Analysis of 7,619 edu-marketing campaigns - What is the optimum time/day to send?

Analysis of 7,619 edu-marketing campaigns - What is the optimum time/day to send?

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Rebecca McGilvray
Published: 24th June 2021

We don’t believe in hiding the facts. This is why we share our live edu-marketing statistics, taken from the results generated from our managed client campaigns, for the whole world to see on our website!

Why do we share so much information?

Well, because we truly believe in helping education businesses create the best marketing out there. When edu-marketing is done well, it’s a force for good – connecting teachers and schools with the most pioneering education products, services, and budget-saving offers, enabling them to continually advance their teaching, pupils’ learning, and their school’s performance.

So, let’s see what we can learn from the results of over 7,000 email campaigns we’ve managed!

Conventional marketing wisdom

Most marketing advice has always told us that Mondays and Fridays are not good days to be sending marketing emails. On a Monday, conventional wisdom tells us people will be planning and settling into a new week and busy working on new tasks.

On a Friday, people are rushing to finish projects before the weekend and don’t want to be bothered by new communications relating to work when they’re winding down for a few precious days off. That leaves Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday – the classic mid-week approach. Of course, it’s important to remember that the education sector really is unlike any other. So, can this conventional approach be applied to the education sector?

Best performing day of the week

The results are in:

Best Day (Open rate) - Friday Best Day (Click to open rate) - Friday

Worst Day (Open rate) - Thursday Worst Day (Click to open rate) - Thursday

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In contrast to convention wisdom, Friday wins on both average open rate and click to open rate.

Our data indicates that Friday is the day of the week when teachers are most likely to open and engage with marketing emails.

This may come as a surprise. It often is when we discuss strategies with our clients, but in the context of the education sector, it actually makes a lot of sense.

If you’re contacting class teachers, the majority of school contacts, then your audience is likely to be on their feet and in front of a busy classroom for the majority of the working week, instead of parked in front of a laptop or desktop with instant access to their emails. Teachers do have planning, preparation, and assessment (PPA) time allocated in the week – they are entitled to a minimum of 10% of timetabled teaching time for PPA, averaging 2.5 hours a week.

However, they have to squeeze a lot of administrative work into those hours. In an effort to protect their free time, urgent tasks (and emails) will likely be prioritised throughout the week and anything that doesn’t need immediate attention squeezed in on a Friday to tie up loose ends before the weekend.

What about weekends?

Among 7,600 emails, we’ve only sent an email once on a Saturday and 30 times on a Sunday, due to the time-sensitive nature of the email content.

As a general rule, we don’t recommend sending on weekends.

Teachers do unfortunately often work at the weekends. A 2019 study by UCL Institute of Education found that one in four teachers work over 60 hours a week. Around 40% said they usually work in the evening, and 10 per cent during the weekend.

However, everyone deserves time away from work and sending at a weekend could potentially upset the customer base you’re trying so hard to build positive relationships with.

Best performing time of the day

The results are in:

Best Time (Open rate) - 08:00 – 09:00 Best Time (Click to open rate) - 08:00 – 09:00

Worst Time (Open rate) - 14:00 – 15:00 Worst Time (Click to open rate) - 14:00 – 15:00

There are no huge surprises here. Sending in the morning gives your email the best chance of hitting inboxes when teachers have time to check emails before the main work of the day begins.

It’s important to remember too that once you begin sending an email sequence to a large sending list, it isn’t instantaneous. Staggering email sends can have a positive impact on deliverability, so it’s important to factor this in when you plan your email send day and time, particularly if your sending list is large.

But wait…

Although Friday tops the chart for both the best open and click to open rate, it’s important to remember that this is an average based on thousands of results.

There is less than a 1% difference between the two top-performing days. The average open rate for emails sent on a Friday is 25.92%. On a Wednesday, it’s 25.14%.

Crucially, we also need to share this snippet of information: more emails were sent on a Thursday (1,657 total) than on a Friday (1,232 total).

Although the results are based on the average, can we assume that emails sent on Friday performed better because they were competing with fewer other marketing emails in teacher inboxes?

If everyone began sending on a Friday, would we see that average drop?

Sprint recommends:

With that in mind, and before you rush to schedule all future emails for Friday between 8am and 9am, we’d recommend taking a balanced approach and spreading your sending dates across the working week.

Don’t blindly follow the trends. We promise that we see great results for clients across the whole week, even on a Thursday!

Consider too, when it suits you and your business to send. If you send on a Friday, but you’re a small business with limited time to attend to enquiries on a Saturday, you’re setting yourself up for trouble.

Essentially, you need to find the sweet spot when inboxes aren’t too busy; when teachers will have time to read your email; and, crucially, you’ll have time to respond too!

To talk all things strategy with one of our experts, book a free edu-strategy call with us. Just click here and complete our quick contact form or give us a call on 01684 297374.

What about sending during the holidays?

Now, if you’re scratching your head about what dates are suitable, you need to speak to us about Campus!

Our Education Insights Calendar will take the guessing out of your marketing to schools altogether. It’s the most detailed education calendar available for sellers to schools with events, deadlines, exams, awareness days, and holidays across 12 categories – all in one place.

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Education Marketing

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