Are Tuesdays really the best days to send emails?

Article's cover image

Article's cover image

You’ve probably Googled “What’s the best day to send my email?” before a high-stakes email campaign and found that most results say Tuesday is the best day.

You’ve also probably seen these claims backed up with different kinds of data. However, as an email marketer, you should consider the sample size and the industries contributing to the data. Extrapolating the findings of a different industry to your industry might not yield the best of returns.

So if you haven’t completely studied the behavior of your target audience, but you believe that Tuesday is the gold standard, it’s safe to say that you’re entertaining a myth.

In this article, we’ll discuss why the Tuesday preference exists and some tools for cracking the best-time-to-send-email code.

The human psychology factor

Every email marketer wants their emails to arrive in their recipients’ inboxes when they’re inclined to open them. Unfortunately, there’s an element of presumption in predicting how people react to different days of the week.

With Friday being the last day of the work week—when most people are preoccupied with the weekend—and Monday being the getting-back-to-work day, most marketers overlook them. As a result, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday become the natural choices for sending emails. Since Tuesday is followed by two more supposedly high-productivity days, it’s assumed that it will garner higher open rates.

While this theory looks reasonably good on paper, open rates ultimately come down to the sensibilities of your audience. For example, a mobile-savvy person can check (marketing) emails any day, anytime—while waking up in the morning, standing in a queue for their coffee, catching a ride, and more.

In summary, opening an email is a subjective process, and you’ll have to do some testing to identify the optimal sending day and time for your mailing lists.

The burning question

So what’s wrong with experimentally targeting Tuesdays? You definitely can. However, you’ll have to factor in a few send-time optimization techniques if you want to get conclusive evidence from your experiments.

On the plus side, even if your experiments aren’t conclusive, you’ll at least have some insights to fall back on.

Send-time optimization

The reports and sentiments that are recorded by your email marketing software help you dynamically deliver emails at the optimal time. Let’s see how.

Recipient’s optimal open time

Zoho Campaigns automatically sends your email to every contact at a time calculated using their last three open times. So if you have already sent three or more campaigns, or even if you’re resuming email marketing after a gap, you can use this to strengthen your experiment on your preferred day.

Optimal-open-time scheduling of emails

Now comes a question: What if you’re starting fresh or have new contacts joining your mailing list? In the former case, you’ll have to execute at least three email campaigns before you can start to use dynamic open times. For the latter, you can set a default time for sending to new contacts, while dynamically sending emails to your older contacts.

Recipient’s time zone

If your business operates across multiple countries, scheduling a common email campaign for different time zones can be tricky.

This is when the option for dynamic time zone scheduling enters the picture. If you have the geographic details of your contacts in the mailing list, the email reaches every recipient at their equivalent of the defined time.

Recipients-time-zone-based scheduling

Note: In order to cover all the active time zones, it’s recommended that you schedule the email at least 24 hours in advance.

A/B testing

Though it’s not a typical time-optimization feature, A/B testing helps you cover one of the most important aspects for high open rates: subject line. Craft two versions of your subject line, choose the size of the test group, specify the duration, and have the winning version (maximum opens) automatically delivered to the remaining recipients.

The higher you can get your open rates using A/B testing, the quicker you can move towards knowing your optimal send time.

Final words

Start off with a day (or days) that your gut says is an appropriate one, taking into consideration the preferences of your audience. Then test it and see what you find out! Whether your best day happens to be Tuesday, or any day, take the opportunity to optimize the send time to boost your open rates even further.

We hope this helped! Watch this space as we put on our thinking caps for the next post.

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