Is Sunday the New Tuesday for Email Marketing?

Email Marketing


There have always been “rules” around what day you should send email marketing messages . I’ve heard numerous timing strategies that all make logical arguments for their method.  One rule I’ve been hearing a lot lately is “Never email on Fridays. Always email on Tuesday nights.” The theory behind the rule of thumb makes sense: email too early in the week and people are too busy with their actual work to open or focus on your message. Email end of the week and your message will get buried in a barrage of messages everyone has to dig out of come Monday morning.

But I’d like to question that theory. I know that I personally do not wait for Monday morning to receive a flood of emails when I get into the office. I’ll admit it, I check work email on Sundays and I enjoy it. I’m not a workaholic and it is not expected by my team or my boss. I enjoy unplugging on the weekends mentally from work so I can come back on Monday refreshed.

But for me, it’s also a time to catch up on newsletters, lower priority messages, and feeds without the distraction of, well, work.  I am absolutely more open to reading marketing messages in this quieter, more relaxed setting. An AOL survey in 2008 found that 62% of people check work email on the weekends. As reported on MarketingVox, the Pew Research Center for Internet and American Life project found that half of workers reported checking work email from home and two thirds do work related research from home. A casual survey of colleagues and friends confirm that I’m not alone in this.

So is Sunday the new Tuesday? Maybe. Maybe not. In the end, the best way to find out is to A/B test on content and timing, review performance stats, iterate, and repeat. Review email marketing best practices. See what works for you. Find the optimum time for your newsletters; it may differ greatly from your alerts or your lead nurturing messages.

To reach the Sunday work email reader, you still want to avoid sending your email message on Friday.  But why not schedule it for a Sunday morning release so your message will be at the top of their inbox, sitting there like a Sunday newspaper on their front steps just waiting to be opened? Perhaps your key target might be guilty of indulging in some Sunday work email, just like me.