Dec 9, 2008

How to calculate your best day to send email campaigns

Someone recently asked us, "Is there a way in MailChimp to find out my best day to send, based on my list’s history?" The answer is yes, and here’s how.

1. Log in to MailChimp
2. Go to the "Reports" tab, and click on this link under your graph:

That’ll download a spreadsheet to your computer. This file will contain stats for ALL your campaigns, ever. It’s an awesome file that will let you run your own reports in Excel, and build just about any pretty graph you or your boss could ever want. Internally, we at MailChimp call it the B.A.R.F. download (for "big ass report file").

Okay, I’m the only person here who calls it that.

Anyway, open the file in Excel, then:

1. Sort data by the column "List" to get the data for the one list you’re looking for.
2. Delete all the other data to get it out of the way.
3. Sort data by the column "Send Weekday."
4. Now look at the open rates for your various campaigns by day.

In excel, I made a formula to calculate the average open rate for each day. Assuming your list size is roughly the same from campaign to campaign (organic growth, no major imports, no drastic segmentation), you should be fine doing so.

Below is a screenshot. Looks like Tuesday averages highest for this particular list.

Want to know where we got the idea for the B.A.R.F. download?

Whenever we’ve met with MailChimp users in their workplace, they always sit down with us and ask us questions about their stats. Every single time, the person we’re meeting with has an Excel spreadsheet printed out. It’s amazing to see the different things they measure and compare from campaign to campaign. Seriously, I’ve never seen so many different ways to look at the same numbers.

Every company’s different, and every manager wants to see different stats in different ways.

So we thought, "instead of forcing people to click into each and every campaign to gather their stats for an excel file, and instead of trying to come up with every conceivable graph that people might want, why not just barf out all their stats at once?"

Have you tried your B.A.R.F. download yet?