What is the best time to send an email? The truth is: there is no universally accepted best time to send a marketing email. Your business is unique and different than businesses in other industries. The best time for you to send an email depends partially on the habits of your audience.
However, there is some reliable research available that sheds some light on the best day and time of day to send an email across industries. Let’s dig in and take a look.
What is the best day to send to your subscribers?
When we looked across all industries to find averages, we came across some interesting data. It’s clear to say that you will see better open rates if you send emails on a weekday rather than on the weekend. That probably comes as no surprise.
Weekdays are hands down the best days to send emails. MailChimp looked into which day of the week was the best day to send emails to customers and prospects who have opted into your email list. They found that during the week, there is very little variation in the percentage of subscribers who open emails. Their data shows that rates are contained between 16% and 18% depending on the day. See the chart below:
Which days produce the best open rates?
The data above refers to those who have opted into your emails. When we looked at open rates for all emails in general, including cold emails, we found similar data. It indicates a narrow range of differentiation between weekdays. We also found that weekends still produce the lowest open rates.
Tuesday and Wednesday tied for the days with the highest open rates, while Thursday saw the lowest open rates during the week. This data came from MailerMailer, who also compared open rates between the first half of the calendar year (H1) and the second half of the calendar year (H2). Surprisingly, email open rates were higher in the first half of the year for almost every day of the week. See the chart below:
Which days produce the best click-through rates?
Click-through rate data, also compiled by MailerMailer, provides some surprising insight into which days of the week are the best to ensure the maximum number of click-throughs. We were surprised to find that emails sent on Sunday generated higher click-through rates than any other day of the week. Tuesday followed closely behind, while Saturday proved to be the worst day to produce click-throughs. See chart below:
What time of day is the best?
Now that we’ve covered the best days to send emails, let’s take a look at the times of day that produce the best results.
What we found when we investigated the topic is that there is essentially a bell curve that peaks at 11am, making that the best time of day to send an email. HubSpot looked at a large sample of its clients’ email sends and compiled the data into a chart that reveals this bell curve. See the chart below:
How do you find the best time and day for your company?
By knowing industry averages, you now have a starting point from which to understand which days and times tend to work best across the board.
However, as I mentioned above, just because industry averages say that 11 am on a Tuesday or Wednesday is the optimal time to send an email, doesn’t mean that it’s the optimal time for you to send an email.
So, what should you do? You should look at your own open and click-through data. With the use of a powerful marketing automation solution, you should have access to deep email marketing metrics that will provide insight into how your emails are performing with your unique audience.
Take a large sample of emails sent on different days and compare open rates. Do your own research into your own data, and you’ll begin to see which days are the best for your unique audience.
Map it out and create some charts like the ones above so you can graphically see the difference in open and click-through rates on different days and at different times.
How can you improve your days of lower engagement?
It’s important to know the best days and times to send emails in an email campaign, as well as one-off email blasts. After you analyze the open and click-through rates of your own emails, you will identify which days are performing well and which are not.
If certain days are performing poorly, you should consider leveraging A/B testing to improve your rates on those days. You can use A/B testing to try out different subject lines. Finding the right style and tone to use in your subject lines will help to increase open rates.
Equally, you can use A/B testing to test different email body copy. Identifying the tone and style your email body copy will help you produce a higher click-through rate.
Ensuring emails are mobile responsive
If you simply can’t find a way to increase open and click-through rates on the days with the lowest percentages, you should investigate whether your emails are mobile responsive.
According to the Radicati Group, by 2019, 80% of email users are predicted to access their email accounts exclusively from their mobile devices.
Indeed, the need for mobile responsive emails is one of the fastest growing email marketing trends. Your marketing automation solution should provide you with previews of each email you send, allowing you to view how it will look on various devices. You should be able to easily know if your email is not rendering correctly on a cell phone, tablet, or desktop/laptop.
Ensuring that your email can be easily read on all devices will increase your open rate, which will have the secondary effect of increasing your click-through rate. The more emails that are opened, the more clicks you will see.
So, what have we learned? What is the best day and time to send a marketing email? The answer is that there is no objective, definitive answer. It all depends on your business, your audience, and their needs and tendencies.
By understanding industry averages, you can gain a baseline starting point. From there, you should assess your own open and click-through rates to identify the days and times that work best for you.
Once you have done that, you can A/B test your email subject lines and body text to improve open and click-through rates for the days on which you are not performing well. You can also improve those rates by ensuring your emails are mobile responsive and render clearly on all devices.
Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to hone in on the days and times that work best for you.
Do you have any anecdotes or insight into the best days and times to send emails? Which days and times work best for you? Let us know in the comments section below!