A unified contact list to message supporters quickly is a staple of any effective digital advocacy campaign, and has been forever.

But once you build the list, when is the best time to send messages to them?

For years, conventional wisdom has held that Tuesday morning is the best time to send an email newsletter, so that’s when most email marketers schedule their blasts. But new data shows there’s a wrinkle to this maxim that may require taking a closer look and best practices for email marketing.

One of our integration partners, Campaign Monitor, recently released a report analyzing over 30 billion messages sent via their platform to look at the best time to send for opens, clicks, and engagement. They also looked at the worst times, and found something surprising:

“We get a lot of questions about the best days to send emails. But this finding proves that while sending emails on Tuesday might help you see a higher open rate, you could just as likely see more unsubscribes (emphasis added).”

Let that soak in for a minute and reexamine all you know to be true about email marketing.

Yes, Tuesday is a great day for high open rates. At the same time, it’s also a day that sees the most unsubscribes. So sending on Tuesday might get people to open your email — for all the wrong reasons.

It’s easy to imagine, isn’t it? Your target customer sits down Tuesday morning and starts going through their inbox. They find one or two interesting emails. Then they scroll through the next 10 realizing they really should be doing something else, scroll faster through the next 20 with anger rising, and finally start opening everything after that for the sole purpose of hammering the unsubscribe link to stop the deluge of emails from everyone who sends on Tuesday morning because that’s just what we do.

Not a pretty picture, is it?

So when is the best time for the savvy email marketer to send their message?

Savvy email marketers are actually smirking right now because they know I don’t have the answer. Only they have the answer, and their answer only applies to them.

The best day of the week and time of day to send an email depends entirely on your audience and the results of your experiments.

As a friend of mine who was a founder of the growth hacking movement often says “decisions without data are just ego”.

Your results will vary based on both your audience and objectives. For example, according to the Campaign Monitor report, Saturday is the worst day for email open rates, so at first glance it seems like you should avoid sending emails on Saturday. However, at least one Datrm.in organization — running smart, strategic experiments — discovered that sending an email on Saturday morning resulted in a higher total amount of donations than any other day of the week.

Had they just accepted the industry averages and not run their own experiments, they would have missed the chance to connect with people who wanted to support their mission.

Smart digital operatives understand the value of knowing benchmarks. They also know the value of creating their own.

So get out there, run experiments both with different send times and different segments to push your efforts to the next level. Datrm.in’s powerful contact filters can help you slice and dice your audience into multiple lists.

Finally, while we hope you will take time to build your own experiments and learn from your own audience, there is a ton of great insight available to guide your experiments via the Campaign Monitor report, so check it out here.