The Case for the Weekend Email

The Case for the Weekend Email image MC7D8666 300x199The Case for the Weekend EmailIn the constant quest for email marketing success, one consistently overlooked option is sending a promotion or newsletter on the weekends. Conversation around the topic goes something like this, “It will get buried in my customer’s inbox,” or, “It’s not as likely to get read as if I send it on a Tuesday.” Research just doesn’t bear these sentiments out, though. In fact, the weekend email can be an uncontested success. Let’s take a look at the misconceptions.

Myth #1 Weekend emails don’t get seen

The widespread use of smart phones mean we’re all checking our email all the time. A 2012 study showed that 58% of smartphone users in the US checked their phones once an hour (even on weekends) and that 13% of users between the age of 18-34 check their phones during religious services. Since people are rarely ignoring their inbox, it’s just as likely your email promotion will get seen on the weekend as it is during the week. (And, bonus, your email will still be there Monday morning!)

Most email clients and smartphones can be set up for more than one email account, as well. Those are usually work and personal inboxes.

Myth #2 Weekend emails don’t get read

Whether or not someone clicks on your email has more to do with the subject line than with the day of the week. If the subject line catches the attention of a weekend email checker, the email will get read. There’s a definitive correlation between subject lines and read rates. Also, if you have a positive relationship with your reader (“This sender had something awesomely interesting to tell me last time, I’m glad to see their name in my inbox.”) the ‘From’ name helps as well.

Weekend emails can be a time to send relevant content about a flash sale – on Saturday afternoon! – or the quarterly review of how your non-profit is doing. In fact, it’s totally possible someone would curl up with a longer newsletter or visit your Etsy shop via a link in your email on a Saturday morning with a cup of coffee in hand. More so, say, than when they’re scrambling to get to work on Tuesday morning. If you’re a consistent sender and always send on the same day of the week, a rare weekend email for special news is likely to get a great response because it’s unusual and a little more alluring.

In a study done by email marketing service provider Mad Mimi, of 250 accounts, 50% of weekend sends had open rates 14% and higher (which is a strong rate by industry standards.)

Myth #3 They don’t get engaged with/acted upon

Audiences who engage with content do it regardless of the day of the week. Rather, they look for content that is valuable to them. It’s just not true that someone might click on Wednesday at 11am, but not on Sunday afternoon.

The same Mad Mimi study of 250 weekend senders showed an average click through rate (at least one link) of 15%. The click stats for sends across industries like the arts, crafting/tutorials, restaurants, and music venues were significantly higher. This makes sense because they’re weekend-friendly industries.

Linda Formichelli who contributes to the popular content marketing blog, Copyblogger, relays the story of how she performed a little weekend engagement experiment and that the results blew her away. “On Sunday at 11:23 am — probably one of the worst times to send a marketing message, according to conventional wisdom — I sent out an email announcing that I was holding a contest to promote my newest e-book. Within 30 minutes, I had 97 opens, 16 clicks, and 8 sales. Within an hour, the numbers had increased to 212 opens, 39 clicks, and 11 sales. By 3:23, I had 484 opens, 93 clicks, and a total of 27 sales.” Linda’s readers are engaged and eager about her content because she’s built a reputation with them for sending valuable content.

Think of weekend emails as your chance to continue building your reputation. Weekend sends effectively expand your marketing window by two days. Rather than disregarding weekend sends, refine the quality of content you send and send it when it’s ready, especially on the weekend. Let your send results guide you into more targeted content, rather than trying to elicit certain stats. If your industry or audience operates or breathes seven days a week, the weekend email is a lovely time to stand out from the crowd.

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