One of the most heavily debated topics in the marketing communications segment today is when to send e-mail based newsletters, communications and promotions to customers. Nearly everyone you meet has a different opinion. Some experts will tell you to send the e-mails in the morning. Others recommend lunchtime. Some experts believe sending on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday is best. Others take a the view that off-hours – nights and weekends are best.
So what is the answer – I don’t know! Nor does anyone else. The only one that knows is the customer themselves. Here’s a new idea – Why not ask the customer when they want to be sent an e-mail from your company? You already ask customers whether they prefer HTML or text? And which types of content they want to subscribe to? And how frequently they wish to be contacted?
Instead of trying to find the one best time to send an e-mail to a large, diverse pool of recipients each with different reading habits and work schedules, why not offer a choice of days for customers to receive e-mails? You can release multiple distributions of e-mail communications according to end-user preferences. For example, you might offer a choice of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Sunday.
I would choose the weekend for most of the e-mail communications that I care about. I usually spend a few hours on a Sunday afternoon trying to catch up on work. I have much more time to browse content sent by third parties because my phone is not ringing and I am not rushing to go to another meeting. Others may prefer to have e-mails sent on a Tuesday or Wednesday because their calendar is less rigorous that day. Some may not state a preference at all in which case you can subscribe them to the default communication date based upon prior open rate analysis.