When is the Best Time to Send Email?

When it comes to email marketing, the million dollar question is: when do I send it? Any e-newsletters and promotions we send are competing for readers’ attention before they even reach inboxes: demanding workdays, busy personal lives, and floods of business-related emails–not to mention the other promotions competing to be seen!

Determining the best time to send email promotions depends on your audience and can vary greatly by industry. Start by looking back at previous email campaigns to see what worked best for your company in the past.

Email timing has also been studied and researched by numerous marketers and below are some highlights of recent findings that will help you develop guidelines for email testing strategies:

-Don’t mail on Mondays.
You aren’t the only one who is really busy at the beginning of the week! Your email is likely to be lost among everything that came in over the weekend. Many consider Tuesday to be the best day to send email; Wednesday and Thursday are favorable as well. By Friday, people are more focused on weekend plans and completing to-do lists than inboxes, so avoid this day as well.

-Don’t send email promotions while your target audience is sleeping.
E-blasts sent overnight tend to go unseen. If it arrives when they are asleep, your audience is less likely to see it when they’re awake. This is similar to the issue with Monday: a lot of emails come in overnight–more than you may expect. Therefore, your competition to be seen is that much greater.

There is some debate over whether it is better to send email in the morning or afternoon. This can vary by industry, and it also varies by who you ask. Marketers test and research email open rates frequently and a case can be made for mailing on any day of the week. Wordstream recommends sending campaigns between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. or between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

And Dan Zarrella and Pure360 offer an excellent infographic chronicling their research on email timing:

email timing

Don’t be shy about doing you own testing. What works great for one mailing list may not be the best choice for your company. To eliminate the guess-work completely, use an email service, like MailChimp, that offers Send Time Optimization. This feature uses data from the millions of emails sent using their service to determine the best time to deliver your email.

What experiences have you had with email timing? We welcome you to join the conversation in the comments section below.

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