When is the Best Time to Send an Email?

So you’ve crafted the perfect email. You’ve taken a lot of valuable time to ensure the you have your message just right and you’ve followed every tip in the book to help your email jump out at the recipient with a catchy subject line and just the right amount of content. You’ve included an image or some sort of color scheme to make it pop. You’ve read and re-read your content and included any relevant links or promotions.

But none of that matters if you’re sending the email at the wrong time. If it hits people’s inbox at the wrong moment, you can have the best content in the world and it won’t mean a thing. If people aren’t reading your email immediately, chances decrease over time that your message will be read. GetResponse found that most recipients open and read the email within the first 60 minutes and if the email goes unopened for 24 hours, the chances of it being read come close to zero.

The moral of the story is this: You want to find the right time—and day—to hit people with your content. Though that can be tricky, it’s well worth your time!

Time of the Day

MailChimp, a popular email marketing service provider, scanned over a billion emails in order to nail down just the right time to send emails. They found that afternoon is best, but the numbers start to fall after the work day is over. The optimal time to send emails would be between 2 and 5 p.m., according to MailChimp’s data.

Sending emails in the afternoon also means you’d be going up against less competition. GetResponse studied email trends and found that between the hours of 12 p.m. and 6 p.m., only 25.8 percent of emails were sent, compared to 38.7 percent from 6 a.m. to Noon and 29.6 percent from 6 p.m. to Midnight.

Pure360 found that sending emails from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. is the most ineffective time, likening it to throwing your message into a black hole. 10 a.m. to Noon is also a bad time, as people are focusing on work and not emails.

If you want to share news or links, pure360 found lunchtime may be effective, as people are likely to consume news while on break from work.

Day of the Week

MailChimp also nailed down what days are the best for sending emails. More emails are sent during the week than on weekends, which should come as no surprise, with most of the working world on typical Monday-Friday schedules.

As such, the most emails are sent Tuesday and Thursday and the three days in the middle of the week (Tuesday-Thursday) are optimal for open and click rates. That makes sense, as Mondays and Fridays are the most common days people take off. Even if people are in the office, they may go all weekend with limited access to email (possibly by design) and have plenty of emails to catch up with on Mondays. If people are working on Fridays, it’s possible they’re taking off early or simply trying to tie up loose ends before the weekend and their email may be easily neglected.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are perfect, because people are most likely caught up with their emails by Tuesday, still in work-mode (and not dreaming of the weekend) and by mid-week, they’ve likely checked off some of their weekly tasks, leaving some time for browsing or perusing emails.

What time of day have you found to be most effective in sending emails? Which day of the week are your consumers more receptive to emails? Let us know in the comments section below.

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