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Real World Statistics Reveal How Customers are Reading Your Newsletters

By John Alexander

When is the best time of the week to send your newsletter?

Which day of the week results in the the highest average open rate?

Sending your Newsletter at what time of day time generated the highest open rate?

All good questions, right?

If you publish a permission based newsletter using a sequential auto-responder like you may be interested in a few of the most recent statistics taken from thousands of AWeber customer newsletters sent over the past 30 days. 

These statistics represent some interesting facts about how opt-in newsletter subscribers are absorbing your news.

This does not really relate to search engine marketing or SEO but I know a lot of our readers do use Newsletter communications to assist with a significant part of their sales conversion process. 

The following facts were presented to me by Mr. Tom Kulzer the CEO & Founder of AWeber Communications.

Interesting reading! Please enjoy.

Best regards
John Alexander

Real World Statistics taken over the past 30 days as of August 10, 2005

  • There were 12,561 subscribers in an average customer opt-in newsletter list on Aweber.

  • 4 minutes and 24 seconds is the average amount of time between when a
    customer queues a newsletter and when AWeber completes delivery.

  • 94% of newsletter broadcasts are finished sending within 5 minutes of
    when they are scheduled.

  • 98.4% of newsletter broadcasts are finished sending within 30 minutes
    of when they are scheduled.

  • 99.34% of all email was delivered successfully in the last 30 days.

  • 0.66% of all email was undeliverable in the last 30 days. (mailbox
    closed, non-existent user, etc.)

  • Average open rate of HTML and Text/HTML newsletters is 29.7% over the
    past 30 days.

  • Sunday generates the highest average open rate of 41.1%, followed by
    Saturday at 36.7% for newsletter sent date.

  • Average Open Rate by Sent Date: (higher is better)

        Sunday     41.1%
        Saturday   36.7%
        Wednesday  34.0%
        Friday     32.8%
        Tuesday    29.6%
        Thursday   24.6%
        Monday     23.2%

  • Sunday generates the fewest undeliverable bounces at 0.36% for
    newsletters sent on that date.

  • Average Undeliverable Rate by Sent Date: (lower is better)

        Sunday     0.36%
        Saturday   0.45%
        Friday     0.47%
        Thursday   0.56%
        Wednesday  0.77%
        Tuesday    0.83%
        Monday     0.88%

  • Monday is the most popular day of the week for customers to send
    their newsletters with 17.1% of newsletters being sent.

  • Percent of newsletters being sent by customers weekly:

        Monday      17.1%
        Tuesday     17.0%
        Thursday    16.2%
        Wednesday   15.8%
        Friday      14.5%
        Saturday    10.3%
        Sunday       9.0%

  • An 8:00 AM EST send time generates the highest open rate of 50.6%. 
    Interestingly sending at 9:00 AM EST has a significantly lower open
    rate of 33.7% with the worst time to send being 3-4 AM at only 19%
    open rate.

  • Plain text messages are the most popular format of sending newsletters
    with 65.9% of all newsletters sent.  Mime format Text/HTML messages
    follow at 23.8% and a remaining 10.2% of customers still send HTML
    only messages even though it is strongly recommended to always include
    a plain text version.

  • Plain text messages generate the fewest undeliverable bounces at
    0.46%. Mime format Text/HTML follows at 0.56% and HTML only messages
    have a whopping 1.09% undeliverable rate.  This is a significant reason
    behind our recommendation to always send a plain text alternative with
    HTML formatted messages.

  • Subject line personalization using the date generated an average open
    rate of 51.4% compared to personalization using the subscriber's first
    name generating 40.9% open rate.  Newsletters sent without
    personalization of any type in the subject line generated average open
    rates of 28.9%.

  • 17% of customer newsletter subject lines sent in the last 30 days
    contained date personalization while 19% used the subscriber's first
    name.  56.3% of subject lines did not contain any type of

  • Interestingly, using the subscriber's full name or
    last name generated lower average open rates at 20%.

    Tom Kulzer
    CEO & Founder
    AWeber Communications

    These statistics are reproduced here with Mr. Kulzer's permission and presented with introduction by John Alexander


About John Alexander
John Alexander is Co-director of Training at Search Engine Workshops offering live, SEO Workshops with partner Robin Nobles as well as online search engine marketing courses through Online Web Training. John is author of
an e-book called Wordtracker Magic and co-author of the Totally Non-Technical Guide for A Successful Web Site. John and Robin also host an event called the Ultra Advanced Symposium on a quarterly basis.


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