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Email Marketing: 8 Days a Week

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Okay, we're exaggerating. We don't really get email eight days a week.

It just feels like it.

Clients often ask what time and day they should send emails. Of course, there's only one answer: it depends. Every brand, every product, every target audience is going to be different. But, there are some guidelines that emerge when you look at a variety of research.

In terms of day of the week, many studies suggest that Tuesday is best, followed by Thursday in second place, followed by Wednesday in third. Mondays and Fridays appear to be too close to the weekend (people are either recovering from or preparing for their time off; your email is not top of mind; sleeping in or going out is).

With regard to times, there appear to be multiple hot spots during the day. Many studies cite 10 am as a good time to reach recipients. This may imply that by 10 am, they've stopped socializing, organizing, and caffeinating, and are ready to start their day in earnest. 8 pm is also a good time, perhaps indicating that many people open, read, and deal with emails in the time between dinner and bed. 2 pm also sees a surge; it may be that, wedged as it is between lunch and the end of the traditional workday, it's a natural break from work activities. And, finally, at 6 am, there's a lot of email action. Apparently people check their emails first thing when they get up.

Some studies break down their findings into B2B and B2C emails and even deeper into audience types within each category. For example, HubSpot recently said that, "Studies suggest that B2B emails for the average 8-5 office employee are best sent mid-week around 10 AM. However, entrepreneurs and executives open email more frequently than the average employee, so day of the week matters less. The best time for these individuals based on open and click rates is on Saturday at 10 AM." In the same article, they wrote, "Studies suggest that there's not a big difference in open rates for specific days of the week for B2C email sends. However, for optimal performance, Saturday at midnight works best."

A benchmark study by EmailAnalytics looked at incoming and outgoing emails by day of the week. Here's what they found:

Mondays: avg 85.3 emails received; avg 34.9 emails sent
Tuesdays: avg 87.1 emails received; avg 36.2 emails sent
Wednesdays: avg 86.1 emails received; avg 35.4 emails sent
Thursdays: avg 85.2 emails received; avg 33.6 emails sent
Fridays: avg 74.5 emails received; avg 31.2 emails sent
Saturdays: avg 20 emails received; avg 5 emails sent
Sundays: avg 19.3 emails received; avg 6.5 emails sent

There are two take-aways here. One is that people receive far more emails than they send. And, two, since the emails sent averages include emails that were in response to those received as well as emails that were initiated by the sender, the odds that your email will be acted upon are not great.

Of course, there are other ways to get your email noticed: sender names, subject lines, relevance, irresistible offers, and making certain that you're sending the right message to the right person at the right time.

So, back to the beginning. How do you decide what that right time is?

One word: TEST.

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