Email Marketing for the Freelance Writer – Best Days and Times to Send Your Emails Out to Get Optimal Response

The following is a guest post byKaren Cioffi.

Email marketing is a must as part of your freelance writing online marketing strategy. It’s your mailing list that will help move you toward your goals and success. But, first let’s go over what exactly email marketing is.

Email Marketing Defined

According to MarketingTerms.com, the fundamental definition of email marketing is: “The promotion of products or services via email.”

While this is true, there is more to that statement. In today’s marketing, you need to continually provide something of value to your mailing list.

Along with this free and valuable information, you can send promotion of your freelance products and/or writing services. But, it’s a good idea to use an 80-20 ratio: 80% information to 20% promotion. If you want to play is extra safe, make it an 85/90-15/10 ratio.

What are the Best Days and Times to Send out Emails?

Email Marketing Tips for Freelance WritersYou’ve created a great article that offers your readers tips, help, or other valuable tidbits. You took the time to create an ‘on the mark’ title to help entice them to open your email.

You’re a great freelance writer and you’re doing everything right. But, what if your subscriber’s inbox is flooded with other marketers’ emails? This happens to me every day.

The invasion of emails can cause subscriber anxiety and will definitely affect your email’s ‘open rate’ and thus its ‘click rate.’

There is hope though. Here are a couple of strategies you need to use if you want to improve your open rate, click rate, and conversion rate.

1. Send Days

It’s been noted for a while that mid-week is the optimal time to send your emails. But, because this is common knowledge, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays have become highly competitive days. Everyone sends their emails on those days. Your email will be among lots of others vying for the recipient’s attention.

Solution: Test sending your email on the weekend when they’ll be less competition. You can also test late Monday afternoon.

I currently send out my newsletter twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. You have to pick your day(s) and stick with it a while. This is the only way to see if the day helps or is a hindrance.

I’ve tested the days a bit and to be brutally honest, I don’t see much of a difference in using specific days. Not yet anyway.

2. Send Times

‘Send times’ has also been studied and early mornings were found to be the best time to send your email. But again, because of the research results early mornings are now a heavy competition time.

Solution: Test sending your email late morning or in the afternoon. There should be less competition making the likelihood of the recipient opening your email higher. Testing which days and which times are the most effective in boosting your ‘open’ and ‘click’ rates is a must.

AuthorPlatformJPGKeep track of what’s happening with the testing. Are your rates increasing? Are they decreasing? It’s only through analysis that you’ll be able to continually move forward and make the most out of your email marketing efforts.

For my newsletters, the Wednesday one is sent out early morning. My reasoning for this is that my readers who are possibly scanning their emails before work may be more likely to open a fresh-off-the-press newsletter.

Once it sits in an inbox for several hours or for days, chances of it being opened diminish. The longer it sits there, the less likely it will ever be opened.

The Saturday newsletter goes out late morning or early afternoon. With kids home and/or people sleeping later, I feel it may catch them when they decide to go online.

I’ll be testing out different email marketing strategies, including days and times, over the next few months and will let you know how it affects my open rate, click rate, and conversion rate.

To have a guideline as to what’s ‘normal’ or average in regard to open rates and click rates, here are some statistics from a recent survey by MailChimp:

In the Arts and Artists Industry:

Opens: 43.1%

Clicks: 3.4%

In the eCommerce Industry:

Opens: 22.2%

Clicks: 2.9%

In the Social Networks and Online Communities Industry:

Opens: 25%

Clicks: 3.5%

How About You?

Do you have a newsletter? If so, when do you send it out and how is your response rate: great, good, fair, poor, disgusting? Please share in the comments section below.

About the Author: Karen Cioffi is a freelance writer and online marketing instructor with WOW! Women on Writing. Need help establishing your freelance writing or author online platform? Take Ms. Cioffi’s in-depth ecourse, Create and Build Your Author/Writer Online Platform (http://www.karencioffi.com/author-online-platform-ecourse).

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    1. Karen,

      Another informative article. I’ll keep it in mind, as usual you are a valuable resource.

      Marge Gower recently posted…Unwholesome TalkMy Profile

    2. I always thought (I’m sure I read it somewhere) that the best time to send emails was early Monday mornings?

      Or is that a bad time because of the “Monday Morning Email Rush?”

      Going to have to do a bit of sleuthing here…
      Daryl recently posted…7 Reasons Why Writers Shouldn’t Rely on Popular Revenue Sharing SitesMy Profile

      • Daryl:

        As you can see from the MailChip survey, response times, opens, etc. are broken down by industry. I point this out to say, there are a lot of factors that determine when the best time to send is — and one of them is which industry you’re in.

        Other factors include, but are not limited to, what your headline/subject line is, how often you email, what type of product/service you’re offering, etc.

        As Karen discusses, this is why it’s important to test, test, test (this par of marketing is never ending).

        Hope this additional insight helps.

      • Daryl, times and days do change due to marketers jumping on the ‘time/day’ band wagon. Since there are so many factors involved, as mentioned early, it’s very important to test. Thanks for stopping by!
        Karen Cioffi recently posted…Media Release – The BasicsMy Profile

    3. Thanks for the tip Karen. I’m going to try a different day. Historically, I’ve sent emails on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    4. The days and times to send out your email newsletters are so important now! I’m glad to have found this post. I’ve had the best luck with sending them around 9 or 10am PST on weekdays. This way they won’t be hit with a ton of spam from overnight which they will sleepily just select all – delete. But it’s still early enough that they may have time and patience to open and read through it all.
      Dan recently posted…Automatic vs Manual DMCA TakedownsMy Profile

    5. Thanks for sharing, Karen. These sound like good tips for getting the most from a person’s email marketing.

    6. Great article, Karen. Sounds like you’ve got email marketing down to a “science”!

    7. Thanks for the informative article, Karen! Shared on Twitter.

    8. Karen, I agree. Timing is so important. In The Frugal Book Promoter I show people how to contact feature and business editors (and when) and what time of the year to send queries and media releases to print media–and a whole lot more. I’m glad to see you talking about it, too.

      Carolyn Howard-Johnson
      Loving helping writers get read with my HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers including the multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter (http://budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo) .

    9. Yuwanda, great additional information. It does depend on the product/service, as to which day/time will work best. It is important to test it out.

      And, useable/valuable information is an absolute must in your email marketing. A pretty good ‘general’ rule is 90% value, 10 % promotion. You can even shoot higher than that: 95/5.

      How funny. I do the same with emails I value. I may not be able to read them all, but I save the ones of particular interest to me. I don’t unsubscribe.
      Karen Cioffi recently posted…Writing and Marketing – Doing Business Online and Email PrivacyMy Profile

    10. Karen, again, thanks for this great post.

      A couple of things I wanted to add is it that in my opinion, it depends on the product/service you’re promoting as to what the best day/time to send an email is.

      For example, for anything “job related” (eg, job listings, seminars that talk about changing careers, etc.), Monday morning gets a good open rate. I think part of this is the psychology around Mondays and people hating their jobs and looking for something new.

      For many of my ebooks on freelance writing, I’ve found that Wednesdays are a good day (as you point out here).

      BUT, the most important thing I’ve learned about email marketing is that prospects don’t want to be sold to. They want helpful information; this is why I rarely send out “just” sales messages. It’s always a post chock full of info.

      Another thing I’ve found — b/c many readers have told me this — is that if your info is good, it will sit in a prospects inbox for a long time. And while they may not read every issue you send out, they won’t unsubscribe b/c they still feel like you’re a valuable resource, so they want to continue to be on your list “just in case.”

      Thanks for this insight; can’t wait to find out when you do your further testing.

      Yuwanda, Site Editor recently posted…Email Marketing for the Freelance Writer – Best Days and Times to Send Your Emails Out to Get Optimal ResponseMy Profile