- Published on Wednesday, 03 February 2010 00:00
- Written by Mia Papanicolaou
Where email is concerned, an additional dimension comes into play: when should you send? Monday? Tuesday? For that matter, Monday afternoon? Wednesday morning? Noon on Thursday?
On the surface of things, you may not consider this to be a make-or-break distinction, but time-after-time, we have seen that in fact, it is no less crucial than the message itself.
Because, unlike traditional mail for which the time of day, or even the particular day on which it is delivered can have little bearing on when it is read – your recipient may only collect the post on a Wednesday for instance, making a Monday morning delivery irrelevant – Whereas the time and day of your email delivery will determine whether it is opened and read, or simply deleted.
There is no hard-and-fast rule for this, though some common sense rules might illustrate the point: news is most welcomed in the morning, rather than in the middle of the working day, and an email suggesting entertainment options will generate a better open rate closer to the weekend, than, say on a Monday when recipients are back into work mode.
When is the right time for you to send your email? You can gain the best understanding of this by testing, testing, testing.
The most effective means of doing this is to split test. Literally, break down your database into five parts and send one-fifth of your emails on each day of the week for a full working week until your whole database has been emailed. You will quickly see which day generated the best response. If one day was markedly better than the other four, the evidence is clear.
Next, having chosen the day that works best for you, stagger your distribution for that day, delivering messages at two hour intervals. An examination of the open and response rates for these emails will reveal the best time and the best day to send out your email distribution.
The final step, with all the evidence in hand, is to ensure you hit that ideal date and time regularly. If your ideal time and day is noon on Monday, then ensure you don’t miss that deadline, as this will ensure that you gain your optimum response.