Don't Sleep on the Weekends - at Least When it Comes to Emailing

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At an SIIA Boot Camp in Chicago one year, Tracy Samantha Schmidt, founder of TS Media, told us that she has had great success—an over-50% open rate—with a Sunday night newsletter or "memo” that goes to executives.

"It takes two-minutes to read and we really think value,” she said. “CEOs are thinking about work at 7 pm on Sunday. I'm totally against putting everything on social media at 9 am Monday morning." Biggest lesson here—when it comes to modern-day marketing, don’t sleep on the weekends.

In their latest survey, The Best Time to Send Emails (for Better Sales), Omnisend found that their lowest unsubscribe rates came on Sunday or Monday and their highest click-to-open rates on Saturday. Associations Now, one of the best email newsletters that I receive, has just started a "weekend edition." "This special series of Associations Now Daily News Weekend Editions features good reads on big issues facing associations today," they write. "This weekend, explore the future of learning."

Admit it. You check work email on weekends. (I'm occasionally guilty.) Whether it’s good or bad, this is a trend that’s probably not going away. (We’re now doing Sunday emails for our BIMS event and they’re getting good open rates.) So when I received a Cabot Wealth Weekly last Saturday at 7:03 am, I emailed Cabot’s president, Ed Coburn, to ask how these emails are faring.

“The Saturday morning email is our Weekly which, in addition to a market summary video with one of our analysts, recaps our main stories from the previous week, somewhat like SIPA’s weekly summary that goes out on Fridays. That makes it a popular email with our customers.  And some of the people in our database opt out of receiving the daily emails and just receive the weekly summary so that list segment is about 7% larger than the group that receives our dailies.

"We send two emails to our list every day, 7 days a week,” Coburn continued. “The first each day is purely editorial content. The afternoon emails are either purely promotional or a blend of editorial and promotion.  The weekends, are a great time for certain kinds of things and we always offer one or more of our free reports on Sunday mornings which we find to work well.  Perhaps they fill the time when, in the past, people would have been reading their Sunday newspapers.”

Adam Goldstein, publisher of Business Management Daily, raised another good point. “Yes we do [send on weekends],” he emailed. “We don’t make much money, but if you blast heavily during the week and nothing on weekends then that triggers spam warnings.”

Open rates in a recent Informz study were about the same for every day of the week, including the weekend, though click-thru rates were less for Saturday and Sunday. An Experian email study found that recipients responded more to promotional emails they received on the weekends—when the send volume was the lowest. The unique open rate for Saturday and Sunday was 17.8% for both days, the highest percentages of the week.

“While we are publishing primarily for individual investors (consumers), I know when I worked at Mequoda we found that weekends were working better and better with the B2B publishers too,” Coburn added. “The always-ready and addictive mobile phones don’t go away on weekends and ironically, we may have more time to focus on emails that cut into our personal time than our business day.  Like it or not, good or bad, that seems to be the case.”

And a blogger on WordStream once wrote this: "What if you're interested in reaching tech-savvy audiences in cold-weather climates? I bet they spend plenty of time checking emails on Saturday and Sunday." The biggest lesson here—know your audience.

Ronn Are you subscribed to the SIPAlert Daily?
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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…