E-newsletter readers hit reply: Don’t disappoint, arrive monthly or weekly, and on Mondays

According to a survey conducted earlier this year to over 300 executives at small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), Monday is the preferred day to receive e-newsletters. Although half of those surveyed had no preference, those who did reported that they would rather see them at the beginning of their business week.

The timing of email newsletters has been hotly debated since the medium first came into being. Marketers make significant investments in their creation and release, and can really stress out over things like what day they arrive.

The reason is that e-newsletters are thought to boost a company’s perceived value, either as a pure information source (for subscription-based or advertising-supported endeavors), or as proof of a vendor’s industry leadership. The research, done by Bredin Business Information, would seem to confirm this halo effect.

It reports that, “A third of SMB executives said they had an improved image of a vendor from its e-newsletters.” Whether this improved image will convert to more business was not explored. Which is, after all, what really matters. Especially since there are risks to this marketing tactic. The survey reported that if a vendor does a poor job with their emails their reputation will suffer. One out of seven reported that a poorly executed e-newsletter “damaged the sender’s image.”

Frequency of delivery was another subject for investigation. As long as the quality of the e-newsletter is good, it seems more is better — to a point.

The vast majority of SMB executives want to receive their email newsletters weekly (45%) or monthly (34%). Few want them daily (11%) or quarterly (6%).

The take-aways:

  • Design your email newsletter to arrive more frequently than once every quarter (but not daily, unless you’re super-topical)
  • Assume you’ll be most welcome if you send on Mondays
  • Make sure you truly deliver the goods

If your e-newsletter doesn’t excel, and you’re sending to current or potential customers, these readers could do far more than just unsubscribe.

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