Are Weekends The Secret Ingredient For Email Marketing?

Emails sent on Saturdays generate 60% higher-than-average conversion ratesaccording to a report released Monday by Yesmail.

Yesmail, an Infogroup company and email solutions provider, analyzed data from more than 7 billion emails deployed from its platform in Q2 2016 to review email performance by day of the week.

The weekend reigned supreme for conversions, with Sunday driving the second-highest conversion rate with 40% higher-than-average sales generated.

Emails sent on Thursdays generated the highest email engagement, according to the report, with 14% higher-than-average open rates and 41% higher than average unique click rates.

“While Q2 data suggests that marketers may see best results by sending an initial email on a Thursday and a follow-up over the weekend, it is crucial to note that the best days for emails depend on several factors, such as industry or seasonal events,” says Marie Honme, senior marketing specialist at Yes Agency Services, a division of Yes Lifecycle Marketing. “A single metric cannot and should not determine the perfect day for email deployment, but it can guide marketers in the right direction.”

The retail industry followed global patterns, with Thursday leading in opens and clicks. Conversion rates were highest on Sundays with 4.3% of emails leading to a sale.

The financial services industry contrasts significantly with the retail industry as less than half of one percent of email volume is sent over the weekend. Sixty-seven percent of all financial services messages are sent on Thursdays with an average click-to-open rate of 6.4%. 

Bankers might want to rethink their strategy, however, as Saturday emails have the highest click-to-open rate of 18.3% even though only 0.3% of total email volume is sent that day. The financial services industry sends no emails on Sundays, according to Yesmail’s analysis. 

"People rarely leave home without their mobile devices nowadays and are checking email on a consistent basis -- including on the weekends,” says Bobby Jania, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Jania recommends that email marketers use data and testing to determine the optimal content to send subscribers.

“Strategies will be different for every company and they should use data to help inform their email marketing strategy on the weekend,” says Jania. “For example, one of our customers, Loxa Beauty, wanted to appeal to a younger audience, so it used A/B testing to determine what resonated with them. Through A/B testing, the company found its customers were making purchases Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, but engaged with content most on Sundays. This information helped Loxa improve open rates.”

Sending messages during the weekend, when work emails slow down, offers email marketers an opportunity to stand out from a crowded inbox. But does sending email on a weekend take advantage of a subscribers’ relationship with a brand?

"Most B2C promotional emails are sent Monday through Friday because that's when corporate offices are open,” says Chad White, research director at Litmus. “It's certainly not because consumers aren't in their inboxes over the weekend, because they are. In fact, engagement and conversion rates tend to be higher for emails sent on Saturday and Sunday, which makes sense because consumers are less busy over the weekend, and tend to do an out-sized proportion of their shopping then.”

White relates how weekend email sending has become easier with the growing capabilities of email marketing software, including automation. He warns, however, that brands could face consequences without staff on hand to monitor and troubleshoot weekend campaigns.

“Giving email marketers and other staff, such as legal, customer service, and social media teams, the incentives and support they need to work over the weekend is well worth investigating,” says White.  Establishing policies such as flexible work hours and overtime pay for weekend and after-hours work can make this shift much easier.”


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