Finding the best time to send your email newsletter can have a real impact on its success. While you should always be trying to optimise and improve your newsletter through rigorous testing (see our previous blog on improving your newsletter), finding your best send time might be the most test you can run.
There’s a lot to consider when trying to find the best time to send a newsletter – a publishing schedule, the location of your readers, various time zones etc – and it may be that you cannot find one specific time that works for everyone. But what you can do is find one that works for the majority of your readers.
Why it matters when you send
Ensuring that your email newsletter arrives in your readers inbox at a convenient time is perhaps the most critical part of your sending routine.
Send it too early, and your email could get buried under dozens more emails sent later on. Send it too late, and your reader may already have checked out for the day. To give your email newsletter the best possible chance to succeed, you need to find the right balance between ease of publishing and convenience for your reader.
To find the best time to send an email newsletter, you'll need to test different days and time slots and be guided by your key metrics: open, click and unsubscribe rates.
How to find the best time to send your newsletter
Once you've sent a few dozen editions and collated some substantial engagement data, you can begin to make informed decisions on when is the best time to send your newsletter. But before you do, here are a few things to consider.
1- Consistency is key
Consistency is very compelling. Your most ardent followers will come to look forward to your content on a certain day or at a specific time. The sense of satisfaction when your audience expects something and it is delivered to them is a powerful force, and you can get that force to work for you!
For example, if you publish a weekly email newsletter, you should ideally send it at the same day and time each week. It might sound like an obvious thing, but being consistent builds trust with your audience and increases the chances of your newsletter becoming part of your readers’ weekly habit.
2- Think about your audience's routine
Imagine the daily habits of your typical subscriber. Where would they be when your email newsletter lands in their inbox? How much time would they have to read it? Do you want your newsletter to be a part of their morning routine, a weekly dose of inspiration ahead of the weekend, or a deep read for a Sunday afternoon? Are you writing for people who have subscribed via personal or professional email addresses?
A professional address means they will be more likely to read it during working hours, while a personal address means they are more likely to read it alongside their morning coffee, on their lunch break, in the evening or over the weekend.
If you can answer these questions properly, you’ll begin to understand who it is you are writing for and how best to make your newsletter one of their daily habits.
3- Think about where your audience is
Where in the world do you readers live? Are they predominantly in one country, or scattered around the world? Are there multiple time zones to consider?
If your audience is based in one country and one time zone, you can find the best time to send a newsletter by experimenting with different local time slots. However, if your audience is spread across multiple countries and time zones, you’ll need to be more mindful about when you hit send.
If you’re writing for a global audience, a common tactic is to target early morning New York time. This is roughly lunchtime in the UK and Europe, mid-afternoon in the Middle East and early evening in Asia. If you need to keep an eye on multiple time zones, check out one of the many free online date/time converters, such as this one.
4- Find a writing schedule that works for you
While your subscribers should always be your key concern when finding the best time to send a newsletter, you still need to find a publishing schedule that works for you, the content creator.
If you’re based in the US and writing for a majority European audience, you don’t want to run yourself ragged by writing in the very early hours of the morning when you’ll be tired and prone to errors.
It’s really important to find a publishing schedule that works for you so that you can deliver high quality content consistently, but also ensures you don’t commit to deadlines that might be difficult to keep in practice.
5- Be guided by your engagement data
Ultimately, finding the best time to send your newsletter comes down to a few key metrics:
Open rate: The percentage of your audience that opened your email
Click rate: The percentage of your audience that clicked a link
Click to open rate: The percentage of your openers that clicked a link
Unsubscribe rate: The percentage of those who unsubscribed
It goes without saying that you should always keep an eye on your engagement metrics – they measure your success and can help you make adjustments should numbers start to drop. Fortunately, you can find all your key engagement metrics on one screen with Scriber’s simplified dashboard.
It’s also good to find baseline figures for each of these metrics. According to a report from Campaign Monitor, a healthy open rate can be anywhere between 17-28%, depending on your audience. Once you’ve sent a few newsletters of your own, you’ll be able to work out averages specific to your audience.
6- Keep improving your newsletter
Once you’ve taken into account all of the above and found the best time to send your newsletter, it’s not a time to rest on your laurels.
Timing is just one factor in the success of your newsletter, so keep testing other factors – subject lines, from addresses, sender names etc – to find what really works for your subscribers. Consistently delivering high-quality content will give you the best chance of success.
Find the best time to send your newsletter with Scriber
Through our simplified dashboard, you’ll be able to keep an eye on all key metrics for each newsletter on one screen. Sign up to try it for free today.