Email marketing campaigns: what's the perfect timing?

Michiel Destoop
January 24, 2019
⏱ 4 min. read

Email marketing is undoubtedly an important part of your marketing approach. But on what day and at what time should you send out emails?

Even in post-GDPR times, email marketing has proven its effectiveness. Even though there seems to be very little left of the attention paid to the protection of privacy, and some are already going off book. Others have started with a clean slate for more quality and relevance in their email marketing.

Questions you may have asked yourself:

  • Which day should I send the newsletter?
  • At what time should I send the emailing?
  • Does it matter?

Every marketer will approach these questions differently and they are all more or less right. The smartest marketer gets his insights from all these types and characters.

But first, I should cover myself: "any resemblance with existing persons or events is based on pure coincidence".

Sandra, the empathic marketer
Identifying with the target group

"OK, our customers are about this old, have that kind of profession and that kind of leisure activity. If I were to stand in their place, I would prefer to receive our type of emails at that time."

Catherine, the social marketer
Let's ask our community

"We have thousands of committed fans on social media. 
Why not ask them when they prefer to receive our emails?
A poll is quickly organized and provokes a lot of reactions. 
Our fans also like to get involved.
Of course it's not scientific research, but hey, it's better than nothing!"

Anna, the agile marketer
When it's ready

"There is so much that we still have to do. We tackle project by project. When the newsletter is ready, we can send it immediately. We evaluate briefly, learn from our mistakes and tackle the next project."

Thomas, the technological marketer
Automating the newsletter

"Instead of creating a newsletter every time, we would do better to build it automatically.

A newsletter contains the latest blog posts, products in promotion or an overview of upcoming events. We retrieve the data from our site or other sources and by means of RSS and XML feeds and an advanced template with variables, the newsletter is created automatically.

The recipient can set his own frequency and desired time according to his preferences. Do you want a weekly newsletter on Monday morning at 9 am? No problemo. Rather every two weeks on Sunday morning? Check.

Once you put in some more work and then you avoid repetitive and error-prone tasks."

Andrew, the growth hacker
I will create a mailflow

"I do not believe in a newsletter with a fixed frequency. The content of the mail is not sufficiently attuned to the phase of the customer journey. What I set up is a series of e-mails that are started after a subscription. The times and the choice of e-mails depend on the interactions. Every mail also contains an easy to share snippet, so I can continue to grow through all kinds of channels. I will improve that process based on results."

Alexia, the analytical marketer
Let's do some research

"For a well-founded answer we dive into the figures.

1. How have our campaigns performed in the past?
2. Do we set up an A/B test where we send the same email at a different time to evaluate performance?

And fortunately I have also compiled a list of interesting surveys of e-mail platforms that can rely on a lot of relevant data. 

Analysis of more than 10 studies shows that the best time is Tuesday at 10 am. But if everyone is going to do the same now, then it's best to send at another time to get more attention..."

Frank, the classical marketer
Thursday at 2 pm

"In a training session they once told me that mails are most often read and clicked on Thursday at 2 pm. It's already the end of the week and people at a desk are experiencing a dip. They are looking for a little distraction. I have been doing this for more than 10 years and I have arranged my work planning so that I have prepared the newsletter nicely in time. 

It may be true that using the smartphone has drastically changed e-mail habits, but I keep sending the e-mails at the fixed time. I don't hear any complaints."

Valerie, the cultural philosophical marketer
Tailored to the differences

"Has anyone thought about the fact that our customers are in different time zones? And that the same culture does not prevail everywhere? In Denmark, for example, they are very strict in their work/life balance. If you send an e-mail to their professional e-mail address after 5pm, it will only be read the next morning. Elsewhere it is better to send it in the evening because no time is spent on newsletters during the day. So we would do well to segment our newsletters by region.
And maybe we should also send a different kind of e-mails to men and women. And on the basis of age."

Eric, the multichannel marketer
Stronger together

"It's not about that one email, it's about the combination of all our marketing activities. Show me an overview of all our communications and then I make sure that our newsletter and e-mails are attuned to the other actions and thus strengthen the impact."

Have I forgotten about marketing types?
Feel free to mail me with your suggestions!

Whatever you decide, make sure you …

  • document and motivate the choice you made
  • share the strategy and planning with your colleagues
  • control its execution, because most likely the drafting and sending of marketing e-mails is not your sole responsibility.

Use marketing planning software such as Husky for the desired overview and use the project management capabilities for the timely execution of tasks.

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