best time to send emails

02.05.2020

Marketing  |  8 min read

The best time to send emails

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Jared Kimball

Have you ever asked the question, "When is the best time and best day to send emails?"

It's a good question to ask, but there's no simple answer. The truth is, it depends.

The best time to send emails:

  1. The highest open rates from emails are sent between 6 a.m.–11 a.m.
  2. 8 a.m.–11 a.m. have high open rates, but much lower click-to-open ratios. People open up the emails, but don't click as often.
  3. The 1 p.m. hour stood out more than any other single hour block. It by far has one of the highest open to click-through ratios.
  4. More people seem to click emails between 7 p.m.–4 a.m. than any other block of hours. These are the Golden Hours (explained below).

There are many factors to consider when sending emails, but I'm going to keep things simple: below I've listed five crucial things to keep in mind when sending emails.

Leverage the power of immediacy

When someone subscribes to your email marketing list, you'll typically see the highest open rates for email sent in the immediate email follow up.

This kind of email not only tends to get great open rates, but it also sets the stage for other correspondence.

Here's an example to help inspire you when creating immediate follow-up emails. Jenna Soard makes an amazing first impression with her initial follow-up email. 

This email stands out from the mundane stuff everyone else on the internet sends.

Jenna Soard email

Hour-by-hour breakdown on the best time to send emails

The best time to send newsletters or email campaigns depends a lot on your market.

For example, restaurant owners probably would benefit from sending emails later in the afternoon around 3pm or 5pm to get on the radar of people who want to go dine out for dinner, while a summer camp business might have a better chance of reaching parents during their lunch breaks, later at night after the kids are in bed or on the weekends.

Every business is different, which is why you need to gather data, test, repeat.

Below is a detailed chart that shows an hour-by-hour breakdown of email open rates, click through rates (CTR) and click to open (CTO) rates.

email performance by hour

What's the best day of the week to send emails?

Some businesses benefit from sending emails on weekdays while others get more engagement on weekends.

At Keap, we target specific countries around the globe to ensure we send emails on optimal days and at optimal times.

For example, we try to schedule our emails to Australia to go out Sunday evenings through Wednesday evenings, because Australia is a day ahead of our time here in Phoenix, Arizona. This way, we can be sure they receive emails from us during their normal business hours.

email performance by day

Looking at the chart above you can clearly see that we send the majority of our emails earlier in the week.

Here are the details that stood out to us after analyzing this sample set of data:

  • Thursday seems to be the day that people open and click on emails more than any other day of the week, which would make it an ideal day to do some A/B testing if you're so inclined.
  • We don't send very many emails on the weekends, but when we do, the CTO percentage is through the roof. After analyzing the data on these days, it seems that the weekends act as email catch up days for small business owners.
  • We also noticed that people tend to open and click on emails as the week progresses. Our theory is that most businesses tackle the most difficult tasks Monday through Wednesday and as the week progresses, more time opens up to catch up on email.

Small businesses get busy during the week, which means the weekend seems like an optimal time to catch up on emails that were flagged to read at a more convenient time.

Knowing the best time and best day to send emails and how to get more emails opened 

Once you have a better understanding of when to send your emails, you next have to figure out how to get people to actually open them.

Use tactics in subject lines based on the time of day or day of the week you send your emails. 

Here are a few example phrases you could put in your email subject lines

  • Good Afternoon, John
  • "My 2 a.m. rant..."
  • I thought today (Saturday) would be a good day to ...

The possibilities are endless. If you're looking for battle-tested, easy-to-apply email subject line formulas that work like a charm, then check out this post to help you get started and to give you more in-depth training on how to write great subject lines.

Focus on the golden hours

The golden hours refer to when people are most likely to be in a researching or buying mindset. Most people are busy during the day putting out fires at their businesses, handling work-related tasks, or dealing with family matters.

Our data and other studies show that people usually enter the researching, educating and buying mindsets later in the evenings and on weekends.

Here's an example: Your prospect gets your email in the morning and you pique their interest with an engaging subject line. When they start to read the email they think to themselves, "This is what I want to know, but I don't have time to really focus on this right now. I'll read it later tonight."

After the kids are in bed and the chaos of the day has settled down, your potential client looks at their emails again, and they remember (because they flagged it) they wanted to really focus on your email when they had more time.

Hence, the golden hours. During these hours, they are focused on learning more about your product or services, they are evaluating if it's a good fit for them, and they're even looking for a reason to justify why they should buy from you.

How to take advantage of the golden hours

If you can get a fresh email in their inbox during the golden hours, you'll increase the chances that they'll consider your product or service, and maybe even buy.

Send out a "Last Chance" type of email that creates a sense of urgency like this one from Chandler Bolt:

chandler bolt last chance email

  • Send critical educational/Call-to-action (CTA) emails that need more time to read and review like this one from Jason Hanson:
  • Jason Hanson CTA

    sixth division email

     

     

    Jared Kimball openly shares his strategies and techniques for email marketing on his site MarketerLife.com


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