Few things in business are as mundane and perfunctory as email.

I used to joke with people that my professional job title should be Email Processor. (This was before spending a lot more time in apps like Slack and communicating on social media instead.) Yet, if you're starting a company and need to broadcast your message, email is still a smart option. Email newsletters in particular--the kind people actually sign-up to receive--help you stay in touch with customers. Sadly, there's sometimes the feeling that you are sending your missives off into the void, never to be read.

That's why, any tip that gives you a slight edge when it comes to email blasts can help. I stumbled on a study recently that explains how, after looking at 1.4 billion emails, that the best day of the week for sending emails is Tuesday. A company called SmartFocus also found that the best time to transmit this is around 5PM (the worse time is over lunch). Millennials are more likely to read emails before lunch. Interestingly, if you're trying to reach people in their "golden years" in their 70s and 80s the best time to broadcast an email is right before lunch and then right after lunch.

I had to wonder about the day of the week finding. I had long assumed that most email marketing works best on Monday, mostly because that's when I tend to receive the most email from PR companies pitching me on new products and services. It's also when the various apps I use for sorting and weeding out mass emails (including one called Unroll.me I've been using for years) work the hardest. In a quick check from the past few weeks, Unroll.me dumped more mass emails on Mondays than any other day, typically almost double the amount. This makes me think people don't know about the study.

So why Tuesday? SmartFocus dived in a little deeper to see that most people open emails on Tuesday more than any other day. The open rate is 19%, which means recipients are more willing to find out about that new Bluetooth toothbrush you're selling. The next day with the highest open rate is Monday, followed by Sunday (which is also surprising).

My view is that Monday is the day we all try to figure out what we're doing. It's been widely reported as the busiest day, and the day many of us are most productive. In an office setting, Monday is like the crown jewel of the week--it's when you should hold a status meeting and set the agenda for the week. It's when you should determine which projects are worth doing, and which ones you should set aside. It's the best day to do real work.

Then, after making it through the first day of the week, Tuesday is when most of us finally decide to dive into our email in earnest. We might open a few on Monday, or start sending them, but if you're in meetings all day and setting priorities, you're probably not going to care about a bunch of incoming emails, even for the ones you actually agreed to receive each week. Of course, this depends on your industry, team dynamics--but it matches up nicely with what I've noticed in my own email habits. I finally start thinking about "inbox zero" on Tuesday after completing all of my most important work the previous day.

I'm curious if you decide to switch tactics and start emailing new clients, investors, or even your own employees on Tuesdays and see if you find more people are prone to respond. Monday is a deluge, a day of frantic work and setting agendas. Try an experiment and see if Tuesday is when more people actually get around to processing their messages for real.

Published on: May 4, 2018