What the Data Says About the Best Time to Send Your Newsletter or E-blast

There are many factors that play into getting your audience to open, read, and engage with your email. One of the most crucial is TIMING. In an effort to best help guide our practices to success, we’ve looked at the data on more than 10 recent studies that pulled metrics from sample groups of millions to billions of email campaigns[1]. Here’s some of the most valuable information you’ll need to maximize your returns, in summary, for your email marketing.

As marketers, we know that those who sign up or subscribe to be on your mailing list tend to be your most loyal and engaged audience members. Email is a much more personal communication option than social media. If you’re using the right tools, it can be easily customized to appear even more focused to the individual. Email enjoys higher conversion rates (6% vs 1.9% from social) and higher open/click-through rates (22.86% OR & 3.71% CTR vs. 0.58% engagement on social).[2]  Furthermore, while 2.5 billion people worldwide use social media each month, there are 3.7 billion active email users. A survey by Campaign Monitor concluded that 72 percent of people prefer to receive branded content via email than on social platforms.[3]

So how does timing play into getting you ….

  • a higher open rate?
  • more click-throughs?
  • more attention to what your practice offers?
  • more website traffic?
  • (ultimately) more consults and booked procedures?

It’s a common mistake to think that the best time to send email is on a weekend or outside of common business hours because people have the free time to look through their inbox. It turns out that the best day to send email is Tuesday! This is followed by Thursday as the second-best option and Wednesday as the third. This insight was supported over and over in the majority of studies we reviewed. If you need to send two emails in a single week, the data suggests sending the first on Tuesday and the second on Thursday of the same week. According to a few of the studies, weekends produced some higher open-rates and CTRs, however this data is skewed as these days also get the lowest volume of email. That means while the numbers appear higher due to the rates, the actual number of emails opened is much less.

The same error is also often applied in selecting a time of day for the deployment. Many newsletters or E-blasts tend to get deployed in the late morning, but studies based on real engagement rates have shown that the best time is actually 10 a.m. After that, there’s a spike at 8 p.m. (likely due to many people checking email before going to bed), and a smaller spike at 2 p.m. as folks are looking for distractions from work. In fourth place is—surprisingly—6 a.m., which (from the data) means about 50 percent of your audience is checking email in bed, perhaps just after shutting off their phone’s wake-up alarm. If your practice has multiple locations across the county, you’ll want to consider time zones, too, and select the times that cover the majority of your audience. Within one hour of sending, 23 percent of your mailing list, on average, will open their emails.  With that in mind, consider that you may wish to schedule your deployments approximately 30 minutes prior to peak times.

Armed with a list of top times and days, you can mix and match these peak moments to do some A/B split testing of what works best for your specific audience. Remember, the BEST time depends on the day you send, and the BEST day also depends on the time you send. These factors can’t be separated.

In the end, the only way to really know what works best for your specific audience is continued testing and review of your performance metrics for better optimization of your e-mail campaigns. If you’re using MetaMed Marketing’s email services, you can also link your Google Analytics to your campaigns for extra-custom performance reporting and better actionable insights. The keys to better engagement will always be how good or appealing your content is and the quality of your mailing list. Use the aggregated data as a jumping off point, and then season to taste.

For more information on engaging your audience on mobile click here.


Lindsay Dworkin

Lindsay Dworkin is an account manager at MetaMed handling creative aspects and administration of web development projects and online marketing campaigns for her clients.

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