E-mail marketing ebbs and wanes in popularity, but it is still among the most important B2B marketing methods. One of the most popular question we hear at our agency is, “When is the best time to send emails so as to receive the best possible response?” But there is no one right answer because it depends on variables such as type of industries, whether target segments are B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Consumer), and may also depend on the demographic or psychographic characteristics of a list you’re sending to. Email marketing campaigns cannot be one size fits all, as your company, your industry, and your audience all have unique demands and needs.
Best Day for Your Email Campaign: Some Research
There are many contradictory resources, backed by extensive data or pure business logic, and each has valid and useful points. Let’s look as some of the major recommendations offered:
- Mondays: Send Email Surveys
Mondays look promising for sending out email surveys, at time when you want to get feedback from your customers and prospects. According to SurveyMonkey, the response rate on Mondays were the best for email surveys, as on average, surveys sent out on Mondays received 10% greater responses.
- Tuesdays & Thursdays: Launch Email Campaigns
Tuesdays and Thursdays are supposed to be the best days to send out email campaigns. MailChimp researched and found that Tuesdays and Thursdays are highest volume send days for email. Get Response concluded, after analyzing over 300 million messages, that emails sent on Tuesday had the highest open and click-through rates. Thursday wasn’t too far behind!
- Wednesday: Low Impact Day
Wednesday dominates the middle ground, being neither the best day nor the worst to send email marketing messages. Harland Clarke Digital analyzed over 1 billion campaigns sent over a course of 11 months to find that Wednesday sends had open rates of 20.6%, inclusive of renders on both desktop and mobile devices.
- Friday: Best Conversion Rate
Friday is a lucrative day to send your email campaigns, especially if you are in the retail industry, as it has the highest conversion rate of all the email send days.
- Weekend: Best Click-through Rate
Email open rates are the highest during the weekend, reaching a whopping 44% on Saturday, according to email statistics gathered by KISSmetrics,. Click rates, transaction and revenue rates surged upward during the weekend, reaching as high as 10% on Saturday. On the flip side, the weekend also produces the highest bounce rates and abuse reports (both at 0.11%), as most people just don’t like to be bothered on their days off.
Timing Is Key: The Other Major Factor
In addition to day of week, the second factor for a good email marketing campaign is timing, knowing the best time to send in relation to when people are most likely to open and click through your email.
- Early Morning Send Times (6am-8am)
Do you like reading emails with your morning coffee? According to KISSmetrics, click rates are highest early mornings – at 6am in fact, but on the downside, bounce rates are also at their highest during this time.
- Mid-Morning Email Send Times (10am-12pm)
Many experts assume that people don’t check emails during this time because they are focused on work. But MailerMailer found the best email open rate peaked at 10am and declined steadily thereafter.
- Late Afternoon Email Send Times (3pm-5 pm)
Late afternoon at work, many experience an afternoon slump, where thoughts drift to their personal situation than job related duties. KISSmetrics claims this is the reason property and financial services promotions are most opened during this timeframe.
- Evening Send Times (5pm- 7pm)
While it is a commonly held belief among marketers that employees take advantage of work-based email and internet for personal use, research has found that recipients prefer to open emails in their own time. It makes sense then that holiday and B2B promotions are most opened from 5-7pm.
- Late-Night Send Times (7pm-10pm)
According to MailerMailer, messages scheduled for delivery early evening led to better email open rates. Open rates reached their height of 15.1% for message scheduled for 8pm and 11pm.
- Midnight Hour
Thank heavens that email marketers can schedule emails in advance, because research at Experian shows that sending emails from midnight to 4am, has the highest response rate in all areas. By sending in the middle of the night or early in the morning, you’re at the top of the inbox and people may be more willing to read your entire email and even click through to learn more.
For every marketer, finding a time that works best for your audience is a matter of trial and error. A number of experts recommend staying consistent with the timing so recipients know when to expect your email. This will definitely have an impact on the open, click-through and conversion rates
Five Steps to Finding the Best Time/Day to Send Your Emails
- Step 1: Know Your Audience
Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and think about who they really are and what their email reading habits are to find the best time to send out marketing emails.
- Step 2: Analyze Your Past Email Send Results
In email marketing, revisiting and analyzing past send reports is key to uncovering patterns and a lot of useful data that can determine the days and times of the most successful campaigns.
- Step 3: Mobile Email Users Vs. Desktop Email Users
61% of consumers now read at least some of their emails on a mobile device, so it is very important to know what device your customers are using, and to make sure you have a mobile email marketing strategy in place, too.
- Step 4: Consider Your Message – B2B Vs. B2C
Message is king. Depending on the marketing message being sent and its focus area, the send days and times will change. Email marketing for business products may best be sent out within the average business work week, while if you are promoting recreational activities, you may opt for late night and weekend sends.
- Step 5: Test Your Email Marketing
It is important to consider your audience in your email marketing and the best way to do so is by testing. Try A/B split testing by sending the same campaign out to your list on various days and times. Then analyze and compare the results of multiple campaign sends to find the most advantageous time and date for your email marketing strategy.
Email marketing continues to be an incredibly effective marketing tool. It pays to experiment and learn what is best for your business, in terms of messaging and timing of your email sends. Best of luck reaching ever higher levels of success!