For email marketers, mid-week may provide the best engagement rates, but the weekends are when conversions are highest. That’s according to Yesmail, which included a day-of-the-week analysis in it latest quarterly benchmarks report [download page].
Looking specifically at this past quarter (Q2), the report indicates that email volume was highest on Thursday, when 20% of emails were sent. That was twice as many emails as were sent on Sunday (10%), with Saturday also lagging in email volume (11%).
Interestingly, though, that high volume did not have a negative effect on email engagement. By contrast, open rates were highest on Thursdays (16%), as were unique click rates (2%) and click-to-open rates (12.2%).
While that suggests that Thursdays are a key opportunity, conversion rates were lowest on Thursdays. In fact, the 2.3% average conversion rate on Thursday was 23% below-average, and half the rate seen on Saturdays (4.6%).
Yesmail compared the Q2 findings to quarterly performance over the past 2 years, with some intriguing results. There was no single day that performed best for engagement: though Thursday took the title in each of the past 3 quarters, either Tuesday or Wednesday was tops for the 4 prior quarters. Yesmail links the results to seasonality, pointing out that the 3 major Q4 holidays fell on a Thursday last year, while the year before (when Wednesday reigned), most major events occurred on a Wednesday.
While the best day for engagement has varied over the past couple of years, a weekend day has proven the top day for conversions in each quarter.
This data aligns with previous research from Experian Marketing Services, which has consistently shown over a few years that – at least in the fourth quarter – the weekend sees above-average transaction rates relative to email volume.
As with all such analyses that look at averages, though, it’s important to note that the results can differ across segments. And that’s certainly the case in this study when varying by industry in Q2:
- For retail, conversion rates were highest on Sunday (4.3%) and Saturday (3.1%), while engagement was highest on Thursday; but
- For CPG, Sunday (12.9%) and Monday (10.5%) had the highest conversion rates, although Thursday again had the top engagement rate;
- Saturday was the best day for engagement for financial services; while
- In the entertainment sector, Thursday had the top open rate, but the average unique click rate was highest on Saturday and the click-to-open rate topped out on Monday.
About the Data: The Q2 2016 data is based on an analysis of almost 7 billion emails deployed during the quarter.