It would be awesome if there were a methodology and blueprint for perfect timing when it comes to sending out newsletters and publishing blog posts. I wish there was an easy answer to this question, but the answer is ‘it depends’.
I find it hard to believe statements such as: ‘If you send out your newsletter between 12.00-14.00 on Wednesdays you’ll get a higher opening rate.’ From my experience working with digital marketing and e-commerce, no best practice applies for the web environment we live in in 2016 when it comes to timing and days to send out newsletters and blogs. Tests from a few years ago are not valid in today’s environment and it also all depends on the organisation and what it is trying to achieve.
When we are online our behaviour is random, we click, watch and share and we are not sure why we end up finding the posts and videos we do.
In general, people like to follow a pattern; we like subscriptions and regular meetings. On TV we are used to programmes being on at certain times and we are used to on-demand TV services. We like flexibility and catching up with our favourite TV programmes when we have time for it. The web shares some similarities with that.
If you share something that is interesting for your readers on a regular basis people will start to expect a new message from you. When communication is done well we listen and look out for the next message. If we find communication annoying we turn off our ears, eyes and brains. I call this ‘emotionally unsubscribing’.
In all online branding communication, great content and nicely written messages matter.
When it comes to newsletters, I think there are some things to consider.
Tip 1: Don’t over-promise.
Branding is a promise made and kept.
If someone makes a promise that they will send out a newsletter every week and then for whatever reason can’t do so for a while, some subscribers will be disappointed. You can teach your readers that there will be something in their inbox at a certain time and day. As long as you keep this promise it will work well for you.
Tip 2: Number your newsletters.
I read a newsletter that comes out every Thursday for years and it’s similar to a long blog post. If I go back and search for the email I find all of them and I can binge read the content. It helps that they have numbered the newsletters, for me it makes it easier to overview. This is an approach I’ve also taken and I’m on newsletter number 60 now.
Tip 3: Schedule your newsletter to be sent during day time.
I think most readers forgive irregular newsletters and it’s okay to vary the day you send out a newsletter, especially for small businesses. It’s smart to schedule your newsletters so most readers in your network will get them during the day time. I have noticed that I have a higher opening rate when I send newsletters in the early morning, at 6.15. Even if I wrote it late the night before, nobody can tell 🙂