Does time really matter? In the case of email marketing, it most definitely does! What time an email lands in your customers’ inbox can drastically effect whether or not that email gets opened, read in full, or your call to action is completed. Think carefully next time you are scheduling an email blast to get the most results from your particular audience.
Open rates can vary by 6-7% based on time of day
One of the biggest questions email marketers I work with often have is:
What’s the best TIME OF DAY and DAY OF THE WEEK to send my emails?
Here is the simple (but very effective) solution we use to solve this question …
First, because every market is different, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. In some markets, email subscribers tend to consume email content M-F during their lunch hour … In other markets, subscribers read email first thing in the morning.
But, if the name of the game is to MAXIMIZE email open rates and clickthrough rates, sending at the OPTIMAL time of day (and day of week) can have a significant impact.
So, What IS the best TIME OF DAY and DAY OF THE WEEK to send your emails?
In my agency and consulting practice, here’s how we answer this question (and how you can do the same): By split testing.
Here’s what I mean:
If split-testing is a science, then there’s usually an “academic” way of doing things – and the more 80/20 – friendly “pracademic” way of doing things.
Here’s the 80/20 “pracademic” method we use to determine the BEST time of day and day of week to send emails in every market we’re involved in:
Step 1: Upload a broadcast email into your email service provider, and set up a four-way split test to your list. (ESPs like AWeber make this easy to do.)
Step 2: Keep the subject lines and email body copy identical across each variant.
Step 3: Send each split-tested broadcast (all the same email) at different times of the day on the same day. We typically start with a Wednesday, and choose 6:00 AM EST / 12:00 PM EST / 5:00 PM EST / 10:00 PM EST.
Step 4: Track the open rates (and clickthrough rates) for each variant.
Step 5: Whichever variant produces the best Open Rate % / CTR % gives you a good indication on the best time of day to send emails in that particular market.
I’ve found in some markets open rates can vary as much as 6-7%, simply based on WHAT TIME OF DAY the email hits a person’s inbox.
Now, as far as figuring out the best DAY of the WEEK? You follow the same process.
This time you control the “time of day” variable by sending the same broadcast email with the same subject line, at the same time of day (based on your first experiment) at four different days during the week.
We typically send on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Once you’ve run these two experiments, you’ll likely walk away with one of – if not THE – optimal “time of day” and “day of week” combination to send your emails for YOUR market (and more importantly, you’re making the decision intelligently, based on actual, quantifiable data).
– Ryan Levesque, president, LTP Marketing LLC