Normally the indecisions rampant before shooting out an e-mail to thousands of people encompasses irresolutions about who to send it to, how to segregate the e-mail lists, what subject line to use, yada yada.
MailChimp, one of the world’s largest e-mail service providers that sends out 10 billion e-mails a month, used its data in the service of improving the user experience and came upon these findings answering the question ‘when should I send out my e-mail.’
Three age groups were created – college kids, 40s and over retirement age. It was found that usually the data and analyses validate common sense as opposed to overrunning it. However, it can also be said that the best time is not a rule of thumb but more of a guideline because most people are going to deviate at least a little.
On weekends people are busy living their life doing non-work things. Monday morning sees a deluge of mails from work, or college and everyone else, so people only cursorily go through e-mail and can skip you over. Friday spells the weekend but also deadlines on work projects. For people in the Gulf, Friday and Saturday are weekends so e-mail checking is the least on these days. Wednesdays are plodding-though-work days. So ideally a good day would be Tuesday.
College students can generally be found checking mail at 1pm, where older people of the other two groups do it at about 10am. This is true even during the holidays, probably because college students are waking up late, so the e-mail checking time remains relatively the same. So that’s data validating common sense for you and putting your doubt to rest.
Similarly, geography can play a role, too. For instance, in countries with long summers the distribution of the optimal send time blurs into a plateau from 9am to 8pm, where other countries experience a more pronounced fall after typical business hours.
A person’s work dictates how they engage with their e-mail. For instance IT professionals have fixed working hours. So they will typically check their mail at 9:30. IT professionals working the night shift will roll out of bed late in the morning and won’t engage with it till around noon. A marine engineer has a nebulous optimum since he works morning, noon and night.
You could use MailChimp’s STO (Send Time Optimisation) to run e-mail through and mine data. However. if you don’t have STO, you can A/B test common-sense hypotheses! After all, you know your demographics and buyer persona. It gives you a 22% lift in engagement which is similar to the performance gains users get from STO.
So in conclusion, while presentation matters to user engagement, using logic, common sense and a reliance on data can help you understand when users are most likely to view your e-mail.