I was listening to Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income podcast (which is great btw and highly recommended) session 45 on How to Win With Your Email List and the topic of the best day and time to send emails got brought up. One of the biggest questions that I constantly hear is “When is the best day and time to send email campaigns”, which can lead to all sorts of answers. One person may say Monday mornings at 6am, while some other website claims that weekends during the evening are better. Pat Flynn smartly didn’t suggest a definitive day and time to use, but he did share when he sends emails to his subscribers and his reasoning for doing so.
If you blindly follow what works for others, you may get lucky and have great success with open and click rates…or your email marketing may be a bust. It’s a gamble that can be made and fine-tuned with testing various days and times until you get it just right. But who wants to waste time and valuable campaigns testing various days and times? I doubt you do…so let me share a super simple way to determine the best day and time to send emails to your subscribers!
The question you need to be asking yourself is “When is the best day and time to send email campaigns for my audience“. Knowing your audience is the key to easily figuring out exactly when to send email newsletters and communication to them. Here’s the simple technique to reveal your best day and time to send emails.
Super Simple Step 1
The very first (and most important) step is to have some sort of analytics tracking installed on your website. I use Google Analytics and will show you how to use it to find your best day and time. Ideally, you will have had Google Analytics installed and tracking for at least a month to get some decent data…the longer you’ve had it installed, the more accurate your best day and time will be.
What you want to determine is when is the most popular day and time that people are visiting your website. And guess what? This is when your target audience is most interested in what you have to offer on your website, which means they would also be most interested in your email campaigns as well during that time. Easy, right? Eureka? Perhaps.
Since there are three primary sources of traffic (direct, referral, and search) I tend to only pull search traffic since referral and direct can fluctuate depending on news stories, links from other sites, social media, traditional media, etc.
Super Simple Step 2
So how do you find the most popular day and time of search traffic to your website with Google Analytics? Easy! Well…sort of. Google doesn’t have a standard report to show this, so you have to build a custom report. The custom report should have two tabs, one that ranks the most popular days for search traffic and one that ranks that most popular hours for search traffic. The good news is you don’t have to create this report on your own…I’ve done it for you and you can get it through the link below!
Clicking on the link below will open your Google Analytics and allow you to add this custom report to your website profile. Once added, all you have to do is click “Custom Reporting” and you will see the new report labeled “Day and Hour Report” to find the best Days and Hours for search traffic on your own website.
Here’s an example of what the Day tab looks like. Google labels days as numbers (don’t ask me why) and 0 is Sunday, 1 is Monday, 2 is Tuesday and so on. So looking at this report, you can easily see that Monday is the most popular day for search traffic in this example:
The Hours tab is a bit easier to read, though it’s in 24 hour format. Keep in mind that these hours are based on what you have your timezone set as in your website’s profile settings. Looking at the example below, you can see that 11:00am is the most popular time. However, study this a bit closely before settling on your optimal time. Look for a “cluster” of hours in the top 5 or so times to see if there’s a block of time that is best to send. In the example below, you can see the consecutive hours of 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, and 1:00 are in the top five times. Based on this, I would choose to send email campaigns around 10:00am to ensure that it lands in inboxes for that popular block of time.
Based on this super simple method, we quickly found out that Monday at 10:00am is a great time to send emails in this example. This is perhaps the quickest and easiest way to find out when to send email newsletters and campaigns to your subscribers. You can further optimize your day & time of course by testing it against other times…perhaps slightly earlier in the morning to see if you get better results, but this method provides an excellent starting point to make sure the most people are seeing your emails when they are most interested in reading what you have to offer!
One again, here’s the link to get your very own “Day and Hour” Google Analytics custom report:
I’d love to hear what you think about this method. I’ve used it over the years and have had great success with it in finding the best days and times to send emails to subscribers in numerous industries with all sorts of different days and times. Did this method help you? Do you use another method? Would you further customize the custom report in Google Analytics? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!