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A Helping HandMarketing PerformanceMeasure

It’s not always Tuesday or Thursday!

By May 21, 2024No Comments

Email marketing is a highly powerful marketing tool for small businesses, when done well. One of the biggest questions people ask is “when is the best time to send an email marketing campaign?”  If you type this question into Google (other search engines are available), you’ll get millions of responses.

What the email engines say

To start answering this question, we looked at what the big players in this market said. Here goes…

Mailchimp

It’s somewhat established that the best days to send email blasts are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday across different industries and audiences. When we look at the typical distribution of optimal send times across Mailchimp’s whole system, the best time to send email newsletters is at 10AM in the recipients’ own time zones. Note that no single day wins hands-down. This is what we should expect when studying the data of billions of humans’ inbox activity.”

Mailerlite

Which day of the week is everyone sending their campaigns? Email marketers favour Tuesday (closely followed by Wednesday) for sending out their campaigns. Which day of the week generates the most opens? Thursday is the weekday with the highest open rate, closely followed by Monday. What time of the day generates the most opens? Most email opens occur between 11AM-12PM, with another peak between 6-7PM and an interesting late-night bump at 2AM (in the sender’s time zone)

Hubspot (based on US subscribers)

The best time to send emails on Tuesday is 9 AM – 12 PM EST, then 12:01 PM – 3 PM EST. I’d stay away from sending your emails anytime after 6 PM EST. On Mondays, aim to send your emails between 6 AM and 9 AM EST, then 9 AM – 12 PM EST. You’ll get the least engagement between 6 PM and 9 PM EST

Mailmunch

Tuesday: According to various email tool statistics, emails sent on Tuesday have the highest open rate of over 18%, increasing site traffic. Wednesday: The mid-week day consistently meets the open and click-through rate goals. Thursday: Is considered the best day to send marketing emails. You can choose between Tuesday and Thursday to start your email campaign. You’d be surprised to learn that Fridays and Mondays are not preferred for email sending, but they are still a better option than weekends. Friday’s open and click-through rates (CTR) are higher than Monday. 

What else do they all say?

You will see a trend in these responses saying that Tuesday – Thursday are good days, with mornings being the better time.  But what they all say in addition to this is that this is not to be taken as written.  For you it may be different. To truly find the best time and best day for your email marketing campaigns, you have to test.

What are you testing?

When running email marketing campaigns, there are many different measures that you can compare and test:

  1. Open rates – how many people opened the email campaign?
  2. Click rates (sometimes referred to as Clickthrough rates) – the number of times people clicked on a link in your campaign.
  3. Website traffic – how much traffic did you send to your website?
  4. Desired outcomes – how many people did what you wanted them to do?

Depending on your reasons for sending the campaigns, the measure that is important to you will vary. However, they are all connected.

Open rates

Open rates are impacted by the name of the sender and by the subject line. If the recipient recognises the sender and has a positive relationship with them, they are more likely to open the email. If the subject line grabs their attention, they are more likely to click to open.

But they have to open it to do anything else. The higher the open rate, the more likely they are to do the other things.

Click rates

Assuming you’re not adding lots of different links to various places, most of the links in your emails (whether in the text or specific buttons) will go to one, or two, places. The decision to click is based on the content of the email. If it is obviously trying to sell something, click rates are likely to be low. If the content is tantalising and offers to help, click rates will be higher.

Again, they have to click for any further action to be counted as the result of the email marketing campaign.

Website traffic

This should be a similar number to the one above, assuming you’re behaving with your Calls to Action (CTAs), but you should also keep an eye on how long people spend on your site. If they are clicking onto it, but then leaving quickly (shame Google no longer has a Bounce Rate stat), you landing page is not of interest to them.

Desired outcome

Ultimately this is the real payback from your email marketing campaigns. If you run an ecommerce business, this measure is likely to be revenue. If you’re a B2B service provider, perhaps it is meetings booked – and so on.

How to test your email marketing campaigns

Testing can take some time, particularly if you’re not sending large volumes, but the sooner you start, the sooner you will have results you can use.  We find a spreadsheet and pivot tables to be the best way to analyse the results, but that may not work for everyone. Here are the steps we recommend:

  1. Look back at previous campaigns and record your performance
    • Date, day and time sent
    • Open rate
    • Click rate
    • Desired outcome rate
  2. Analyse those results to see how you’ve done so far
  3. Schedule upcoming campaigns on days and at times you’ve not sent campaigns before
  4. Analyse regularly

The good and not so good times should start to show after the first 6-10 campaigns.

Kindling n Thingsgraph of email marketing performance

We’ve been running the email marketing for this company since early 2023 and we’ve been tracking the email marketing performance during that time. For them, Monday lunchtime is one of the best times to send campaigns, followed by Saturday lunchtime and Thursday lunchtime (these are average campaign figures – the big spike on Wednesday is a one-off campaign so will need to be tested again). Evenings are surprisingly poor considering this is a consumer product. You can see a full case study on our work for them here.

If your email marketing isn’t working as well as you’d like, experimenting with when you send them is a good way to identify ways to get better results. If you’d like a free review of your email marketing, click here.

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