Timing and Frequency of Your Web Marketing Newsletters

By Jan Zimmerman

Companies have researched the best day and time, though results fluctuate, time of year, and list size for newsletter distribution. Aggregate data for day of week and time of day for 2010 from the e-mail provider MailerMailer are shown in the following illustration.

Although this data suggest that Sunday e-mail releases produce the best results, and that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday have the worst click-through rates, aggregate data may not apply for you. Test delivery schedules with your specific target market.

[Credit: Source: MailerMailer®]
Credit: Source: MailerMailer®
Compare MailerMailer’s daily results (top) and hourly results (bottom) to those for your audi
Credit: Source: MailerMailer®
Compare MailerMailer’s daily results (top) and hourly results (bottom) to those for your audience. H1 and H2 refer to first and second halves of the year.

This list describes some timing guidelines for B2B and B2C newsletters:

  • B2B: B2B newsletters generally do best on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon. Distribute them at midday when workers often try to catch up on e-mail but have already cleared out their overnight accumulation.

    No across-the-board averages matter more than your own experience. Review your own site statistics for the most popular time of day and day of the week for visitors to your site.

  • B2C: B2C newsletters typically see higher open and click-through rates before or after the workday — if people are logging in from home. You might find a higher open rate for B2C e-mails sent over the weekend, simply because your message has less competition.

    Experiment to see what’s best for you. Remember that many people research purchases from home on the weekend but wait until Monday or Tuesday to make their purchases from work. CyberMonday, the first workday after the long Thanksgiving holiday, is the best-known example of this phenomenon.

The ideal frequency of mailings depends on your audience and the purpose of your newsletter. Recipients don’t like being flooded with messages from a single source unless they receive time-critical news (for example, drug alerts for physicians).

Only you can decide whether you should be mailing daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or semiannually. If you segment your list, you can send out newsletters often but reduce the number going to any particular group of recipients.

Your audience is always the most accurate source of information. Ask them what frequency they want.