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Choosing the Best Time To Send Your Newsletter

Which Day and Time Should You Send To Get the Best Open Rates?

Disclaimer: Our blog posts on deliverability and DNS settings, including DMARC, SPF, and DKIM records, are informative but not exhaustive. Making these changes can impact your sending capabilities. We strongly recommend consulting a deliverability expert or the beehiiv support team before implementing any changes.

The first goal of every email is to be opened and read.

Think about what happens to your carefully crafted newsletter when you send it out into the world. Your readers go through their emails quickly – choosing what to read, what to save for later, and what to delete forever. Most of us hope to save time by deleting as many of our inbox messages as possible.

That means that everyone who receives your email has their finger over the trash icon as they read your subject line.

There are many ways to boost your deliverability and engagement, but one of the more complicated tricks is knowing when to send your newsletter. If you get this wrong, you run the risk that your message won’t be seen.

That’s why we’re going to show you four timing strategies that will maximize opens and responses.

Follow these four techniques, and you will likely see a higher open rate, more readers, and more engagement.

To Increase Open Rate, Start With the Obvious

Choosing the Best Time To Send Your Newsletter

It’s 4:45 p.m. on a Friday, and a company newsletter pops up in Jared’s inbox. It’s not a work-related emergency, and it’s probably not relevant to Jared’s plans for the weekend.

So guess what?

If Jared is even looking at his email at the very end of the week, he’s probably not going to think twice about deleting this newsletter. At best, he’ll leave it until Monday, when he’ll be even more likely to ignore or delete it.

Do you see why timing is critical?

When you choose a day and time to send your newsletter, think about what your typical reader will be doing at that time.

Don’t Send Emails on the Edge of a Weekend

Late Friday afternoon and early Monday morning are among the worst times to send a newsletter.

Think of Jared, hustling to get his weekend started on Friday afternoon. And on Monday morning, he’s going through all of the emails that piled up over the weekend while he faces the tasks and chores of a new week.

Also, most people aren’t going to spend time opening emails on a Sunday. Most of your readers won’t see your Sunday email until Monday morning, when they are wading through an overstuffed inbox and trying to filter out the most urgent messages. Sunday is almost as bad as Friday afternoon.

So right off the bat, we’ve ruled out three out of seven days. You’ve narrowed your choices by half. What else can we find?

Look for the Gaps for More Engagement

Choosing the Best Time To Send Your Newsletter

A lot of businesses have collected data about days and times when emails are most likely to be opened.

For just one example, in 2014 Mailchimp analyzed the 40 million emails sent each day by their 600,000 members.

They found that emails that are sent on Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. had the best open rates and the most clicks.

Ryan McCready at Venngage took a more painful approach at finding the best times to send. He subscribed to 100 newsletters and tracked the time gaps when most businesses were not sending newsletters.

McCready found that Wednesday had the lowest volume of emails sent. The hours between 11-noon and 1-3pm were the times of the day with the fewest emails. He suggests that you should send your newsletter at these times and have less competition in your readers’ inboxes.

The big flaw in this approach is that once this information gets out, hordes of other businesses may send their newsletters at precisely these times. McCready published his findings in 2019, so the word is probably out by now.

Why aren’t they sending at these times?

If you’re a stealth ninja, going for that under-the-radar sending time, remember that some of these low-email periods exist for a good reason.

We already talked about the problems with sending your email on a Sunday, Monday, or Friday.

Likewise, mid-day is a bad time because your readers are probably eating lunch. If they check their email right after lunch, you’ve got the problem of competing with all of the other emails that piled up during lunch.

While we’re on the topic of daily schedules, make sure that you’re planning your emails based on your readers’ time zones. There are tools that can handle this.

Your Mileage May Vary

Now, you have to take all of this information with a grain of salt. In spite of what logic tells us about readers not wanting to open emails on Fridays,  MooSend did their own research and concluded that Friday was the best day for their clients to send an email.

In fact, when you compare data from different email providers, you get a confusing array of answers. Why? Probably because each provider attracts different types of email marketers. Some may appeal more to e-commerce marketers, while others attract small business senders — and some (like beehiiv) offer features designed to help newsletter publishers scale their business. Each of these businesses is sending a very different type of content.

Here at beehiiv, our creators have an average open rate of 38.69%. Here’s how that spreads out over the week:

Choosing the Best Time To Send Your Newsletter
  • Sundays: 39%

  • Mondays: 39%

  • Tuesdays: 39%

  • Wednesdays: 39%

  • Thursdays: 39%

  • Fridays: 38%

  • Saturdays: 36%

As you can see, our creators are doing pretty well across the board — especially on tricky days like Sunday and Monday. 

But the advice to avoid the Monday morning inbox pile is still valid. beehiiv creators do better when they hit that inbox a little later in the morning. Open rates are at their lowest (23%) at 5 a.m. and climb to a peak of nearly double that rate (43%) at 10 a.m. 

After 10 a.m., the open rates stay fairly high into the evening, with a small dip at lunchtime. 

One creator who’s done very well sending on Sundays is Roland Frasier, who grew his Roland’s Riff newsletter to 32,000 subscribers in his first three months on beehiiv. 

Roland was a big fan of newsletters before he started publishing one. He told us that he “subscribed to more newsletters than I care to admit — it's definitely over a hundred.”

He also said, “I'll spend the first couple hours of every day going through all the newsletters because I find that it's just the best way to get compressed information really quickly.” 

Roland must have assumed that his readers would be willing to spend their Sundays doing the same thing, and his bet paid off. 

So choosing the right send time is more complicated than just looking at other people’s data. Where do you go from here?

Know Your Readers

Choosing the Best Time To Send Your Newsletter

The better you know your readers, the more likely that you’ll send your newsletter right when they’re ready to open it.

Do they clean out their inbox first thing in the morning, or are they practicing the “4-Hour Workweek” and ignoring emails until noon?

What type of content do they want from you? Are they going to read your hard-hitting tactics and implement them right away, or do they prefer to enjoy your jokes, stories, and artfully crafted content while sipping a latte during a break?

Do you sell to other businesses or directly to customers? If you’re selling to a consumer, will they read your newsletter on the couch in the evening with a glass of wine in their hand, or are they hobbyists who get up early on a Saturday, looking forward to the information you provide?

How old are your readers? Do they stay up late or get up early? Do they have children? And if so, how does this affect their daily routine?

Keep in mind, if you have groups of readers with very different needs, you can segment your audience and send at different times. For example, a cryptocurrency newsletter might want to send to industry execs during their workday, but to individual investors during their free time. 

Don’t Overthink. Test.

Choosing the Best Time To Send Your Newsletter

Your answers to the questions above could be all across the board, but they’ll give you ideas about where to start.

As you publish more content, you won’t have to guess when your readers are most likely to open your emails. You’ll be able to use your own data to engage with your readers when they are most receptive. 

If you’re sending a welcome email or series to new subscribers, that should provide you with a wealth of data. Since welcome emails are sent immediately when a new reader joins your email list, they’ll be sent across a variety of days and times. Welcome emails on beehiiv boast an open rate of 47.05%. Look for patterns in your open rates. 

You can also set up tests to see what your audience prefers. Pick two days and times that you think will work. Then, run an A/B test to find out which one performs better. The winner is going to be the best time to send your email newsletter. You can even set up brackets to try out many options over a period of time. 

The information you glean from testing your own audience is going to be way more useful than anything you could read.

What About Monthly Newsletters?

If you’re sending out a monthly newsletter, you still need to apply all of this information to choosing the right day and time. But we have another big tip: Open rates and click-throughs are both higher during the first half of each month than the second half. 

Action Is More Important Than Knowledge.

We want you to take these four strategies and apply them to your next newsletter. Get intentional about the day and time that you’re going to send it. Test your ideas.

To help you along, beehiiv offers an array of analytical tools and makes them easy to use.

Putting together a newsletter, sending it out at the right time, and measuring the results involves a lot of moving parts. That’s why the most successful newsletters in the world have access to the best tools. And now, so do you.

Sign up for a free beehiiv account and start building your very own media empire.

If you’re looking for solid tools to start or grow your newsletter, it’s always a good time to give beehiiv a try.

Here are a few best practices:

Choosing the Best Time To Send Your Newsletter

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