What’s The Best Time To Send A Marketing E-mail?

In life timing is everything.  You may need reminders or gentle nudges but if the timing is not right you simply are just not going to go above and beyond to complete that task or to buy that product.

This is especially important in email marketing.  I am constantly asked how do I get my customers to open my emails?

The Myths

Mondays: I have constantly been told Mondays are the best day for an email marketing blast.  It’s thought that our customers just got back from the weekend.  They are rested and relaxed, ready to start the week off.  While these things might be true, have you looked at your own inbox and your own habits?  I know I wake up Monday morning, look at my inbox and instantly delete everything.

Daytime VS. Nighttime: This one may be pretty straightforward, when are people awake?

An Event Reminder: Some companies like to give e-mail reminders an hour or two just before an event.  Only 23% of e-mails are opened within an hour of receiving them.  Your best bet is to give 2 – 3 days advance notice.

E-mail during Mid Day:  This is a tried and true practice of e-mail marketing.  Mail Chimp even did a study on the times e-mail marketing was most effective.  This found sending e-mails Tuesday through Thursday between 1 – 3pm was the most effective in terms of an open rate.  This is a safe approach.  There is general data to back it up.  But does this reach your customers?


So What Does Work?

I wish I could give a nice neat buttoned up answer that. For instance, for every client the most effective time is 1pm on Wednesday.  In my experience, one single answer for all companies does not work.

Every company is going after different customers.  If your target market is someone in a blue collar job that can’t check their e-mail at 1pm, then sending an email at 1pm may just join the clutter of other offers.  If your target customer is a college student then 8am e-mails my join the group of unopened e-mails unlike one sent at 9pm during study time.

The key is to learn about your target customer.  Analytics plays key here.  You need to send out a dozen or more e-mail campaigns.  Study open rates, open times, when do e-mails create the most engagement.  Always do A/B testing.  By this I mean keep all variables about an e-mail marketing campaign the same except for one.  Send half the e-mails at a different time, or half the e-mails with a slightly different message.  Analyze what is most effective.

Customers are not all the same.  They don’t fit into one box.  Don’t make your e-mail marketing fit into one box.  With analytics and understanding you will raise your conversion rates and create a more effective e-mail marketing campaign.