This question, just like pretty much any question about email marketing, has a very simple answer: it depends.

Why? Because there are so many variables that come into play with any email marketing campaign. There may be best practices to go off of or even some more methods that seem to be tried and true, but you still won’t know the answers you seek until you answer the next question: what does it depend on?

To get those definitive answers, the only way is to test and pay close attention to the data in your reports. However, you have to start somewhere. To start off on the right foot, there are two factors to consider when beginning an email campaign. Those two factors will help you discover the best day and time to send an email newsletter and help you with several other things when it comes to email marketing. Here’s what you need to consider:

Understanding Your Audience

The latest statistics show that competition in the newsletter arena is heating up. 81% of email marketers are sending email newsletters. Newsletters have become successful, so much so that people are paying to receive newsletters with personalized, original content.  

With your competitors shooting for the same subscribers as you do, how do you cut through the noise and reign in the subscriber’s inbox? 

To succeed, you have to nail three aspects: relevance, timing, and frequency of sending email newsletters. We’ll talk about timing and frequency in a bit, but first, let’s handle newsletter relevance. 

Your newsletter can only be relevant if the message resonates with the subscriber’s needs, interests, and preferences. A newsletter with fresh and original information that the subscriber is interested in will always get the best results: high open rates and engagement

However, you cannot deliver relevant content if you don’t understand your audience. What problems are they facing? How exactly can you solve that problem? What do they need to know to commit to buying your product? Answer these questions and examine some of your longest-lasting customers to create audience personas and customer profiles that zero in on the type of people they are. These resources will serve you well and ensure you really know your target audience so you can share relevant content with them in your newsletters. 

Understanding Your Goals

When you’re planning your road trip, knowing the destination helps you remain on track. At any given time during the journey, you can estimate the time you’ll reach the destination.

Your email newsletter’s goals are like your destination. Knowing your goals is indispensable if you want success. It helps you to not only track progress but also determines what needs changing to keep your campaign on course.

Let’s say, for example, you want to improve newsletter engagement by 2%. With that goal in mind, you’ll know you should focus on factors that influence engagement, such as dynamic content, personalization, and more.  

You’ll then A/B test things such as subject line and messaging or tweak different aspects one-by-one to see how they impact engagement. If one version of the subject line improves engagement, then you’ll know what to keep and what to discard in your next newsletter series. 

When to Send an Email Newsletter

Before we disclose the best day and time to send email newsletters, let’s talk about frequency. 

1. Email Newsletter Frequency

Sending newsletters more often gets your business in front of your target audience: it’s great for brand and product visibility. However, if recent statistics are anything to go by, such a strategy could be a double-edged sword. 

One study has found that if you send newsletters once every week, you’ll get a 30% open rate and 3.63% click-through rates. If you double the frequency, the open rate may drop by over 5% and the click-through rate by close to 1%. Overall, the higher your sending frequency, the worse the open and click-through rates become. 

The lesson here is to not inundate your audience. If you send them too many emails, they’ll get overwhelmed and feel burdened and can ultimately unsubscribe altogether. But, you don’t want to send your newsletter too infrequently because they could potentially lose interest. Finding a happy medium means it may be better to stick with sending newsletters at least once every week. But, when is the best day and time to send email newsletters?

2. Email Newsletter Timing

One study has found that 42.5% of users open emails in the morning. However, like everything in marketing, the right time to send your emails depends on other factors, like the region your recipients are located in and the day of the week the email is being sent on.

Let’s begin with the day of the week. Some data shows that the open rates of newsletters peak on Tuesdays. 

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Other data shows that the peak days to send emails are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. 

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However, based on this data, it would appear that most opens occur on Fridays. 

When it comes to the time of the day, it would appear that the best performing hours are in the morning, between 9:00 and 11:00 AM

Take all of this with a grain of salt. The reality is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the day and time you send your emails. In fact, a lot of reputable brands follow their own rules because they’ve found what works best for them. For example, some may send their emails at the same time and day of week every week. Others may take a unique approach by personalizing the sending times for each recipient in their list. 

The best way to find the day and time that works for you is to test various options. For example, try sending your newsletters on Tuesdays at 10 AM for a few weeks. Then, switch it up and try Thursdays at 11 AM for a while. Or, you can send your emails on the same day, but send one batch at one time and another batch at a different time. Check the results to see which is most successful. 

Brad Hess, Ceros director of generation, claims “brands spend too much energy trying to find the best time to send email newsletters. However, it all depends on the recipient, and factoring in the subscribers is most important.”

Picking a particular day and time to send your email is great if your customers are concentrated in a single time zone. However, if subscribers are in different time zones, that could cause problems. In that case, your best bet is to schedule newsletters based on each contact’s time zone.

Just like with most things regarding email marketing, you can never get too comfortable. When it comes to the best time and day to send your email newsletters, while data can point to certain days and times, the truth is that it really depends on who you’re sending your newsletters to. So make sure you really know your audience and that you test various options to determine the best results.