Sunday, May 4, 2008

What's the best time to send a blast e-mail?

There are a lot of mixed ideas out there about what the best time to send an e-mail marketing promotion is. Personally, I hate sending out to a new list, but as long it's professionally done and people can opt out easily using something like Constant Contact, sometimes you have to do it. We're looking at this question about when to launch a campaign as I am working with a friend to launch a new website to foster creativity.

General trends that seem to come through from reading the literature:

-Tuesdays seems to be a good balance between getting read and for them to actually be able to spend some time on their site. There is the Tuesday through Thursday, 10AM to 2PM rule for sales side marketing campaigns. Given the timezones, I'd say 1PM or 2PM has to the be the right thing if you're trying to sell someone something. Creative engagement is a whole other matter though.

-Weekends have high clickthrough rates and people will spend more time on your site, but lower open rates. Makes sense, people aren't sitting there but have more time to open, look at your e-mail and check out your site.

-The worst time (verified by my time at a Fortune 500 financial services firm) is anytime around a long weekend. This company once blew out their return e-mail server because they got several million out of office replies sending something out right after a long weekend.

-The nature of your site is important. If it's work related, Tuesday afternoon is a better time than Saturday morning. But since we're launching a creative site, the weekend might be better as we are really seeking deep engagement and connection. Unfortunately, it's a pretty good bet that anything that doesn't get read until Monday morning is not going to get very much attention at that point.

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