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Best Time to Send Emails in 2022: By Email Type

Just like there’s a perfect time to call customer service support, there’s the best time to send email campaigns.

Nov 24, 2021 - By Mikkel Andreassen

best_time_to_send_email_in_2021

Just like there’s a perfect time to call customer service support, there’s the best time to send email campaigns.

Just like there’s a perfect time to call customer service support, there’s the best time to send email campaigns.

But while with the first one, you’re merely ensuring no time is wasted on waiting, the second has a direct correlation with the success of your email marketing. 

We’re talking about click-through rates, click-to-open rates, and open rates. These performance-measuring trackers can offer you a whole lot of information about whether your EDM marketing is working or if it’s just sucking money out of your business. 

So, how do you bulletproof your mass email marketing method so that your audience is a) hooked from the get-go and b) ready to hit that CTA button without further nurturing? 

You figure out when your online community is most likely to engage with your email depending on:

  1. The message’s type and purpose.
  2. The audience’s time zone and digital behavior.

The Best Time for Email Marketing 

The truth is – everyone’s email inbox is packed with a bunch of useless stuff. In fact, an average U.S. worker has about 199 unopened emails, as reported by the results of the 2000-workers-large survey.

This means that many emails go unnoticed. Add the common perception that messages at the top of the inbox are the ones that are the most likely to be viewed, and you’ve got a good idea about the likelihood of your email getting a high opening rate.

Here’s where the right email send-out time [and date] comes into play.

The sending schedule you’re planning to adopt will depend on whether your company is classified as a B2C or B2B organization, too.

That is, Tuesday and Wednesday turned out to be the most optimal days for both B2C and B2B companies for sending business emails that yield good results. Sunday, in comparison, is claimed to be the least effective day as told by 55% of B2B brands.

Read on to learn when is the best time to send an email marketing campaign to get the response you want.

How Do You Choose the Best Time to Send Emails

Several factors play vital roles in you getting this right. Remember though, that there is no one right answer, just what’s right for your niche and target audience.

The overall idea is to send relevant emails with catchy subject lines at a time that your subscriber is most likely active, so there is a higher probability that they open your email and click on any links inside.

1. Your Niche and Industry

Big, big factor! Your subscribers need to be active in front of technology (their PCs, mobile phones) for you to even have a decent chance of an open.

Why? Because data says so. 

Almost 23% of emails are opened within the first hour of delivery. This percentage drops down to 8% after four hours and 1% after 24 hours of delivery (by Enginemailer).

And as mentioned earlier, after a day, the likelihood of your email being opened reduces to a mere 1%.

For e.g. B2B (business to business) newsletters will generally NOT work if you’re sending them out on Saturday nights unless your target audience is small business entrepreneurs who are likely to spend weekends working.

If your business involves the media and entertainment industry, Friday nights might just be a perfect time! While any other standard office-related businesses are best sent out on weekdays towards the middle (Tue, Wed, Thu).

2. Audience Demographics & the Larger Culture

They say “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Totally true in this case.

The best example we can think of is that Arab countries take weekends off on Fridays and Saturdays. So your Sunday is actually a Monday for them (metaphorically speaking)—the first day of the week! So if you have a customer base there, this changes a few things! 

Again, are you targeting millennials? If yes, then you should know that they are technology crazy. So double-check if that beautiful-looking email newsletter is mobile responsive and displays well over handheld devices!

You will get all of your answers from solid audience research. As a general guideline, do not take anything literally but contextualize it with culture and the demographics and you will start to see the patterns.

3. Miscellaneous Factors

Is it the ongoing holiday season? Good luck with any aggressive B2B campaigns you’ve got planned out.

What time zone is your audience working from? Account for this.

Climatic conditions or the weather playing truant? E.g. monsoons. If you have a B2C customer base and it’s very likely most people will be home online, go ahead and run that campaign accordingly.

4. Email Frequency & Cadence

How frequently are you already emailing them? Again, there are no right and wrong answers. Only answers that are right for your business.

Mail them irrelevant communication too frequently and you will start to irritate them. Call on their inbox once a month and you will be forgotten sooner than you can imagine.

Studies conducted by Marketing Sherpa have indicated that subscribers like to receive marketing emails at least once a week.

Also, it helps to have a fixed cadence. So if your communication is really relevant and to the point, your audience will actually await the same, refreshing their inbox at the same time every Tuesday for example.

Best Time to Send Email Blast by Weekday

When is the best time to send an email based on the day of the week? While business days have the highest open and engagement rates, they are not the same. Here is a breakdown of the best time to send emails based on actual data:

email_open_by_day_of_the_week

On Friday

Existing evidence shows that emails sent on Friday do not have impressive open rates. According to data by Klaviyo, emails sent on Friday perform worse than Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. A different data set shows that Friday emails have the highest click-through rate and click-to-open rate. While Friday emails have high available rates, they result in some of the lowest returns in monetary terms.

On Thursday

Some researchers found Thursday is day to send emails, especially considering the overall open rate. However, the click-to-open rate for Thursday emails was better than on all days except Wednesday and Friday.

On Wednesday

From existing data, Wednesday is the second-best day to send an email, especially considering the open rate. It outperforms all other days except Thursday. Wednesday is the third-best after Monday and Thursday in revenue per recipient.

On Tuesday

After Thursday, Tuesday is the next best day to send emails regarding the open rate. In some instances, Tuesday emails perform better than those sent on any other day of the week. However, Tuesday emails may have a lower revenue per recipient than those sent on Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday. If you’re looking for more revenue from your email campaign, be sure to do it on Thursday when the income per recipient is higher.

On Monday

As the first of the weekdays, Monday comes closely to Friday when it comes to the best time to send emails in 2022. Only Tuesday and Wednesday beat Monday. Even though Monday emails have a lower open rate, they have the second-highest revenue per recipient, according to data from Klaviyo. So, you shouldn’t be afraid to send your emails on Monday, especially if your audience is more active then.

On Saturday

You can still send your emails on Saturday or Sunday during the weekend. Of the two days, Saturday scores better in terms of the open rate but is the same as Sunday regarding the revenue per recipient.

On Sunday

Sunday performs better than Saturday when it comes to click-through and open rates. It has a lower revenue per recipient, just like Sunday. Unless it is urgent, wait until the weekdays to send your emails.

Best Time of Day to Send Email 

The best time of day to send emails is when recipients are more likely to click-to-open. According to data, emails sent between 12pm and 4pam have the highest open rate. Therefore, the best time of day to send emails is between 12:00 am and 8:00 pm on Tuesday and Thursday.

email_opens_by_the_day

Best Time to Send Email Newsletter by Type

Each type of email comes with characteristics that dictate the right time you can send it. Here is a breakdown of the best time to send emails according to the type:

Newsletters

It is best to send out email newsletters on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. If you do it on Monday, the recipients might not open the email until a few days later. The best time of day to send a newsletter is 10.00 am and 6.00 to 9.00 pm when recipients are settled at home after work.

The general consensus seems to be that:

  • People prefer to receive emails during the daytime (=late night campaigns might not perform as expected even if the content is top-notch).
  • Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays are a no-go – the former is for getting into the busy workweek mode and the latter is for, well, resting before the said busy workweek.
  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 9-11 in the morning and 1-3 in the afternoon perform the best for everyone.

Now, this is a generalization. If we dive deeper, we’ll find that the best time to send newsletters is between 8 and 9 AM on a Thursday. Emails sent within this time period get a 25% opening rate. Not too shabby for an email marketer.

If you’re wondering what time you should steer clear from sending your weekly newsletter, that would be anywhere between 8 and 10 AM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This will give you a less-than-favorable open rate of below 5%.

The above advice should be taken with a grain of salt if your target audience is:

  • young (under 25)
  • mobile-device-driven
  • unevenly spread across the world (hint: time zones)

The entertainment industry with its ever-active public that tends to check their email on a Friday evening is also an exception.

Email Campaign Blast

When sending email campaign blasts, it is advisable to determine when the audience is likely to open their inboxes. Therefore, plan to release your emails between Tuesday and Thursday, when the recipients are more likely to open them.

Different from the over-the-counter newsletters that are neatly crafted in advance, email blasts are known to be much more sporadic. 

There are pros and cons to them – it takes less time to create them but there’s a certain schedule-related strategy you need to follow for them to actually work.

As you can tell by looking at this graph, the period between Monday and Friday is the email-blast-friendly time. Saturday and Sunday aren’t off the table either if your customers are active during these days too.

This might seem counterintuitive – isn’t there supposed to be a set date that performs best? But with email blasts, the time of the day matters more than the day of the week. Check this statistic created by Sender down below:

email_opens_by_the_time_of_the_day

The peak time for sending email blasts, as it becomes apparent, is between 10 and 12 in the morning. This is when most people start feeling the need to take that mid-afternoon break and check their inboxes.

Your time to shine can be prolonged up to 4 PM, but once the clock hits 6, your chances of getting noticed start to decrease.

Does this mean the rest of the day you can’t be sending to your audience those artsy sales ads or posters about the next-week event? Not really. You can still dispatch them as you wish if you know they’ll get opened and clicked through.

Or, if you’re not sure, there’s always the A/B testing that will help you understand the behavior of your customers better. Apply it to every email type discussed in this article and you’ll get your results sooner than anticipated.

To Get a Response

If you’re hoping to get a response to your email, then your timing should be when the click-through rate is the highest. According to data the best time to send an email and get a response is on Tuesday at 10.00 am, when emails have the highest engagement rates generally.

B2B Email

B2B emails contain marketing materials and are sent by businesses to multiple recipients, who could be based in different time zones. While the day of the week matters, it may not be possible to time the message for each recipient to 10.00 am. You can choose any day, whether Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, to send your emails.

Promotional Emails

It is essential to perfectly time promotional emails to increase their click-through rate like any other email. Since promotional emails are unsolicited, you should make it easier for the recipients to open and read. Therefore, Tuesday at 10.00 am is the best time to send this email.

Transactional Emails

When one says ‘transactional email’, he implies those emails that follow, as you’ve guessed it, some kind of a transaction. This could be an abandoned cart event, an order confirmation, or a self-help type of email that helps the customer reset his password.

They appear to be self-explanatory – you send them out as soon as the customer has interacted with your business. But what if we told you this isn’t always the right thing to do?

Since marketers put a big emphasis on open rates by day, it’s not surprising that engagement ranks the highest among the motives for adopting the practice of sending transactional emails. It makes sense – a customer that’s engaged is bound to stay loyal to your brand.

the_importance_of_transactional_emails

That said, it’s easy to overdo it when hoping to engage, retain, and convert the potential client. The ‘everything goes’ approach can lead businesses to come off too strong and scare these customers away with emails that are sent too quickly or too often.

Fair – sending a ‘thank you for your order’ email right after the customer has purchased something from you should be your standard practice. The same goes for a password reset email timing. Abandoned cart, on the other hand, can wait a little.

With the former, it’s clear that the customer is already interested in your offer. But there was either a lack of trust, a high cost of shipping, or a payment/technical issue that stopped him from making the order. In this case, your best bet would be to:

  • Send your first transactional email within a few hours of the abandoned cart as a reminder.
  • Send the second one 24 hours after the event to give him some time to ‘sleep on it’
  • Send the final email a week after the event with a discount to lurk him in 

Below is an example of the first bullet point.

Welcome Emails

Making the right first impression can be tough. It’s even tougher if you’re in a competitive, cut-throat industry that doesn’t tolerate mistakes.

The silver lining is that welcome emails tend to get some of the highest open rates. The average 15-25% here turns into a whopping 50%. According to Marketing Sherpa, they turn out to be 86% more successful than newsletters.

This should give you some peace of mind that comes from knowing that you can shoot high with these emails.

But just how high exactly?

For welcome emails to work, it’s recommended that you adhere to the following 3-step process:

  • Send out your first welcome email straight after the prospect has signed up/subscribed to your newsletter/service. You have to use this time to your advantage because your brand is still fresh on his mind.
  • Depending on whether or not the prospect has made the purchase after the initial email, you should either lead him on by sending a second one from the welcoming email series or resorting to the transactional email if the purchase is already made.
    P.S. Don’t forget to remove your newly-acquired customers from the welcoming flow of emails so that they don’t become annoyed with all the spam coming from your company.
  • The third and final welcoming email should reach the prospect’s inbox about two days after the original email. By including the appropriate content and sending it at a later time, you ensure that he receives the intended message and [finally] converts into a customer.

If, for some reason, this didn’t happen, you should add him to a different email sequence designed to persuade prospects to make the purchase.

Granted, this advice is suitable for e-commerce companies whose offerings are simple to understand in the course of 3 emails only.

This means that if you are, say, a tech startup or a payment processor app, you might need more than just these 3 emails to fully convey the message and not leave out anything important.

So, decide on the number of welcome emails at your own discretion and follow the aforementioned step-by-step guide to time them appropriately.

Email Follow-ups

Lastly, we have follow-ups – the most time-sensitive type of emails that, when schemed out well, can yield great results. 

You’d be shocked to find out how many businesses stay away from sending follow-up emails to their prospects. In fact, it was reported that out of 1000 companies, less than 3% follow up with their potential customers. 

This is staggering – just imagine how many opportunities these companies waste! Whether it is the lack of patience or, more likely, the lack of a well-defined strategy, the losses continue to accumulate when you don’t factor in for the busy people who might’ve simply not had the time to even open up your email. And you’ve already given up.

To not be one of those 1000 companies, consider appropriating these email follow-up tips:

  • If it was the customer who reached out to you, a prompt response is vital. If it’s the other way around and you still haven’t received the response, waiting 3-4 days before sending a follow-up email is mandatory.
  • Mondays and Fridays are off-limits. You should not be following up with your prospects during these days.
  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays at around 10 AM work best for sending out these types of emails. People are considered to be the most productive these days, so it makes sense that they would check their inboxes with intention more frequently.
  • Saturdays at 10 AM and Sundays at 8 PM are acceptable for clients who happen to be entrepreneurs themselves and those who plan their weekly schedule ahead of time.

It was found that the chances of your follow-up email getting opened actually increase after your 5th email. The 27% response rate for the 6th follow-up email speaks volumes about why you should persist.

Insider Tip: Employing email scheduling software can help you with figuring out the right time to send follow-ups and other emails when unsure about your customers’ behavior.

Once you get more insights, you can use this software to mitigate some pressure from your customer service reps by planning your emails in advance.

Best Time to Send Email Campaign

Ecommerce Emails

When choosing the timing for ecommerce emails, you should consider your end goals, which can be getting a higher open rate or improved click-throughs. If you intend to get a higher click-to-open rate, send your emails at 7:00 am, 10:00 am, and 5:00 pm on Tuesdays or Thursdays. However, if you want to increase the click-through rate, send your ecommerce emails at 6:00 pm.

Abandoned Cart Email

There is no specific day or time to reach out to your customers when sending abandoned cart emails. Regardless of the day, send an abandoned cart email within 60 minutes of the customer abandoning the cart. That ensures that the recipient can respond to the email before turning off the computer or walking away altogether.

Cold Emails

Recipients are more likely to click cold emails when they show up on top of their inboxes. So, you should send them out early in the morning, between 5.00 am, and 9.00 am at the start of the workday. As they settle down to open their work emails, the recipients are more likely to open and respond to your emails.

Measuring Your Email Campaign Performance

All said and done, consumer behaviors change dynamically and drastically and every expert out there has an opinion on the best time to send out emails.

Go by the golden rule—Measure what matters. Because what gets measured gets managed better.

Your analytics will never lie.

The most popular metrics that tell you what’s working and what’s not included:

  1. Open Rate (OR)

    Open rate is nothing but the number of subscribers who ended up opening your email. It is expressed as a percentage by calculating:
    OR = (Total number of email opens) / (Total number of emails sent out)

    Assuming that you are already landing inside the Inbox (and not Spam or Promotion), a catchy subject line and an optimized text snippet (second subject line) will make it highly likely that the subscribers opens your email.
  2. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

    Click-through rate refers to the number of people who click on the CTA (Call to Action) or link/ image inside your email.

    Expressed as a percentage again, it is calculated as:
    CTR = (Total number of clicks) / (Total number of opens)

    It will always be less than the total number of emails opened because some users will open your e-mail, but then disregard it.
  3. Click-To-Open Rate (CTOR)

    The last metric you’d want to keep a tab on is the click-to-open rate which compares the number of people who opened your email vis a vis how many clicked.

    This metric is crucial since it helps you understand whether the content in your emails is relevant and converting. If it is not having the desired impact on the subscribers, you can experiment with the design, copy, CTA, and content in different ways.

    Expressed as a percentage, it is calculated as follows:
    CTOR = (CTR)/(OR)

Getting Near-Perfect Opens With Compelling Subject Lines

Let’s face the truth. Without an open, you’ll never get that sale. Subject lines play a major part in helping improve the probability of your email getting opened and read.

Some of the ways you can create compelling, click-worthy subject lines are as follows:

  1. Unless you are a mega-brand, it works to keep the subject line outcome or benefit-oriented. People always want to what’s in it for “them”.

    E.g.s
    – The Amazing discovery of {Outcome}
    – Raise Your productivity by 2X now
  2. Include a number if you can. Numbers excite readers because they satiate them with the answer to “how much” or “how many”.

    E.g.s
    – 13 Amazing ways to {Outcome}
    – 7 Easy ways to get website traffic now.
  3. Include a Curiosity hook. Curiosity is a powerful human emotion because humans by nature seek completeness and closure. They’ll always want the missing piece of the puzzle.

    E.g.s
    – Here’s what no one’s telling you about {Pain Point OR Outcome}
    – The Secret to {Outcome}
  4. Include Urgency to induce FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). What the other elements of persuasion cannot do, a deadline almost always gets it done.

    E.g.s
    – Last Chance! Unable to hold stocks for much longer
    – Final Reminder about the 24 Hour Sale!
  5. Personalize with the Subscriber’s name. People love their names. Include it in the subject line and you have their brief yet precious attention, almost immediately. But remember to mix up things often and not just call out to the subscriber in every subject line.

    E.g.s
    – {firstname}, are you coming back for more?
    – Do not trust anyone with THIS, {firstname}!

Getting your subject lines on point can hugely improve the chances of an open which is the ultimate gatekeeper to conversions. 

Email marketing is part science, part art. Always has been. There are never any guarantees, we can only work on probabilities. Test and see what works in the now, and then do more of that.

Focus on Testing, which Time Works Best for You

The biggest takeaway is that there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the so-called right time to send out emails. There are a lot of variables that come into play – your company’s type, your customers’ behavior, your product/service – that will affect the time schedule most suitable for your brand.

What helps is to get to know your customers better – i.e. their needs and wants – and tailor your emails to them accordingly.

Don’t blind-test either – invest in A/B testing tools. They will guide you in the right direction so that no matter if you send out that newsletter on a Tuesday morning or on a Friday evening, it will get opened. This way, you’ll be able to find the best time to send email campaigns much quicker

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