One of the questions we get asked frequently is: “What is the best time to send emails?”. This is an important question if you use this communication channel. Research shows that if an email is not opened within 24 hours of delivery, that email’s chance of being opened drops below 1%. Thus, choosing the best possible time to send emails will help increase the success of your email campaigns.
In this post, we will present you with optimal times to send emails to ensure that your email campaigns are successful. As with most things, what works best may vary between businesses since no two businesses are exactly alike. However, this post is filled with research findings from multiple sources across various industries and is an excellent place to start.
Here’s what the data shows:
Tuesday: Research shows that Tuesdays are the most popular days to send emails. Tuesdays accounted for 17.9% of all emails sent throughout the week. Emails sent on Tuesdays also have an overall open rate of about 19.9%, which is the highest open rate compared to the other weekdays, making Tuesdays the best day of the week to send emails.
Thursday: The studies also show that Thursdays are the 2nd most popular day to send emails. Thursdays accounted for 17.3% of the emails sent throughout the week.
Friday: While most studies show Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays as the most popular time to send emails, it is worth noting that emails sent on Fridays had the 2nd highest open rate at 19.6% and the highest click-through rate (CTR) at 4.9%. Fridays also had considerably less volume accounting for 14.9% of email sent throughout the week.
Weekends are generally considered leisure and family time when folks are away from the office and are less likely to open emails. As a result, we see a considerable drop in the volume of emails sent over the weekend.
While many studies identified mid-mornings as the optimal time to send emails, a study from Mailchimp identified 10 AM local time, as the most optimal time. We would recommend sending out emails between 10 AM to 2 PM.
That said, you also need to consider the % of customers that are viewing on mobile devices. Sources suggest that Americans check their phones between 40 – 84 times a day, depending on their age cohort. That is checking your phone about every 10 minutes. Meaning, if you are sending B2C emails .vs. B2B emails, you could have other times of the day that will really perform well for you. After all, people are basically checking their phones when they are awake, all day, every day.
The study also showed that the type of content mattered. Content that fell under Retail and Hobbies categories had a peaked around 8 AM and also had significantly higher open rates after business hours when compared to Business and Non Profit categories.
While choosing the right time to send emails can help improve your open rates, it is certainly not the only factor to consider. You should ensure that your email subject lines are punchy, that your message is mobile friendly and that you are not sending too many emails. See how 5starRocket’s online review management features help you maximize your open rates.
Final Thoughts: There has been tons of research done on this topic. While the data does point to the aforementioned times and we think this is an excellent place to start, it ultimately boils down to how well you know your audience. A study from Experian found that 54% of all emails were viewed on mobile devices. People who use mobile devices tend to check the phones quite frequently out of business hours. A customer survey done by Deloitte found that 40 percent of consumers check their phones within five minutes of waking up. Once the day is over, over 30 percent of consumers check their devices five minutes before going to sleep. If you are targeting a younger, tech-savvy crowd, you should consider testing sends outside traditional business hours. Knowing your audience is the key to finding out what works best for you. Start with a blanket approach, and then hone in on a time that gets you the best results.