The ultimate question: When to send a newsletter?
2020 saw the rise of newsletters. Creative ideas don’t always fit into 240 characters, tap-through captions, and awkward high-school-friend updates. Which is probably why you’re writing a newsletter. With people subscribing to more newsletters, your emails might get lost in inboxes.
One culprit that’s hiding your newsletter is your email provider’s Promotions filter. Another culprit is that newsletter writers publish at the same specific times. This leads to inboxes being inundated with emails at certain hours. You don't want your newsletter going stale in your readers’ inbox.
So how do you ensure your newsletter is seen? Do you send them at midnight, early in the morning, every full moon, 29th of February, weekends, or another time?
In this post, we’ll discuss how to optimize sending newsletters at the best time according to your audience and improve your odds of not being buried under other emails. It depends on your target audience, their active time-zones, when might they be most likely to check their emails, and whether they visit your advertising/promotion channels.
The best time to send a newsletter
We’d love to say it’s 9 am on Tuesdays, but the longer, more accurate answer, is that it depends.
You might have some rough geographical information on where your audience is, but that data is still approximate. If your newsletter targets different time zones, you might not be able to get everyone in one send. This can set up your publishing schedule. It might not be possible for you to target all your audience at a specific time in their respective time zones, but it is a good idea to focus on areas where the majority of your audience lies. For example, if 80% of your readers are in Europe, try to optimize for when they might be most likely to read your newsletter, as opposed to 8 am in New York.
It's worth figuring out the general waking hours of your recipients. If you write a business newsletter that people might read at work, we recommend publishing it in the mornings. This is an ideal time for readers to catch up during their commute, or before they are pulled into a ton of meetings and deep work. If your audience consists of hobbyists, fiction readers, or detailed long-form enthusiasts, your newsletter might have better luck accompanying their Sunday morning coffee.
The stats show that Tuesday mornings see the highest open rates. Once people have caught up on their weekend email on Monday, there’s room in their inbox. But honestly, any weekday except Friday works for business-related email. Sunday night is great for executives since they generally clear their inbox and start catching up on work early. Publishers generally avoid weekends, unless it’s a lifestyle newsletter.
Email inboxes are also clogged during national holidays. The holiday and sales season at the end of the year invite massive email promotions from e-commerce stores. These months mark the right time to promote discounts on your paid offerings but less so content.
What to consider when sending newsletters
Optimizing your newsletter is not rocket science, but there are still a few things you can do to engage your target audience better.
Readers vary in their reading preferences. Some readers will filter your posts into a To Read folder and batch-read their newsletters. Others will read them when they arrive. For the latter, you can boost open rates by making sure your email isn’t buried under others and sending it to them when they’re awake.
Adding to the point mentioned above, your target audience could span several time zones. If you have information on where they’re located, you can segment them and schedule accordingly.
Time of day
Just going by stats from email providers, the best time to send out a newsletter is on a weekday, and the best time of the day is in the morning during working hours. People usually check their business email at work; these can get ignored on weekends when they might be away from their work mail.
If you’re going to promote your post on channels like Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook, you need to consider when people are active on them. It’s always a good idea to have an SEO optimized public version of your newsletter email in blog format so that you can attract more subscribers.
How Letterdrop helps you send your newsletter at the right time
We want to make sure that your writing effort gets read! Letterdrop supports increased deliverability through the following features.
Statistics on open times
Letterdrop shows you when your opens come in after you hit Publish. We also provide individual timestamps for when your readers actually opened your emails. This helps you identify the best hours to send out your work.
Enrich emails with reader location
Letterdrop can identify where a reader is from based on their public Linkedin or Twitter information. Use this data to figure out the time zone of the majority of your audience.
Timing your newsletter FAQs
Got some questions about when to send a newsletter? Maybe they've already been answered, below!
Is there a best time to send newsletters?
The best time to send your newsletters is when your target audience is receptive to reading your newsletter. This varies depending on your type of content, your reader's reading habits, and audience demographics, so there isn’t just one right time that suits everyone. But you can identify the right time that suits most of your readers.
How can I figure out the best time to send my newsletter?
Make some intelligent guesses about your target reader and substantiate them using data about when your newsletters are read or opened.
By understanding your audience, looking at their opening timestamps and charts for when they actually open your emails, you’ll be able to pick your send time to optimize for maximum visibility. For example, do you want to target morning commuters? Or the late-night college student expecting an update? Or busy executives right before their meetings? A good metric for when to publish a newsletter might be to watch the times you choose to devote to reading and consuming newsletters.
Sending out newsletters at the right time can improve your open rates and engagement. Letterdrop has the tools to help you identify the best time to send out a newsletter. Keep in mind that different determinants like target audience demographics and your niche affect your subscriber’s reading habits.
Ready to start your own paid newsletter? Sign up for Letterdrop - it’s free to get started.
Thanks to Taran and Piyali for this piece.