There is a question I have been asked more times that I can count over the years and it is “when is the best day to send an email?” or some variation thereof. If you do a search, you will find a lot of results that say always send from Tuesday-Thursday. I probably have spewed this advice myself over the years but I wouldn’t say that anymore.
Know Your Audience
The truth is, unless you have tested YOUR emails to YOUR database, you don’t know. The advice and benchmarks used in email reports are extremely broad, even when broken down by industry.
Why Shouldn’t You Send Emails on Monday
Here’s the general logic of why you shouldn’t send emails on Monday – it’s because people are getting caught up on their other work emails and don’t have time for marketing emails. I believe this is wrong for a couple of reasons.
- I don’t think people only open email when they have nothing else to do. They open it when they find value in it.
- It’s not 2002. People are checking their work emails constantly, even over the weekend.
If all marketers follow the “Monday” advice then Monday is a perfect day to send emails. You can own the inbox.
I was working in a previous marketing automation role for a B2B company. One of the other rules you’ll hear about B2B marketing is that you shouldn’t send emails over the weekend. I followed this advice for a long time until one weekend I opened an email from a B2B company. It actually came at a great time as I had more than enough time to read it. So I tested it with our database. I sent 6 emails:
- Saturday early morning
- Saturday midday
- Saturday late afternoon
- Sunday early morning
- Sunday midday
- Sunday late afternoon
All of the emails had at least a 2% increase in open rates over our benchmark (Thursday morning) and the winner was Sunday late afternoon with a 5% bump. I also tested this over a series of weekends with similar results, although sometimes there was a different day/time winner.
Next Time I Get That Question
Here’s what I will say next time I get asked the “when should we send an email” question, “let’s make sure we have great content first. The worst thing that could happen is having a high open rate for shit content. Next, we’ll test and challenge our assumptions. Since people (and our database) will change over time we will keep testing. Maybe there isn’t a perfect day or time for our entire database but maybe there are for specific segments. I think doing this will help us learn more about our entire database. But seriously, let’s make sure we have killer content.”
If I put together a great email time and time again that makes the reader’s life better, I can guarantee you I will see great engagement regardless of the day of the week I send it. If all I am is noise, the day of the week won’t matter either – even if it’s on Tuesday.