I get this question all the time. You’d be surprised to learn (or maybe not) that there are webinars and blog posts and reports from Email Service Providers that provide insight into this question.
However, the real answer is: “It depends.”
It depends on your list and your list’s behaviors. You can’t really answer this question by looking at others.
For those of you that must know, there are some guidelines.
– During the week is generally better than weekends.
– Monday and Friday are least favorable.
– Afternoons tend to favor mornings.
Having said that, the only way to really know is to run a good old-fashioned split test.
Take your list and split it in two random groups. Send the exact same message to half the list but send them at different times and dates.
I’ve done testing to compare Thursday AM (6 EST) against Thursday PM (3 EST) and I’ve done testing to compare Wed AM against Sunday AM. The results of a test like this teach you something about your audience so it’s very hard to go by what others find.
A few pointers I use with clients.
1. Check your server logs. When are your peak traffic hours on your website. One possible test is to deliver an email message right in the middle of that peak.
2. Check your Facebook peak traffic times. If you’re readers are online in Facebook mode, it might be time to slip an email message in front of them.
Again, the only sure way to know is to test out a few times of the day to see what works for you.
One other thing, in terms of holiday mailings, generally the week before a long weekend is going to be quiet. No matter how important or compelling your message it, a large part of your audience is going have their mind on the upcoming festivities and your message will have a hard time gaining attention.
What best times have worked for you?