When you send an email, the best-case scenario is it gets opened and read, right? Not just read, but absorbed, interacted with. The lead or customer gladly clicks links, checks out your blog, and maybe even contacts you for a consultation or phone call.
This isn’t some daydream that can never come true. You just have to be savvy about when you send your emails.
Yes, content is king, but the time of day your emails go out can influence the open and click-through rates more than you realized.
That begs the question then, when is the best time to send an email? Well, there’s no one magic answer, that’s for certain. There are several days and times when audiences are most receptive to emails, and this data is backed up by many marketers.
In this article, we’ll discuss those days and times. You can then compare this data against your own email-sending schedule and make amends if need be.
When Are the Best Days to Send Email?
Before you go sending out that really great content email you’ve been sitting on, make sure you check which day it is.
It’s generally agreed upon by marketers that there are two really great days to send emails: Tuesday and Thursday. These days have the best level of engagement and may lead to higher open rates. Wednesday is another good option.
Image courtesy of WordStream
Above, you can see a visual representation of the best (and worst) days of the week to send emails.
Beginning on Sunday, email receptivity is at its lowest. The open rate is only a little over five percent. This is because most people are trying to milk the most out of their weekends at this point. They’re probably already dealing with the phenomenon known as the “Sunday scaries,” where the dread of Monday looms overhead. Of course they’re not going to want to look at their inboxes and be reminded that Monday is coming ever closer.
Monday isn’t a great day to send that all-important email, either. On Monday morning, most people are slogging into the office, exhausted and wishing it was the weekend again. They’ll go through their emails mechanically but may not be as receptive to new offers. Just think about how you feel on a Monday. Not so good, right?
Then we get to Tuesday. By this point, most people have accepted they’re stuck at work for the week. Their productivity might be higher, which means they’re checking their inboxes more. They’re not quite at that mid-week hump yet, so maybe they’re not exhausted by several days of working in a row. They’re going to be much more receptive to your emails on a Tuesday compared to a Monday. Per the WordStream data, you could see an open rate of well over 15 percent.
Open rates are also good on Wednesday, about 17 percent. By now, the week is half over. That’s enough to energize some people and keep them on the ball checking their inboxes.
The last good day of the week you have for better email open rates is Thursday. Some marketers say this is an even better day to send emails than Tuesday; WordStream is one of them. After all, you could see an open rate of almost 20 percent. If you were too busy for that email blast on Tuesday, then don’t miss your chance on this day.
By Friday, everyone’s focus is on the weekend. The open rate doesn’t drop drastically, but it is at its lowest since Tuesday. You’re at a little over 15 percent at this point.
Once the weekend does arrive, few people want to look at their inbox, since it reminds them of work. While your audience might be more receptive to these emails on Saturday than Sunday, the email open rate is maybe seven percent. Not great.
What Are the Best Times to Send Email?
Okay, so now you know the best days to send emails are Tuesday through Thursday. What is the best time to send marketing emails on those days? Good question!
There are four times marketers agree on: 6 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 8 p.m. Here’s a CoSchedule infographic that corroborates this.
Image courtesy of CoSchedule
Why 6 a.m.? Doesn’t that seem a bit early? It is, but according to CoSchedule, it’s when most people are awake. About half of people will begin their workday by grabbing their phones and checking their emails. They’ll still be in bed when they do it.
That makes 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday a good time to send emails. If you want your message to sit at the top of the pile, so to speak, then send it out as early as possible. It’ll be one of the first emails your audience sees when they open their sleepy eyes and refresh their inboxes.
If 6 a.m. is a little too early for you or if you’re based in a different time zone, use an automated email scheduler like the one offered by EngageBay.
The next good time to send emails is a little later in the morning, at 10 a.m. By this point, everyone who commutes will have arrived at their office and started their workdays. Many people are productive at this hour but maybe thinking of a distraction like a coffee, a cup of water, or a short break. Your email could arrive at just the right time.
Try to limit sending emails between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The hour before lunch is pretty much a lost cause. Many people are hungry at this point and waiting until they can take their lunch break. For some employees, that’s noon to 1 p.m and for others, it’s 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
That’s why the next recommended time to send your emails is on Tuesdays through Thursdays at 2 p.m. Lunch break is over and it’s now time to focus for the next few hours of the afternoon. Most people’s tummies are full, so they’re not thinking of that midafternoon snack yet.
If you missed the 2 p.m. slot to send an email, you should wait a few hours. Many people succumb to the mid-afternoon slump at about 3 p.m., as mentioned. By 4 p.m., they could be mentally tuned out, especially as the week progresses (it’s that weekend mentality). Most workers are out the door by 5 p.m. and on their way home.
Commutes can take several hours for some, and then there’s dinnertime. That’s why 8 p.m. is your next recommended timeslot for sending your emails. People are home, they’re fed, and they’re relaxing. An email from you, especially if it’s a tailored one, has a higher chance of being opened at this hour.
Don’t go any later than 8 p.m. Sending emails at 10 o’ clock at night or later is invasive. Plus, most people are sleeping by then so they can wake up the next morning and do the same thing all over again.
What Is the Best Day of the Month to Send Emails?
Perhaps you only send emails monthly, such as a newsletter. If you really want to make an impact with your emails and you only get the one shot a month to do it, when should you hit the send button?
Image courtesy of Omnisend
Per a chart from Omnisend, there are several days for monthly emails: the first of the month, the sixth of the month, and the 24th of the month.
In their own studies, when Omnisend sent out an email on the first of the month, they had a 16.4 percent open rate. The rate dropped slightly to 16.1 percent on those emails sent on the sixth of the month.
Image courtesy of Omnisend
Another chart from Omnisend uncovered that click-through rates were still good for the first of the month, hovering at 3.4 percent. Surprisingly, the 24th of the month is another popular day, as the open rate is 3.4 percent as well.
This is just one marketing company’s personal example. What you can bank on is that the first of the month is bound to get you a decently high open and click-through rate. If you have but a single day to send an email, make sure you do it at the beginning of the month.
There are certainly caveats. For example, in June 2019, the first will be on a Saturday. Should you still send your newsletter then knowing that weekend open rates aren’t spectacular? That’s up to you, but data shows it’s not the best decision.
Also, there are some holidays that fall on the first of the month. New Year’s Day, although it just passed, is one of them, and a pretty big one at that. If it’s a seriously observed holiday, you might want to hold off until the second day of the month to send that monthly newsletter.
Can You Ever Go Against the Grain?
The data we presented in this article is backed up by many marketers. What if you felt like going against the grain and sending an email on a Friday morning, a Monday evening, or even (gasp) Thursday midafternoon?
There’s nothing and no one stopping you. You don’t always have to follow these guidelines to the letter. For example, Omnisend sent out emails at several different times and days than those we recommended earlier. These included 2 a.m., 4 a.m., and 1 p.m. emails.
Here’s a chart showing their open and click-through rates:
Image courtesy of Omnisend
So what happened? Their open and click-through rates were in flux. When Omnisend emailed their audience at two in the morning, they had a click-through rate of 0.78 percent. That was their lowest recorded click-through rate.
Emailing two hours after that at four o’ clock in the morning netted Omnisend a much lower open rate than usual. They had better success emailing at more conventional hours. For example, when they sent out an email at 8 a.m., they had a 21.66 percent open rate. They also enjoyed a 4.52 percent click-through rate, which is not bad.
Reaching out later in the day, such as at 1 p.m., also netted good results. Again, there was a high open rate of 21.68 percent. The click-through rate also went up ever so slightly to 4.52 percent.
What these numbers prove is there is some wiggle room. If you miss that 8 a.m. or 10 a.m. email blast, you don’t necessarily have to wait until 2 p.m. to reach out. You could try sending an email an hour earlier at 1 p.m.
Will it work for you the way it did for Omnisend? That’s up to you to find out. What we do suggest is A/B testing before sending emails at weird hours of the night (or day). See which hours your own audience is most receptive to. Then send emails at those times.
Will the days be midweek? More than likely. Will the times be earlier in the day or later in the evening? Probably, but you never know. It all depends on what kind of business you run and your audience’s needs. Maybe you try to market to the weekend warrior crowd because there’s less competition. Perhaps it works.
A Quick Note on Content…
You could send your emails at the exact days and times we listed in this article down to the minute. However, you won’t see the kinds of open and click-through rates you want if your emails aren’t worth reading.
Just because you figured out the formula of when to send emails doesn’t mean you can get lax on content. You still need to write awesome, compelling newsletters and email copy.
Are your open and click-through rates lower than you wish they were? If you’re already writing great email content, it could be that you’re sending it out on the wrong days or times.
The most popular times for email open rates are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 6 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 8 p.m. Now that you know when to send an email blast, you can strategize your email marketing for greater success.