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How to Set an Email Schedule

Anyone who likes to indulge knows that too much of anything isn’t always a good thing. Similarly, abstinence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder. The same goes for emails. Too many emails and you’ve irritated your audience and not enough emails and they’ll have forgotten about you. Setting a good schedule for sending your emails is the best way to ensure that your audience knows who you are, but likes you anyway.

There is a delicate balance when it comes to sending the right amount of emails and when. A defined schedule, based on feedback from your readers, but that is also changeable based on that feedback is the best way to ensure your customers hear from you when they need to (and not any more or any less).

Starting from scratch

When a customer subscribes, the best way to find out their preferences is to simply ask them. Your welcome email should include a survey asking readers how often they want to receive your emails. Once you have this information, make sure you stick to this schedule. If they say they want to be contacted once a week, don’t send emails twice a week. This common-sense approach will make sure that you don’t alienate them.

A.J. Agrawal, contributor to Forbes says “Customers don’t want to be bombarded by promotional emails every day. Give them a break and don’t make them feel like you’re harassing them”. If you’ve segmented your lists, an important segment to include is how many emails a reader wishes to receive. This is one of the simplest ways to send the appropriate amount of emails in a week/month/year.

What time to send

When setting your schedule, an important factor to consider is when to send the emails. Of course, you want it to be when your readers will actually open and read them, but what exactly is that time? A recent report found that the best time of day for opening emails is from 8pm to midnight. As well, this time period was also the best time to send to get higher click-through rates and sales. But, it was found that many marketers actually rarely sent during this time frame, even though the late night email performs the best. But, that might actually be the secret to its success. Because other marketers aren’t sending at this time, your customers are more likely to open your email as their inboxes are less crowded and it seems like less of a task.

But, other studies have found different results, stating the 10am time slot is actually the best, followed by 8pm, 2pm and 6am (for those early morning readers who like to read email in bed). Of course, testing your own emails for when to send is the best way to determine the optimal time for your business. Maybe the late night spot doesn’t work well for what you do, and that’s ok. Find the time where you see more readers opening, clicking and buying and then send your emails accordingly. If it changes, so will you and your schedule.

What day to send

There has been a lot of research on the topic of when to send emails and some recent research suggests Tuesday could be the best day when it comes to email marketing. Tuesday seems to get the best response in terms of open rates and web traffic. Another awesome day is Friday, and just like with the time of send, Friday seems to have a lighter send rate. You’ll have less competition and therefore may have a higher open rate. The weekends seem to be the worst time to send an email, because many people disconnect and aren’t interested in opening as many. Again, you’ll have to test with your own schedule to determine the best day(s) of the week.

Get that schedule set

While it may not be fully clear when to send your emails until you do some testing for yourself, the point is that a schedule will keep you on track, sending the right amount of emails and at the best time. Always be flexible and ready to change the schedule if the data shows you aren’t getting the results you had hoped for.

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