tend to be higher in web analytics than Saturday though.
  • Monday – Relatively high, but often everyone is busy and the web analytics show volume is low. It makes sense in some markets like financial services where a decision is maybe made at the weekend and acted on on Monday.
  • Tuesday – Traditionally the most popular day of the week for visits to a B2B site.
  • Wednesday – Looks like an OK option since relatively low volume
  • Thursday – Volume creeping up again as consumer mailers look to reach people before payday and the weekend
  • Friday – Again a high volume since email may be read in work on Friday and at home over the weekend also – high competition though! FWIW We send our enewsletter on Friday since business folk may be winding down at the end of the week, although just as likely they’re chasing deadlines. We find readers browse it on the weekend.

So that’s what I think – now please let us know what you think. TIA!

  • http://www.smartinsights.com/about-dave-chaffey/ Dave Chaffey

    Thanks for RTs and comments on this trivial? question!

    Thanks @BonnieBacchanal and @LisaShare for your answers of Tues/Thurs.

    @hanssmellinnckx – I agree – this is why I said “it depends” and test at the start of the post.

    @Jake_Hird – I was looking for ideas for either – but the main reason for this post was to share the B2C E-retail examples.

    @RupertHarrison Thanks for reminding us that numbers of opens/clicks does not give us the answer – tracking through to sales gives a better idea

    I’ll leave the competition open ’till this time next week and let the winner know via Twitter!

  • Mark Brownlow

    Just wanted to weigh in with a couple of extra comments.

    1. I think the growth of mobile email will change things. I recall a retailer who had much success sending late night, weekend emails, when their audience (largely busy parents) was catching up on email. The same strategy might not work when people are catching up with email on mobile devices, which lets them do so on the bus, watching the kids at football, etc.

    2. You can also try to make the question obsolete by moving toward emails that are sent out as a response to a behavior or action. In essence it lets the recipient decide the best day, by, for example, sending the offer out after the most recent website visit and similar.

    And less seriously…I always wondered if the best tactic is to wait for a “best day to send” survey that gets lots of publicity, watch people switch to that day, then send your email the day before (to avoid the crowded inbox)…

  • http://www.smartinsights.com/about-dave-chaffey/ Dave Chaffey

    Thanks for your latest thoughts Mark! I was sure you had some useful ideas on this while I was writing this post, but didn’t have time to check.

    Agree with above – some have had good experience basing send time on time of previous interaction – but that’s difficult to scale.

    For anyone reading this post, it’s also worth checking what Mark says at:
    http://www.email-marketing-reports.com/iland/2009/06/best-day-to-send-email.html

    I like:

    “Another trap is to think of “best day” and “best time of day” as two separate issues. The best time to send depends on the day you send it. And vice versa.”

  • http://twitter.com/#!/ClaireRollo Claire Rollinson

    I know we can tie ourselves in knots over this, and i know i certainly have and still do – though most of the time i think the answer comes back again to the power of the subject line and the ‘from’ name – do your subscribers want to open an email from you?

    A small % of poeple receive ‘a lot’ of email, (mostly us marketers) and probabaly check their email (via computer and phone) so regulary throughout the day and every day that it almost becomes relevant when we send it. if they want to act on it, they will save it or refer to it a time when they can action or read it fully.

    For the average joe and joanne, (and i have seen my dad do this, and who probably represents the mass market of people who are not technical early adopters) they will just scan through every email they have received since the last time they logged on – spending their time on the emails which grabbed them via a compelling subject line, or because they were from a brand they wanted to hear from/buy from. Not because it happens to be at the top of the pile of the inbox.

    I realise this hasn’t helped in your question at all ;-)

  • http://www.smartinsights.com/about-dave-chaffey/ Dave Chaffey

    Hi Claire thanks for your ideas.
    I agree – the next post on best time of day says exactly this – offer, creative and how explained in subject line are much more important.
    I think your anecdote about your Dad explains it better than any stats – mine’s the same!
    Dave

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  • Parry Malm

    Thanks for sharing Dave. The time of day stuff I’ve been hearing for years and there’s no great answer, so I won’t bother you with my theory.

    But the auto-responder stuff I find fascinating. So this series is effectively a predictive model that is meant to increase the probability of someone converting from a signup to a customer. And yet, from what I’ve seen, very little testing is done within a series. So time after action of send, content placement, even simple things like subject lines and from names.

    I initially thought it’s a technology issue, but most ESPs can facilitate this. Then I thought it was a methodology issue, as the sample size would be too small. But using some sort of a simple pseudo-bayesian method would be adequate (we’re talking email marketing, not clinical trials, so taking a few statistical side-steps is probably going to be ok)

    What do you think the reason is? To me it just seems odd that so much time is spent optimising time of day for lists that are already partially disengaged, and so little time spent ensuring people don’t become disengaged in the first place!

  • Matthew Lawson

    I would be linking the email send time and day to when the customer was previously on your site. This way you can the make the assumption that is the most likely the time when the customer is on the internet. Also this may result in the email being the first in the mail box which also helps increase open rates.

  • AllinsonsPhotography

    A lot must depend on what you are selling and who your target audience is. B2B I have always tried for Tuesday after lunch but that can’t be the best time to persuade someone to but a takeaway meal – if your selling beer and BBQ I’d guess that sometime closer to the weekend would be better.

  • Alexandra Kalinina

    Thanks, Dave! It’s worth reading it and the Infographic is really nice. Here is one more great article on the best posting time on social media http://www.infographicdesignteam.com/blog/what-is-the-best-posting-time-on-social-media/

  • Alexandra Kalinina

    Thank you, Dave! It’s worth reading it and the Infographic is really nice. Here is one more great article on the best posting time on social media http://www.infographicdesignteam.com/blog/what-is-the-best-posting-time-on-social-media/

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  • Sabih Ahmed

    Great job done, Dave. I really liked the Infographic that you have shared. One thing that most companies fail to do is that they just follow what has been written. In my opinion, we should look what industry are we working for and then plan and execute our efforts accordingly. For my industry, Tuesday and Wednesday works good.

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  • Carol Cohen

    Dave, really enjoyed the integration of hard statistics and personal experience.

    Iv’e been doing some searching on this subject and, as the comments on this article displays, there doesn’t seems to be one right answer! A lot of the studies compile statistics from millions, sometimes billions, of emails sent and therefore cover a massive demographic. The average email marketing user has a much smaller audience with unique demographics. The key is to find the data the fits your company the best and then test, test, test! Be willing to send an email campaign on a day that is not Tuesday, you may be pleasantly surprised with the results.

    I found an article on Pinpointe’s blog on this subject. It is really in depth and could help finding where your company fits into all the data. It compiles information from several different studies along with comparing B2B to B2C and the affects mobile users have on your open and click-through rate. Definitely worth the read!

    http://www.pinpointe.com/blog/best-time-to-send-email-marketing-campaigns

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  • Ryan Lowe

    Hi David and readers!

    I think I can speak for the majority that reader receive quality insight from reading your infographics.

    If anyone here is interested in learning more about the best day/time to send an email campaign, I would encourage everyone to read the following articles…

    What’s The Best Day to Send Email Campaign?
    http://www.pinpointe.com/blog/best-day-to-send-email-campaigns

    Best Time of Day to Send Email
    http://www.pinpointe.com/blog/best-time-of-day-to-send-email

    Best Time to Send Emails for B2B and B2C
    http://www.pinpointe.com/blog/best-time-to-send-emails-for-b2b-and-b2c

    Best Time to Send Marketing Email To Mobile Users
    http://www.pinpointe.com/blog/best-time-to-send-marketing-email-to-mobile-users

    I hope everyone find these article helpful.

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