When To Send: A Practical Guide

If you're just starting to use email marketing or you've been using it for a while now, you know that two of the biggest questions you'll need to answer is how often you'll send and when you'll send. Believe it or not, these two things matter. A poorly timed send or sending emails too often or not often enough can break your campaign and make it a complete waste of time.

So let's tackle what works and what doesn't. When should you send your campaigns? It might surprise. Keep reading.

When to send

There are many studies out there claiming to know when the best time is to send your email campaign or newsletter. The good news is, there is a consensus on most of the data. The best days to send, at least until recently, were the following:

Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday

It all seems simple enough. Monday is the day that most people start their work weeks, and that day is often to filled with planning and getting the engine going to really look at sales emails. Friday is no good either. Many people have already "checked out" and are already in weekend mode by the time noon strikes. Saturday is out of the question, because it's the only day of the week without a work day on the back end. Hence, clients often spend this time outside the home. Emails are often not on the agenda.

Sunday as a good option

Now we get to Sunday, and here's where the controversy starts. According to recent survey, Sunday has now become the best time to send. Why? Because more people are using Sunday to shop online, check their emails and email their friends and family.

So, what should you do about this? Try mixing things up. Send your campaign one time between Tuesday and Thursday and the next time on Sunday. See what stick. Study your reports and sales numbers for those days. Just because there are two good windows to send doesn't mean you have to stick to either one.

How often to send

Another big question you may ask yourself is how often to send. This is entirely up to you, of course. But there are certain guidelines and pitfalls to sending too often and too late.

The problems with sending too often are:
Your clients will get burnt out and not read any of your emails
You'll spent a lot of money with less ROI than you'd like
You run the risk of customers hitting the spam button, even if you've gotten their permission to send
You'll waste time sending a message that doesn't reach the masses

So, how often should you send? As far as sending too much, if you like to send often, we recommend not sending any more than three times a week. Once a week is a good schedule, as is once every two weeks. You can go for once a month, but we feel that probably won't make your ROI worth your time.

Now, on sending too infrequently, here are the pitfalls:
Customers will have to re-familiarize themselves with your company each and every time you send an email campaign or email newsletter
Customers will have trouble following a chain-like buying strategy, such as purchasing a scarf one week and gloves the next
Customers will forget who you are and hit the spam button, ruining your reputation
Customers will be resentful that you're not doing enough to get their attention
Email addresses will change and you'll find your list piling up with hard bounces

They say that absence makes the heart go fonder, but this saying simply doesn't apply to email marketing. Sending too infrequently makes things all the more difficult for you because each time may be like starting from scratch.

We recommend that you send no less than once a month, and that's pushing it. Remember: customers are human. They forget things. The more time you put in between your campaigns, the better the chance your customers will write off your emails altogether, deleting them altogether, unsubscribing from your service or even hitting the deadly spam button.

Planning out your email schedule: autoresponders An autoresponder is a sort of system that lets you set up all your campaigns and schedule them in advance. Here are ways autoresponders help with your email campaigns:

You can know your campaigns are planned well in advance
You can mix up content and send different emails on different days
You can build excitement leading up to a sale or other special event

Benchmark Email's award-winning autoresponder service is included with every paid plan. Create custom email autoresponders loaded up with an unlimited number of emails, mix up your content and promote your upcoming events.

As with all decisions, when and how often you send is up to you. However, finding a disciplined schedule and sticking to it helps build trust-based relationships with your customers, boost sales and preserve your reputation as an email marketer.

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