When is the Best Time to Send an Email?Reading Time: 6 minutes
This article was last updated on June 7, 2021
“When is the best time to send an email?” The answer to this question is perhaps one of the most sought-after answers in the marketing industry. Yet, perfectly timing your email campaigns is as hard to master as mathematics. Ideally, you want to identify when people have the most mental capacity and time to read your well-crafted emails. And choosing the perfect time to send an email often promises the highest open and click-through rates.
Choosing the perfect time to send an email often promises the highest open and click-through rates.
After countless hours of research and inquiries, industry experts like Litmus and Campaign Monitor believe they have uncovered the best time to send an email, and the answer is: it depends.
Although it is an anticlimactic reveal, there is truth to this discovery. There are many factors at play, and in the following sections, we discuss what determines the best time to send an email.
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Your Company Industry Matters
It may not seem like it, but your company’s industry plays a significant role in when is the best time to send an email. It is also the primary deciding factor in how successful your email marketing campaign is. Every industry is different, and they have their respective target audience.
For example, Fridays are often the best time to send emails to subscribers in industries like retail and entertainment, since these are considered weekend activities. In comparison, companies in the software/SaaS industry may find that Wednesday is their best day.
Your Email Marketing Goals
Think about what you want your reader to do when they see your email in their inbox. Read it? Engage with it? Use it to make a purchase? Like with anything, your goals are your motivation; they drive you. In email marketing, your campaign goals drive the best time to send an email to your audience. There are three types of goals to consider:
Deep engagement: Do you want your subscriber’s full attention for your email? If so, opt for sending emails later in the day or week when they have more free time to spend digesting your content.
Quick scan: Say your emails only require a quick scan to keep your brand at the forefront of your customer’s mind. If this is the case, try sending your short, image-heavy emails during the week.
Reminder message: Optimal for events, seminars, and webinars. To efficiently remind your attendees, the best time to send these emails are after sign-up, the day before, and an hour before the event starts.
Your Desired Open Rates
You know the saying, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” This can be applied to your email marketing: “Send campaigns for the open rate you want, not the open rate you have.” This means, map out when what you want your open rate to be and anticipate when people are most likely to open your emails.
You can use this tactic to influence when you send your emails and what you feature in those emails. Toward the end of the week, employees are gearing up for the weekend, which means they’re getting themselves out of work mode by scrolling through emails. Say you have an update or a sale to promote; this would be the perfect time to grab their attention and potentially their wallet.
The Time of Day
There aren’t many people who claim to be a morning person, but if you’re looking to boost subscriber engagement with your emails, you might want to change your tune. Litmus research points out morning is the best time to send an email.
Approximately 20 percent of people in the U.S. read emails between 9 a.m. and noon.
However, the best time of day varies from country to country. For example, Spain has a second spike of email opens between 4 and 5 p.m., and known early-risers Australia and New Zealand start checking their emails as early as 5 a.m. The best way to find your golden hour(s) is to learn when your audience tends to check their emails and how often.
Your Email’s Content
Have you ever looked at a text message or an article and thought to yourself, “I’ll save this for when I have more time to read”? Your subscribers do the same thing depending on what kind of email you send. Another way to determine when the best time to send an email is to consider your email’s contents and when your target customer will most likely interact with it. If your email features a percentage off coupon, think of when subscribers will use it.
Experts say Tuesdays are the best days for online shopping and enjoying restaurants, with Wednesdays and Sundays being the best day for groceries. And if you’re a brand that likes to send journal-entry style email newsletters, lunchtime or after work hours may be your friend.
Sending B2B or B2C
You already know that not all customers are the same. Whether you’re sending marketing emails to another business (B2B) or everyday consumers (B2C) factors heavily into when you should send your emails. You may be surprised to know that most people don’t treat their personal and professional mailboxes the same. Some check their professional emails more regularly than their personal inbox, whereas others might only check their personal emails before and after work.
To determine the best time to send an email to your B2B email list, ask yourself questions like:
- What time of day do your readers typically check their email? (Morning, lunch, or after hours?)
- Are you sending emails to their personal or business address?
- Do they check their email on mobile or desktop?
Evaluating the answers to these questions and other similar questions informs the way your list engages with your email as well as the most successful time to reach out.
Day of the Week
Many people believe that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the best days to send your email newsletters, but we beg to differ. Specific weekdays matter little in the strive for optimal open and click-through rates, but whether you send your emails during the week or the weekend is what has the greater impact. Most companies opt for sending emails during the workweek, but, according to Mailer Lite, readers, especially those in the U.S. and Canada, have the same open rates no matter the day of the week. If you’re looking for a way to stand out from the crowd, you can try sending marketing emails on the weekend when appropriate. Just stay away from Sundays, which are widely accepted as the least-favored day to send an email.
Despite when you decide the best time to send an email is, the most significant takeaway from our roundup is that you must remain consistent. The hard work and dedication you put into finding your company’s perfect send time won’t garner success if you aren’t consistent with your efforts. After all, success doesn’t come overnight. We hope that our list offered plenty of insight.
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