The Best Time to Send an Email – Part 2

This is part 2 of a 3 part series on the best time to send promotional emails. In part 1, I covered the time of day that is most likely to get emails read, and to get readers to take action. But time of day is only one possible way to answer the question, “When should I send my email?” And some of you might be left wondering, what is the best day of the week to send it?

To you, I say, here are some tips.

“Friday is the most popular day of the week to send out promotional emails, with 42% of US Online Retailers sending at least one promotional email.” - Smith-Harmon "Retail Email Unsubscribe Benchmark Study" (2010)

Why is it Friday? Maybe it’s because companies have tested their way into Friday, and it’s the day they get the best response. Maybe it’s because the American worker’s mind is freer to pursue other interests. Maybe it’s because marketers are lazy and they only get around to it at the end of the week.

My argument is this, if everyone else is sending their emails on Friday, why would you?

Let’s break it down…

Monday is a rough day for most people. Back to school and back to work, leaving behind the freedom of the weekend. People are busy, they keep their heads down. And an email asking them to buy something will likely get ignored or piss them off. Best to avoid Mondays.

Tuesday is better. Monday is over. The urgency of getting work done is gradually being replaced by the normalcy of another week. People are generally more comfortable and happier, but still busy.

Wednesday and Thursday are the most average days you’ll find. The weekend is a distant memory, work is the new normal. The end is near but not near enough that it’s at the top of your mind. People are free to think, and do. An email on those days is likely to get attention.

Fridays are popular, but depending on your audience you might be reaching out to people who are too busy planning their weekend to care about anything else. Others have deadlines they are trying to meet and could not be bothered by “non-essential interruptions”.

Weekends are dangerous. Many people are further from email on the weekends than any other time of week. And while it’s true that many people have access to email via their smart phone at all times, it’s less likely you will capture someone’s attention if they are on the go.

My advice is aim for the middle of the week and know that if you’re off by a day, it’s not a big deal.

Obviously these are my own opinions, and involve a lot of generalization. Some emails have to go out on specific days because of events and offer deadlines. Other companies have success sending an email every day. It’s up to you to test different things and find what works best.

Stay tuned for part 3 later this week.