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You have been scrambling all week to prepare a very important notification to your customers. The message is time-sensitive, but also requires delicate wording so as not to upset your customer base. As a result the approval cycle has dragged on for days with different executives suggesting changes. Finally, you have obtained the last approval. It is now noontime on Friday. Do you send the email communication out to 10,000 customers now? Or do you wait until Monday morning?

Most people would argue that end-users are more likely to read their emails during the week than over the weekend. Common sense would suggest that Friday afternoon is a risky time to send an email. People often leave early for the weekend. And those that stay are busy with meetings. They rarely get back to checking the unread items in their inbox from Friday afternoon. As a result, your instincts might be to avoid sending emails on Fridays.

But this is where you need to update your thinking. You are approaching the situation like a 20th century marketer who guesses at the best approach based upon their instincts. There is no reason to guess any more about marketing programs when it is so easy to collect data to make informed decisions. Marketing automation programs such as Hubspot, Eloqua and Marketo offer reporting tools that allow you to assess how the volume of opens and clickthroughs vary by date and time. There is no reason to guess any longer. Instead you should use data like a 21st century marketer would.

So the question is not whether you should send an email on Friday afternoon to your contact database, but rather which of your users you should send it to? Analyze which of the 10,000 targets have opened emails on Friday or weekends over the past six months. Those are the ones that you should your urgent communication to on Friday afternoon. Leave the rest for Monday morning (or the optimal day/time that your data suggests).

If your analysis proves to be incorrect, you can simply resend it on Monday to anyone who did not open the email over the weekend.

Steve Keifer

Steve Keifer has led marketing and product management teams at seven different SaaS and cloud providers ranging from venture-backed, early-stage startups to multi-billion, publicly traded companies - including several that experienced hypergrowth, filed IPOs, and reached unicorn status. In Bantrr, Steve shares many of the best practices and lessons learned from building and scaling marketing organizations. Topics include new category creation, brand development, and demand generation.

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