Best Time To Send Email Newsletter

When is the Best Time to Send Your Email Newsletter

Certain things in both life and business all come down to timing. If you’re one second too soon or too late, you’ll miss your mark. However, sometimes you find yourself in exactly the right place at precisely the right moment. These are the moments when you have a strong chance of accomplishing what you set out to accomplish. Email marketing is one of these things. While a few seconds won’t make or break your next email campaign, the general timing of when you deliver your emails most certainly does matter. We’ll explore the best time to send your email newsletter to your contact list in this post.

General Advice

The majority of the email marketing community accepts the following general tips regarding the best time to send your email newsletter. However, these initial tips are nothing more than basic guidelines and are by no means set in stone.

Daytime vs. Nighttime

Not to state the obvious here, but emails sent during the daytime have far higher open rates than those sent overnight. I mean, your audience needs to be awake in order to open your email after all.

Maniac Mondays

Hello Monday

Let’s be real here – nobody likes Mondays. Why? First off, the weekend is over and there are five workdays until the next weekend. If that isn’t enough, most people have a raging storm of emails waiting for them that has been building up since Friday the previous week. Rather than carefully review the entire pile of emails Monday morning, most end up in the trash can.

Weekends

Most normal people are busy running errands and enjoying their free time with family and friends Friday night through Sunday evening. This break from the 9 to 5 workday grind equates to low open rates, so most logical marketers avoid sending emails on the weekend at all costs.

Event Notifications

While roughly 23% of emails are opened within one hour of being sent, there are some who may not get to your email until a day or two later. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to send event-oriented emails 3-5 days prior to a special event.

Prime Time: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are traditionally the prime time to send email campaigns because your audience has gotten past Maniac Monday and has yet to shift their focus from their work to the weekend. In fact, recent research confirms that the middle chunk of the week is the ideal time to distribute your email newsletters.

Aim for the Middle

Aim for the Middle

Some marketers believe that the best time to send email campaigns is in the middle of the week and in the middle of the day. This is because people are more likely to be checking their emails at these times. However, other people think that it is better to send email campaigns at different times so that people will be more likely to see them. These timeframes are safe, reliable, and an overall good time to distribute your email newsletter.

Now Forget Everything I Just Told You…

The tips we just went through above are general best practices for email marketing. However, way too many situations challenge the status quo suggestions we just covered.

The following stats from our friends over at WordStream found the following via their own email marketing campaigns:

  • Best Time to Send Emails: Thursday 8-9 am: Most marketers would argue that 8 am is way too early to send your email newsletter, but this time really clicks for WordStream email blasts, especially since their open rates average over 25%!
  • Worst Time to Send Emails: Tuesday & Wednesday 8-10 am: Again, the majority of digital marketers will claim that Tuesday and Wednesday mornings are great times to deliver emails, but this is not the case for WordStream seeing how their open rates on these days fail to surpass 5%.

These two data points go to show that what works for the majority doesn’t ring true for everyone.

There are a number of reasons why these tried and tested tips really don’t mean much in the end.

Avoid Email Rush Hour

Avoid Email Rush Hour

The majority of the marketing community agrees that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are primetime to launch an email campaign. Unless your competition lives under a rock, they have likely also come across this nugget of wisdom. This means that your competition is likely sending their emails around the same time that you are sending yours.

If you want your email newsletter to survive the chaos of email rush hour, you should seriously consider swimming upstream. What I mean is that you should consider sending your newsletter out before the “recommended” times. For instance, if the “recommended” time is between 10:00 am and 12:00 noon, then you should try sending your newsletter at 9:30. Doing so may land your email in your audience’s inbox before the so-called primetime, but this may turn out to be a good thing. The only way to find out if avoiding email rush hour is worth it is to conduct a series of A/B tests where timing is the independent variable.

The Environment Makes a Difference

The historically accepted “best time to send an email” figures are essentially useless today since user habits vary across devices. The typical mid-week, mid-day makes perfect sense if your entire audience reads your email on their desktop. However, this doesn’t ring true for mobile users, who are active on their devices through the day and even into the late evening.

It’s worth acknowledging that while activity on mobile devices is high after hours during the week and on the weekend, one study shows that 55% of consumers check their email on desktops, whereas only 25% did so on their mobile devices. However, these figures are ancient seeing how they were published nearly a decade ago back in 2013. Fast forward to 2020 when 43.5% of consumers rely on their mobile devices to check their email and a meager 19.9% of consumers check their email via desktop. I’m of the mindset that more consumers will use their mobile devices to check their email as we move forward, so it is critical that you send mobile-friendly emails so consumers can read your emails on the device of their choosing.

Know Your Audience

Studying and understanding the demographics of your audience is arguably the most influential factor behind successful email marketing. I mean, it only makes sense that you know their habits and how to cater to their needs, hopes, and desires.

Here are a few examples of how demographics totally go against the “best time to send” advice that I touched on earlier:

  • If your target audience consists of the younger, tech-centric crowd, then you can disregard the tip about not sending emails at night. Emails sent after the traditional workday work just fine for the younger tech crowd.
  • You can throw away the tip about not sending emails on Friday if you’re in the entertainment industry since your audience is likely looking for stuff to do over the weekend.
  • Weekends in general are no longer totally off-limits. If you’re looking to reach the tech-savvy crowd in colder climates, then you’ll find success over the weekend since your audience is likely indoors avoiding the frozen tundra.

Another major factor that you need to consider is the timezone of your target audience. If you have their geographic location in your CRM, then you should definitely customize email send times.

The Ultimate Response…

Email Marketing Holy Grail

There is no single best time to send out an email campaign. Every target audience is unique, so you need to test, test, and test some more until you can send emails with confidence.

I realize that this isn’t what you wanted to read, but it’s true. Yes, there are certain days of the week and times that typically yield better open and click-through rates. However, email marketing is not one-size-fits-all.

My apologies if you’re frustrated now and have steam coming out of your ears due to the absence of a definite answer. However, I would be irresponsible to claim that any exact time yields the best open and click-through rates. I will, however, support the mid-week/mid-day approach and endorse it as a great place to start…with one caveat. The being that the mid-week/mid-day approach is nothing more than a starting point and that you have to engage in rigorous testing in order to find the best time for your specific audience. When I say rigorous, I mean seriously getting after it and conducting A/B tests like there is no tomorrow.

Don’t Blame Subpar Open Rates on Your Delivery Time

You cannot totally blame low open rates on when you send your emails. If your open rates are lower than what you’re hoping for, you need to take the following into consideration:

  • Does your subject line rock? The subject line is straight-up HUGE when it comes to email marketing. Heck, I’d almost go so far as to say that your subject line is more important than the actual copy of your email. Why? Simple. The subject line essentially determines whether your audience will even open the email. If your subject line stinks, then your email list will probably skip over and/or delete your email. However, if your subject line captures the attention of your audience, then there’s a far better chance that they’ll open and read your email.
  • Are you sending too many emails? Every group of friends has one person who always has something to say and never shuts up. If you can’t identify the blabbermouth in your group, you may be that friend…if so, my apologies. Anyways, you need to avoid becoming the email marketing version of that person at all costs. Sending too many emails can lower your open rate, increase subscriptions, and just make people dislike you in general. Remember that it’s a privilege to have your subscriber’s contact info, not a right, so show some respect and don’t bombard them with an endless storm of emails.

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