An email newsletter is a critical tool for every money making blog, content website or online magazine. It enables you to build a relationship directly with your most loyal customers and proactively encourage them to buy your product, services subscriptions or click links to your affiliate partners.
What most email newsletter users don’t realise is that you can double or even triple their effectiveness just by choosing the right day and time of day to send them out.
To do this you need to be able to get access to the statistics for your website. If you don’t have a web statistics package, now is the time to get one plugged in. You can’t run a successful online business without understanding how many people are coming to your site, where they are coming from and what they do once they arrive.
The easiest way to get great web stats is to use the free Google Analytics service. All the following screen shots are taken from this service.
You must also use an email newsletter service that enables you to measure how many emails are opened and what links are clicked within the email. We use Constant Contact but there are many others that have this capability.
Choosing the Best Day
To choose the best day you need to find out on what day your site gets most of its visitors. For consumer sites it is often the weekend; for news sites it is often Monday and for most general online magazines it is between Tuesday and Thursday.
To find out your busiest traffic day using Google Analytics, select a period of one or two months, then click on ‘Visitors’, then ‘Visitor Trending’, then Visits.
This will reveal a traffic graph of how many people visit on each day. As in this example you will usually identify a weekly trend which clearly shows the most popular days of the week.
You will notice in this example that Wednesday is consistently the highest traffic day for this particular website.
To see the hourly trend, whilst in the ‘visits’ screen above look for the text link that says ‘Hourly’.
Click on the link and you will see at what time of day your website receives the most traffic.
You will see in this example that the site traffic peaks at 9am in the morning.
Therefore for this particular website the best time to send an email newsletter is 9am on Wednesday mornings.
Test! Test! Test!
Using this methodology can have a huge impact on the number of your emails that are opened and read. Use your email newsletter application (e,g. ConstantContact.com) to monitor the improvement in open rates.
However take nothing for granted. You should continue to test different days and times to ensure you are sending emails at the best time.
The way to do this is using a technique called split testing.
Take every third email address on your email newsletter list. Then send the two thirds at the time you usually send them e.g. 9am on Wednesday. Send the remaining third at a different time or on different day e.g. 9am on Monday. Compare the percentage open rates of the two batches.
Repeat these tests every so often to ensure your regular time and day are still the best.
There are several other things you should take into account:
Different Time zones – If your audience is split between time zones e.g. Europe and US, you should split your list my time zones and send them out at the best time for each time zone
Pay attention to what is important to you. The numbers of recipients who open the email are important, but maybe not as important as the numbers who then click on a link to your website. Measure what is most important to you and your site.