Why do companies insist on sending their automated emails in the middle of the night?
You wake up with 20+ emails from brands that you vaguely remember signing up for.
It is email chaos.
And a guide on how to increase my social media following is literally the last thing I want to see first thing in the morning.
I get that they think that people will read it right when they wake up or right when they get to work.
But when a majority of companies are doing this the reader is left with an overstuffed inbox.
If you are like me you get rid of all of those emails in a morning delete spree.
It is oddly satisfying.
Plus the time when you only checked email once or twice a day is over.
We literally have supercomputers in our watches and can be reached at any time.
So I set out to find when the best time to send an email newsletter is, by signing up for 100 different newsletters and recording all of their send times.
To see some of the newsletters I used to check out my post on Venngage.
Here is what I found:
While I was trying to find the best time to send an email newsletter I was looking for the best days.
These are days where not a ton of emails were sent and your newsletter will stand out like the gem it is.
In other words, the days where the least emails are sent also have the lowest competition and are therefore best days to send your newsletter.
Finding the best day was a little more difficult than I thought.
However, finding the worst day to send an email was a piece of cake.
That day had over 25% of all the emails from the entire study sent on that day.
If you take a look at the graph below you would be able easily to see that the day was Thursday.
And no other day really came close.
Tuesday and Friday, the other top days, only clocked in at 18% of all emails each.
Those two days should also be avoided but Thursday is the absolute worst day.
This explosion of emails being sent on Thursdays was likely caused by thought leaders pushing for that day.
And after people blindly followed that advice it has become the worst day pretty spectacularly.
After highlighting the worst day to send an email I thought we should jump to some more positive advice.
Like how about the best time to send your email newsletter?
If you want to find the best time to send an email, I look for a time that is not very popular.
Like a time when no emails are being sent.
I mean why would you want your newsletter to fight for attention with others?
That just decrease the likelihood that your email will even be seen, let alone be read.
So I looked for times that no emails were sent in our data set.
And found that not a single newsletter was sent in three time period from 11-12 PM, 1-2PM, 2- 3 PM.
This shows that the middle of the day is a huge untapped opportunity. Plus the email warriors at MailChimp seem to agree.
All of those times are just before or after lunchtime and a perfect time to engage your audience.
If you hit them up before lunch you just gave them a great thing to read while they eat.
Now if they are just coming back from lunch, the first thing they are likely going to do is check their emails.
And boom, your email newsletter is the first thing that they see.
Another thing that I noticed while crunching all the numbers is that barely any emails are sent during the workday.
Just take a quick look at the graph below and you will see a huge gap from about 9AM to 5PM.
This is another chunk of time that I would recommend sending your emails out during.
Especially if your newsletter is focused on a work related topic.
We have made it to the part that inspired this entire article.
And it did not disappoint.
There were over 40% of the emails sent in a time period from 9PM-3AM.
That is a ton of emails sent in a 6 hour period.
Especially when most of your target audience will most likely be asleep. Or if they are not, they are not wanting to read about how to decrease their PPC at 10PM.
And if you extend the period to include up to 7AM, that adds another 20% of all emails.
So more than 60% of all the emails are sent when people are about to go to bed or are out cold.
And I know that the people who are up don’t want to read your email at that moment in their day.
Those who are sleeping, which is most people, will see it the next day then delete it during their morning inbox delete spree.
And all the hard work you put into that email gets ignored.
If you use a strategy like this the email is going to be fighting a ton of others to just be noticed.
Not read, just not deleted the second it hits their inbox.
Don’t let your useful content be wasted because you picked the wrong time to send out an email blast.
Now that you know the best time to send an email you are probably curious as to what the best day is as well.
Just like in the previous sections we defined the best day to send an email as one that has low competition.
You may pick a time that is perfect but on a wrong day.
And your effort will be wasted just because you only got half the equation right.
Sending your newsletter on a low competition day, your content is going to stand out like a beacon.
Like on Wednesdays.
That sometimes forgotten day received some of the least newsletters of the whole experiment.
Think about it, it may be the perfect day to send an email newsletter.
Your audience has made it to hump day and is probably looking for a midweek procrastination opportunity.
Especially if you send it during one of the times from above.
In our own email newsletter tests at Venngage, we have seen Wednesday perform exceptionally well, sometimes 2x the open rate of other days.
But you may be asking what about Saturday or Sunday, they both have low rates too?
And I will say that Saturday is another great day to test sending your email newsletters on.
Your audience will actually have some uninterrupted time to read your content on the weekend.
Additionally, although Sundays also have a low number of emails sent, I would approach it with caution day.
You run the risk of emails being swept into the Monday morning mass delete. Or just being ignored completely.
Hopefully, this has given you a ton of new ideas for A/B test or growth experiments with your newsletters.It honestly has changed the way that we send our emails at Venngage.
All it took was signing up for…100 emails newsletters. And abandoning an email address because of the inbox being so full
Just remember if you would like to see the same results with your newsletter, follow these simple guidelines:
And to see what else we found out about sending email newsletters please check out our full email newsletter report here!
Ryan McCready went to the University of Arkansas and graduated with a degree in economics and international business. Now instead of studying the economy, he writes about everything for Venngage.