It seems like not a week goes by that someone doesn’t post this question or an organization publishes research answering this question. It’s a smart email marketing question but please don’t believe the answers you see. Here’s why.
There is no single, best day, best week, best month, best hour or best minute to send email marketing messages.
There is no silver bullet here and anyone that tells you otherwise is foolish or doesn’t understand how these studies are crafted.
3 Reasons Email Marketing Research Studies Are Wrong
First, when you see these studies, you aren’t seeing the “best” day, time, week, hour, etc, to send emails, you’re seeing the average. If you’re lucky, and we seldom are, the research might confine the sample set to a single industry or geography, which would create a more meaningful result set. So the sample set data is muddy at best because it casts too wide of a net, which the statistics can’t overcome.
Second, these studies assume the email marketers whose campaigns where included actually knew what they were doing. This research assumes all email lists, offers and creative were of equal quality. Seriously? Do you really think any of these researchers took the time to conduct that level of analysis or where even qualified to do so — especially with things like creative quality?
Third, because these research studies are not holding all other factors besides “send time/date” equal, they lose the ability to isolate cause and effect. To truly understand if one variable is causing a specific outcome (increases in opens/clicks/sales) you have to isolate every other variable. Again, because these studies are simply rollups of email click/open/conversion activity pulled from a broad grouping of email campaigns, this level of rigor simply isn’t possible.
But the question of timing is important to understand (if it actually does alter response rates) so what are you supposed to do?
How To Determine The Best Day or Time to Send Emails
Do the work. It’s the only way you’ll know for sure what the optimum send date/time is for YOUR email marketing list. Now here is the bad news.
While I’m surely not an email marketing expert, I have been using email marketing for clients since 1996. That’s a lot of email campaigns and results. And this is what I’ve learned.
Depending on your emailing frequency, it will take you between 12 and 18 months to truly learn your list. This will include learning which time of day works best, which creative works best and which offers work best.
But you’ll have to plan your emails and testing. You can’t just deploy email marketing based on the achievement of sales goals or to integrate into your current ongoing marketing programs. No, you have to sit down and PLAN the next year to 18 months of emails so that you are altering key drivers of response (list, creative, offer & timing) to determine cause and effect of changes.
That’s it. That’s how you’ll not only determine the best time of day or day of week to email your customers, but you’ll also learn which offers work the best and which creative approaches are the most effective.
You just have to do the work.
Need help designing that email testing procedure? Contact Us for help.