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What’s the Best Day for Email Marketing?

For as long as I’ve been involved in sending out marketing emails (whether it’s content-driven newsletters or straight promotional messages), I’ve always worked off of a couple of assumptions:

  • Sending emails on Monday is a bad idea; people are just getting into the office from the weekend and are too busy getting settled for the work week to read whatever you’re sending them
  • At the end of the week, people are getting ready for the weekend and are more likely to be open to interacting with “non-work” items
  • Do things like Apple does.

That third bullet needs a bit of explanation. Apple, the company that dominates tech news and currently has the largest market cap, almost always holds its events and releases new products on Tuesdays.

Yes, that’s actually true.

A story from 2008 says that Apple goes with Tuesdays because they take the day before to make final decisions, but clearly for their bigger events and announcements, everything is set well in advance. Tuesdays are also when music albums are released, and when new movies and video games are most often released.

So is it a surprise that Tuesday is also the day when email marketing is most effective?

Tuesday Open Rates: 19.9%

New research by GetResponse and shared by eMarketer shows that, worldwide, email open rates peak at 19.9% on Tuesdays. Mondays are the worst weekdays, with an 18.2% open rate; Fridays are second-best, with a 19.6% open rate.

Email Marketing Rates

What’s the psychology here? In simple terms, by Tuesday, most people have settled into the week and are back to their routine. They’re out of weekend-mode and back to work. But they’re ready to be distracted, if you will, by regular advertising messages (your email marketing) they’re used to getting.

On Mondays, people are working to get back into their routine; by Tuesday, they’re there but ready to engage with advertising as it fits into their schedule.

Friday Click Rates: 4.9%

The more interesting results from this study, I think, are that click-through rates are the highest on Fridays.

Again, it’s mostly common sense when you consider the ebb and flow of most people’s work weeks; by Friday, they’re slowly getting back into weekend-mode and more likely to engage with non-work related items. They’re opening emails almost as often as they are on Tuesdays, but this time, they’re actually taking the call to action and actively engaging with the outreach.

It’s funny; back in the day when I worked for the digital side of a magazine, we sent our newsletters out on Tuesdays (adding Fridays when it became clear the demand was there).

The Bottom Line: Think Like Your Users

It all comes back to the mantra that everyone engaged in digital media should repeat over and over again: You are not your users.

If you want to have the most impact on their lives and encourage them to engage with you, think like them. Figure out who they are and when they are most likely able to respond to and interact with your outreach.

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