Digital Marketing Insights
December 16, 2010 | By Amanda Hinkle
Those of us trying to optimize email marketing programs often wonder: what is the best day to send email? The answer typically is not as simple as a blanket “Tuesday afternoon.” The next time you’re asked the best day to send email, use the old mnemonic “who, what, when, where, why and how” to hone in on a more relevant response.
Are you looking at all audiences or just specific segments? Engagement levels will vary for each customer, and the best day to send an email marketing campaign depends on the recipients to whom you’re sending the message.
“Email” is a broad term. Are you looking at your acquisition program, loyalty alerts, fundraising campaign or eNewsletter? Don’t look at all emails combined. The best day to send email depends on the communication campaign you’re analyzing.
Is the timing “usual” or are there special circumstances? Factor in seasonality, holidays, payday, or timeframes that gives a sense of urgency (e.g., natural disaster). Be flexible in when you send email to accommodate for changing circumstances.
What do you mean by “best,” anyway? Are you optimizing for opens, trying to reduce unsubscribes, generate revenue or drive website readership? “Best day” is dependent on what metric you are trying to optimize and the email marketing value you are trying to measure.
Think about the "best day" as independent of a weekly timetable. By doing so, you can explore triggered email campaigns that let the recipient determine the best day to send based on some event or recipient behavior.
Ultimately, your ideal day to send depends on a variety of factors that will change over time. Asking the right questions, continually analyzing your metrics, and executing a rigorous testing strategy unique to specific communication programs and audiences is a good approach to determine your organization’s best day to send email.