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Email marketing is one of the best ways to connect with your audience — that is, if you nail your sending times.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to what the best time to send an email is, but we can learn from the data available and test to find what works best.
In this post, you’ll discover:
Let’s dive right in!
As an email marketer, the timing of your emails is crucial if you are to get your message in front of your audience when they’re most likely to engage.
In fact, the timing of your emails is as important as the content within them.
Even if the content is juicy, it matters little if your emails go unnoticed or end up in your recipient’s spam folder.
Sending emails at the right time can:
In contrast, by sending your emails at the wrong time, you risk:
There’s no doubt that the timing of your emails has a major impact on your campaign’s click-through and open rates, as well as your other metrics.
Let’s get into when we should and shouldn’t be sending emails.
This is the million-dollar question — to answer it, let’s explore what various research suggests is the best time to send an email.
The case studies referred to in the following sections are results for the best time to send promotional emails and newsletters for B2B businesses.
Research done by email marketers found that the best day to send an email for the highest open rates is mid-week.
Here are the results compiled from several studies:
This suggests that sending emails on Tuesday and Thursday is best — with Wednesday being another option that yields great results.
For example, HubSpot noted that apart from Tuesday, Wednesday had the second-highest open rates.
This is supported by several other studies that noted similar results.
Finding the right day is pointless if you fail to send your email at the right time.
Here’s what the research tells us is the best time to send emails:
GetResponse’s data goes against the grain with this one, but most of the results show that 9 am - 11 am are the best times to send emails.
People are known to check their emails before their work hours begin, so depending on your audience, early mornings could also prove successful.
The second best time slot is between 1 pm and 2 pm.
Email marketers believe that this is due to everyone being on lunch breaks, this gives them time to check their emails.
Data shows that the worst day to send emails is Saturday — for many, this is leisure time:
According to most of the studies, B2B businesses see the most success when sending their emails mid-week during work hours.
Knowing what the worst time slots are will help you avoid the unnecessary pain of low email open rates.
These are considered the worst times to send an email:
The data shows that most of the research suggests that the worst time to send emails is during the evening and morning hours (between 6 pm and 5 am).
This is likely due to people being uninterested in checking emails or making purchases after a long day at work.
The research indicates that early mornings should be avoided; and that many find success sending emails during working hours.
But all of these studies should be taken with a pinch of salt because the best time to send an email will depend on many factors.
Your audience is unique to your business.
Instead of taking these recommended times as gospel, you should instead use them as a starting point for setting up your own email sending schedule.
To figure out the best time to send an email to your audience, you need a good understanding of your target audience’s buyer persona.
To better understand your audience, you can ask yourself these questions:
If you don’t know your audience, then you’ll have a hard time figuring out when they’d prefer to receive emails from you.
Besides knowing your target audience, these factors can also influence when you should and shouldn’t send your emails:
Let’s explore these in some more detail.
The best day and time to send your email marketing campaigns are unique to your industry.
Here are the best days based on open rate data for multiple industries:
To figure out when to send emails to your list, you need to consider your audience’s routines and habits.
For example, pizza restaurant chains know that their audience will begin to think about what’s for dinner at around 3 pm - 5 pm.
Knowing this means that they can send their mouth-watering promotional emails at a time when their audience is most likely to take action:
Similar to restaurants, and unlike many other industries, the entertainment industry also yields better results when sending emails on Friday or Saturday.
One of the best ways to determine the best time to send emails to your audience is to keep an eye on your competitors’ sending times.
Often, you’ll find that they’ve already done the research and they know what time and day is most suitable in your industry.
Research shows that Thursdays are best for high open rates, and Tuesdays are best for high click-through rates:
Campaign Monitor’s research
This demonstrates that the best time to send an email also depends on what it is you’re looking to achieve in terms of email marketing metrics.
What do you want your audience to do with your email? These are the 3 main goals:
1. Deep engagement
Here the goal would be to capture your audience’s attention and get them to click through your content.
For this, the best sending times are generally when there’s little competition: Fridays, weekends, and evenings.
2. Quick scan
If a quick scan will do, then sending an informative email during working hours on a business day will keep your business in your audience’s minds.
3. Reminder message
You can send an email a day before, and one hour before an event or a webinar is set to begin.
When determining the best time to send an email, you also need to consider that your target audience will have their own time zone.
For example, if your list consists of US and European subscribers, you’ll need to segment them based on their geographic location.
You won’t get desirable results for your email campaigns if you simply send an email blast to your entire list irrespective of their time zones.
You can use tools like Google Analytics to get a deeper understanding of your audience’s age, gender, location, and interests:
This data can help you send emails at the right time based on their location, plus, it’ll help you make informed assumptions about their lifestyle.
Knowing when to send an email isn’t an exact science. Instead, the data gives you a good starting point to find what yields the best results for you.
Test the time slots and days that are in line with your marketing goals and your industry.
Remember, what works for some email marketers might not work for you.
With a tool like systeme.io, you can schedule your emails and test the recommended sending times with ease:
Schedule your emails with systeme.io
Then, you can analyze the results to see which time and day worked best for your audience.
The best way to tell whether the recommended time slots and days work for your audience’s email engagement patterns is to test, test, test!
With a tool like systeme.io, you can track the performance of your campaigns and monitor your opens, clicks, bounce rate, and more:
Monitor your campaign’s performance with systeme.io
Then, you can compare your results with the industry average to see what works and what doesn’t work.
In terms of open rates, industry averages vary, but according to Constant Contact, the average open rate across all industries is 25.39%.
Some of the other metrics that you’ll want to keep an eye on include:
To take a look at the email marketing benchmarks for your industry, click here.
Experimenting with sending times will allow you to draw your own conclusions based on the metrics that matter most to your business.
Test to find what sending times give you the best email open rates, click-through rates, and of course, conversions.
Trial and error will help you find your email sending sweet spot — but what if your desired metrics are still low?
Well, perhaps the timing isn’t the problem.
Apart from timing your emails, other factors can influence whether or not your emails get opened and read:
Timing doesn’t guarantee that your emails will be opened, let’s get into what else you can do to improve your email open rates.
Your subject line can easily determine whether or not someone decides to open and read your email.
Are your subject lines currently captivating enough to drive those opens? Here are some tips to help you improve your email subject lines:
Although you’re writing business emails, your writing should be in line with how you’d write to a friend or a family member.
Nobody likes salespeople because nobody likes feeling like they’re being marketed to!
Invest time and energy into making captivating subject lines, and you’ll see a noticeable difference in your email click-through and open rates.
For more on subject lines, click here.
Fine-tune your email marketing strategy by regularly running A/B tests on everything . . . Literally everything!
To measure success, you need something to measure it against — and the only way to improve is to regularly experiment to see what works best.
You can test things like your email subject lines, the color of your CTA, your send times, and more — but be sure to test one variable at a time.
This allows you to determine what’s having an impact on your open rates.
You’ll want to test until you find what works, and when you find what works, keep testing!
Your target audience’s preferences and habits might change — test frequently to ensure your strategy’s still working to attain the metrics you’re after.
Formula to calculate your mobile open rate
Your emails should accommodate both mobile and desktop users.
Considering that over 41.9% of emails are opened on a mobile device, you simply can’t ignore the importance of optimizing your emails for mobile.
To optimize your emails for mobile devices for higher open rates, you can:
With a tool like systeme.io, our editor will automatically adapt your emails to make them compatible with mobile devices.
Once you’ve decided on a time to send your emails, it’s best practice to keep your sending times consistent.
Consistency has a number of benefits:
Besides consistency, you’ll also want to keep an eye on your email frequency.
Too many emails will likely annoy your subscribers, and too little won’t have the desired impact — test to find what frequency works best.
Failing to do this can increase your spam reports and this can ultimately harm your email deliverability and sender score.
Email automation is something that every email marketer should have in their toolbox — it lets you deliver the right message, at the right time.
By using a tool like systeme.io, you can take the guesswork out of when you should send a particular campaign or email.
This is because, with powerful automation, you can send your emails based on your recipient’s behavior.
For example, if people sign up to your mailing list, you can automatically trigger welcome emails to be sent to your recipient’s inboxes.
With systeme.io, you can set up automation rules to ensure that your audience gets the right email, right when they need it.
Simply tag your customers based on their actions, and automate your marketing with workflows and IF/THEN automation rules:
An example of a workflow on systeme.io
Forget generic email blasts! Send personalized emails to your list, exactly when they need it — without the hassle.
After all, personalized emails have been shown to boost email open rates by 29%, and your click rates by 41%!
With a tool like systeme.io by your side, you can fine-tune your email marketing without spending hundreds of dollars.
Let’s get into what this powerhouse can do for your business.
Our automation and segmentation capabilities allow you to streamline your marketing efforts with ease.
Systeme.io is the only tool you need in your digital marketing toolbox. Don’t believe us? Here’s what our tool has to offer in terms of email marketing:
Not only is systeme.io a one-stop-shop to send marketing emails, but our platform has everything you need to launch and scale your business:
All the tools you need under one roof
Forget the hassle of needing separate tools to run your online business, with systeme.io, you get everything you need in one neat platform.
On average, you’d be looking at around $26/month for just an email marketing tool.
But with systeme.io, you get an all-in-one marketing machine with affordable pricing plans like this:
systeme.io’s pricing plans
Not only do we offer a forever Free plan (no credit card details are required!) but scaling your business with systeme.io couldn’t be more affordable!
With our Free plan, you can have:
All of our plans, including our Free plan, give you unlimited:
Plus, you’ll get:
Email marketing gurus suggest that mid-week at around 10 am is the best time to send your emails.
This offers you a great starting point, but you should test various days and times to reach your own conclusions.
With a tool like systeme.io, you can do more than test your send times, you can take your email marketing to new heights!
Systeme.io is every email marketer’s dream come true — send your emails with nothing but confidence, without spending a single penny!
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