While managing lead nurturing campaigns for our clients, we often get asked what are the best days and times to send emails? The truth is, the best time is going to vary depending on your target audience, message, and individual business needs. While one business may find success with emails delivered during the week and in the morning, another may find that afternoon emails on weekends work best.
When is the best time to send an email?
Numerous studies have been conducted by third parties with data collected on the best days/times to send emails. One can use these results as a general starting point for their own campaigns. In reality, the real answer will be found in tracking and performance measurement of your own sends.
For example, when looking at the best time of day to send emails, HubSpot reports:
In general, the highest click-to-open rates are 10 AM at 21%, 1 PM at 22%, and spike near 6 PM. The data reflects when most audiences begin or conclude their day and have the most time to check their emails.Hubspot
And while HubSpot offers its input, they don’t specify the type of business (B2B or B2C) or the market for its statistical findings. These elements will have an impact on the results for individual businesses.
We’ve gathered quite a bit of data from over 20 years of experience conducting client email campaign management. Using that data, we have put together a short list of some tips and strategies to consider for your next email campaign.
Best Time to Send B2B Emails
It should go without saying that when targeting B2B customers, engaging them during the work week seems ideal. In addition, if you are a B2B company targeting sales prospects you might find that early morning email sends (when the prospect is just entering the office and checking email for the day) work best. B2B prospects often get tied up as the day goes on and trying to reach them in the afternoon usually isn’t an effective option.
Ideally, you should test to find out what works best to meet your objectives. In general, a good starting point for B2B companies might be testing email sends during the work week between 8 AM and 10 AM in the morning. This puts your email closer to the top of the prospect’s inbox when they arrive at their desk for the day. Any later, you run the risk of the email being buried among other more pressing issues.
Send the exact same email to your prospect list at different times of the morning (and on different days of the week) to find out what generates the best engagement rates. We have identified 4 components that are present in all effective emails. These four components will also play a part in the success or failure of your campaign and should be considered in addition to the timing of the email send.
Finally, you may want to consider segmenting your list down by seniority, job function, or title to further hone in on a time that works for each group of prospects on your list.
Best Time to Send B2C Emails
Strategies for sending B2C emails vary (often dramatically) from that of B2B emails. While it may be best to send B2B emails during the work week, most B2C consumers aren’t as engaged during working hours and instead respond best before work, during lunch hours, on weekends, or in the evenings.
You will want to go through the same testing process mentioned above altering days/times and email content to find the optimal setting for your B2C campaign.
According to combined surveys and personal experience, our findings suggest the best days/times on average to send emails are:
Best Days to Send Email on Average
Tuesday and Wednesday continually stick out as better days during the week.
Best Times to Send Email on Average
The results on this seem to be all over depending on who you talk to. In general, the consistent times mentioned were:
- Morning between 8 AM and 9 AM
- Mid-morning between 10 AM and 10:30 AM
- Early Afternoon between 1 PM and 1:30 PM
Our experience has found that currently, sending at 8:15 AM on Weds. provides the best overall results across the board for both opens, clicks, and actions taken. We want to target readers first thing in the morning, before they start their day, and before their email box gets filled (pushing our client’s email to the back of the pack.)
Pros and Cons of Each Day Outlined
Jenn Abecassis wrote a nice article that appeared in 60-Second Marketer which listed the positive and negative aspects of sending email on each day of the week. I’ll reiterate her points below and let you determine which, if any, sounds reasonable for your needs.
Pros: Office work has not filled inboxes yet.
Cons: People are in “work mode” and won’t be focused on non-work tasks.
Best Practice: Send emails late Monday morning, after people have cleaned the weekend spam from their inboxes.
Pros: People have organized their week, and can find personal time for emails.
Cons: Emails poised for a weekend response may be too early.
Best Practice: Use Tuesday for emails that request action during the workweek.
Pros: People are planning their weekends and gearing up for personal time.
Cons: Time during the workweek is running short, and requested action may be pushed back to the following week, or even forgotten about.
Best Practice: Focus on leisure and weekend notifications during these key weekend planning days.
Pros: Studies indicate fewer total emails sent compared to the rest of the week, increasing visibility among the myriad of other messages.
Cons: People hurry to leave the office early, and may not take time to view non-work-related emails.
Best Practice: Send emails early in the day to give consumers more time to take action. An unopened email from Friday will sort to the bottom of an inbox on Monday and is often discarded.
Pros: People check emails on weekends, too, so weekends may have untapped potential for more leisurely messages.
Cons: A weekend email may seem overly intrusive to some people.
Best Practice: If possible, try to avoid Sundays and focus on Saturdays, which may have a better response rate.
What works for one company may not work for another. Email marketing should be tested and tracked as much as any other portion of your business.
Keep these points in mind when determining the best time and day for your own email marketing.
The answer isn’t the same for everyone.
- The best day for you and your business might not be the best day for the next person.
- The best day might change from month to month (based on time of year) and from send to send.
- The best time could be different for subscribers located in different parts of the world.
- Not all messages necessarily work on the same day or at the same time. Understanding your objective and your subscribers will help you focus your efforts and find what works for you.
The best way to move forward:
- Use the guidelines above in making an initial educated guess
- Test to see whether your guess was right or not
- Once you’ve got the best day nailed down, try experimenting with what time of day works best
- Make sure you maintain accurate reports so you can benchmark your results moving forward.
Remember, it ultimately will come down to testing, testing, and more testing. Don’t neglect the fact that you won’t know for sure until you thoroughly test and measure your results.