Want to know the best and worst days to send holiday email? It’s a known fact around the office that crazy things happen between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m not just talking about the sports, the gift giving, the sprinkle covered treat making, and the sprinkle covered treat eating. I’m talking about MailChimp’s annual holiday volume spikes. Of course!
The coolest part is comparing our 2011 holiday traffic to last year’s holiday traffic. We’ve done a lot of growing between then and now, and it really shows. Our holiday spikes for 2011 are 2.2 times greater than our holiday spikes in 2010. Check it out:
Now that we’ve seen the graph, lets get a little background. In a normal week, we have peak days, normal days, and weekends. Peak days tend to be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. For whatever reason, those days are always the highest, especially Thursdays.
You’ll notice the Thursday of Thanksgiving was an exception. For some odd reason, not a lot of people go into work and send email on a holiday. Now that I look at it, a good number of people did schedule campaigns, so that was clever. However, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving saw a huge spike, and the Monday after (Cyber Monday to some) saw an even larger spike.
The Big One
All of that brings us to Christmas. It turns out the highest volume day of 2011 and 2010 is… drumroll… wait for it… the second Thursday before Christmas? Yep, right around the middle of December. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because of the big push to tell everyone about your free shipping deadline, or maybe it’s just the most popular day on the last full week before a holiday. For whatever reason, our highest volume day of the year is always the second Thursday before Christmas.
Another fun thing to note is that 27% of our 2011 weekly traffic comes from the weekend. This is up from 22% in 2010. If you have a huge list and you want to ensure your email hits the inbox on Monday morning, it can be really advantageous to send on Sunday night. Remember, the bigger your list, the more you should pay attention to delivery speed.
Anyway, maybe next year you’ll beat the traffic and send on Wednesday. Personally, I can’t wait until 2014 when Christmas actually falls on a Thursday. That’ll shake things up.