Brilliance in Marketing

Tuesday is the new Wednesday

In the last year, I’ve read several industry case studies and marketing advice columns that suggest which days should have the highest open and click rates for campaigns. The most common recommendation was Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday weren’t far off, though.

For postal bulk mail, the big day of the week is usually Wednesday. That’s when the pile of grocery store flyers typically come, along with the other pamphlets and coupons that I usually toss in the recycling bin by the door on my way inside. For email marketing, it’s looking like Tuesday is rapidly becoming the new Wednesday.

As of 8pm, I have received 11 email advertisements in my inbox today (Tuesday). These messages are not spam, mind you, these are legitimate marketing offers from companies I have business relationships with. Today’s batch includes offers from such companies as Apple’s iTunes, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Blockbuster.

Looking at my inbox over the last three weeks, here’s the average of how many legitimate commercial messages I’ve received each weekday:

  • Sunday: 4
  • Monday: 1
  • Tuesday: 10
  • Wednesday: 6
  • Thursday: 3
  • Friday: 1
  • Saturday: 0

That’s an average of 3.5 per day. 2.5 per non-Tuesday. If I were in charge of email marketing at these companies, and I marketed to customers with inboxes like my own, I’d be shooting for any other day of the week. I’d much rather compete with one or two companies than 10.

I know that my single inbox is not a representative sample of the whole, meaning I certainly can’t definitively prove that everyone’s inbox looks like mine … but I wonder how many companies follow the “Tuesday (or Wednesday) is the best day” advice given by these marketing gurus without actually testing it for themselves.

The great beauty of email marketing is that it can be so incredibly targeted. Imagine how much more effective those Blockbuster coupons would’ve been had they arrived on a day I was looking for something to do when I got home, rather than watching Game 3 of the World Series. Heck, they know I’m a single guy in Texas who likes movies about sports. (Had they taken the time and effort to look at their own data.) They should’ve sent me this offer yesterday.

Oh, would you look at that? As I wrote this, email #12 arrived.