What day do you send your e-zine and how often? What's behind those decisions?
Stand by for a storm of answers based on anecdotal evidence and fuzzy recollection! Just bear in mind two things:
1: People usually don't make the decision whether to trash or read your e-mail on the same day they get your e-mail.
If your mail is solicited, wanted communication
, chances are your mail will languish for a day or more in the inbox until they deal with all their work mail, or mail about something that has to be taken care of immediately. They most likely will not have time to deal with your mail right away, even if they may want to.
EDIT: This means that open rates or render rates rely much less on what day you send than one might assume.
(If your mail ISN'T
solicited and wanted, then into the bit bucket widja, and good riddance.) (And I mean 'you', generally - not YOU, Christine - I am sure you are sending only to a closed-loop, opt-in list.)
2. Beware of the Weekend Effect! Regardless of your observed open rates, you should not be sending only Monday through Friday. It can actually hurt your deliverability rates over time if you are not also sending on the weekend. (This matters less for small volume senders.)
Why? Complicated, but bear with me. Even the best-run, cleanest lists still get a low level of spam complaints. It happens. Usually the recipient is just too lazy to unsubscribe, or they forget that they opted in, or whatever.
Remember from point one above that recipients are sometimes reading your e-mail on the weekends, even if they got it on Thursday. That means that the lazy ones are also complaining about spam on weekends.
But since you're not sending mail on weekends, the average rate of spam complaints on Saturday and Sunday as a percentage of all mail delivered to the inbox goes up, and that can hurt a sender's reputation.
Fortunately, big ISPs know all about the weekend effect, and MOST take it into account. Just make sure you are using best practices when sending to your closed-loop opt-in list to reduce spam complaints, no matter what their cause.
Now, with regard to frequency: Not everyone wants to hear from the same sender with the same frequency. It would be nice if more self-serve hosted e-mail applications would allow recipients to select frequency during the confirmation loop. If you find one at price you can manage, USE IT!
There are some senders who send to me once a week, and that's more than I really want to hear from them. They make my unsubscribe trigger finger itch like crazy (Jos. A Bank, I'm looking at you!).
There are other vendors who send only once every two months, but I actually would really like to hear more often from them. I wish Starbucks would send me a note any time a new free iTunes song card is available. I'd hop right on down to pick one up (and probably grab a latte while I am there).