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

Which day(s) and times work best for maximum impact for B2B and B2C?

"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. Ideally you want your email to arrive in the inbox of as many people as possible when they're sitting at their desk or picking up emails on go via smartphone. Greater impact will also be helped when there is less competition in the inbox from other email marketers. So Saturday and Sunday can be best for this.

The answer will vary depending 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 Propellor CRM. What do you make of it? It's not clear how they have isolated the segments such as B2B workaholics against normal and the precise sources aren't given, but it still prompts interesting questions of which day is best - for me it suggests:

  • The response from emails at weekends shouldn't be underestimated, both for B2B and B2C. Just because most office-based marketers work Monday through Friday that doesn't mean weekends won't be effective - in fact it may explain why.
  • Tuesday to Thursday traditionally are seen as getting the best response in B2B. 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 in analytics.
  • 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 at the weekend too. This is when we send our weekly roundup emails - it fits what we want to offer too. I do see some B2B marketers send emails from 4-8PM on Friday which doesn't make sense - we go for AM since you can also reach marketers at their desk on Friday.

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!

By Dave Chaffey

Dave is CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights. He is editor of the 100 templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources used by our Expert members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing. For my full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Emarketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

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