We send the Console devtools newsletter out every Thursday. The email normally gets sent at 8am UK time, but because our audience is split mostly between Europe, UK, and USA we see 2 spikes of clicks - during the first 1-2hrs after we send it and again in the afternoon (morning US time). We see about 75% of all clicks within the first 24 hours, but there is a long tail of engagement over the following week.
We've been asked a few times why we picked Thursday. There is some logic behind it, which I'll explain below, but it is mostly our best guess of when we might see the best engagement.
Some theories about why Thursday is a good day for us to send email to developers:
- It's not Monday! This avoids the backlog of mail from Friday and the weekend where people might want to power through to clear their inbox.
- It's not Friday! Perhaps this has changed during the pandemic, but there was often a feeling of winding down on a Friday. Some people go away early for the weekend and we don't want to get caught in the Monday clear-out.
- It's not the weekend. We have a split between subscriber personal and company email domains which suggest quite a few subscribers value our newsletter for their job. This is a cultural problem, but we'd hope fewer people check their email at weekends!
- But it is just before the weekend! You may not want (or have time) to try out new tools at work, but the weekend is often a time for experiments, playing around, learning something new or creating side projects. How much "spare time" developers really have to play around is an open question, but the weekend is likely to be a good opportunity to try out something you've seen in the newsletter.
- We've seen more tool announcements happen earlier in the week. Few announcements are timed for Fridays, but we do occasionally miss the odd Thursday release. Our reviews are written several weeks in advance, but our beta sources are reviewed on a Wednesday ready for the newsletter the next day.
There's definitely a risk of post-hoc rationalization with justifying "why Thursday", but the above assumptions seem to be at least partially true!