The Best Time to Send Emails (Backed by Expert Research)
You’re probably more focused on your email content than timing, but sending emails at the right time can help you achieve significantly better results. Subscribers are much more likely to check their email, visit your site, and make orders at certain times of the day, week, and month.
This article will cover the most important takeaways from expert research on the best time to send emails. Optimizing your email timing is one of the simplest ways to refine your strategies, and you can always compare metrics to confirm that you’re making progress. Keep in mind that email marketing success depends on a variety of factors — good timing won’t fix a generic or irrelevant campaign.
The Best Times of the Day
Emails tend to perform better when performed at certain times, and this is especially true for weekdays when most people are at work. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that the optimal times for sending promotional emails are around 8 AM, 1 PM, and 4 PM. Email timing is usually more flexible over the weekend.
Open rates are higher at 8 AM than at any other time, and morning emails also lead to a click-through rate of nearly 8 per cent. Most people check their email in the morning before work, so emails sent at this time have a better chance of being read quickly.
On the other hand, emails achieve much better order rates later in the day. 4 PM is the perfect time to send promotional emails that are designed to increase sales. Your audience will have more time to consider the offer after work than before—most people tend to shop online in the afternoon rather than the morning.
In general, it’s best to send email content that focuses on engagement earlier in the day before trying to make sales in the afternoon and evening. You should almost always avoid sending emails between roughly midnight and 6 AM.
The Best Days of the Week
Just as most people have predictable daily schedules, your audience is more likely to open, read, and click through on emails on specific days of the week. You might not expect the day to have as much of an impact on sales, but some days consistently perform much better than others.
Thursday, for example, is the overall best day for promotional emails when you take into account both open rate and sales. Tuesday and Wednesday are next, indicating that mid-week emails are generally more successful. That said, Sunday leads to a relatively high click rate (but disappointing sales).
In contrast to Tuesday through Thursday, Monday and Saturday are the worst days of the week for sending emails. You should at least avoid sending the most important content on Mondays and Saturdays. If you run a weekly newsletter, consider moving your emails to Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
The Best Days of the Month
Days of the month may sound completely irrelevant for email marketing, but there are some surprising trends in marketing analytics that indicate the importance of this kind of targeting. At the very least, you should keep the data in mind as you develop new content and campaigns.
Again, this is an especially relevant consideration for brands that offer a monthly newsletter. If you send emails every week, you shouldn’t avoid most times of the month because they result in slightly worse performance. That said, a few days lead to such a significant drop-off that they may be worth ignoring altogether.
The most obvious trend is that emails lead to substantially better results on both open rate and click-through rate during the first half of each month. After that, the metrics begin to drop before reaching their nadir on the 25th and 26th. These dates perform poorly on each of the two metrics, so you should send emails on other days whenever possible.
Adjusting your target days and times could significantly improve your sales, but most marketers aren’t thinking about email timing — simply being aware of this data will put you ahead of the competition. Remember to A/B test timing and other elements to learn more about your unique audience.
Use these times as general guidelines, then test your campaign timing to get the absolute best timing for your customers. If you do that, you’ll improve your open, click-through, and order rate in no time.