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Be on Your Customers’ Radars By Timing Your Emails Right!

Email timing in email marketing

Now, here’s a universal truth that invariably all of us are wise to by now- it doesn’t matter how sincere your efforts are and staunch your conviction, they’ll never earn the merit they deserve if your timing is off. Whether you’re trying to taste success on the personal front or professional, bear in mind that timing, really, is everything. Email campaigns, too, you ask? Yes, them too.

Besides acing email content and polishing email designs, there’s another very essential question that all email marketers have to contend with- what’s the best time to send an email campaign? And well, the answer to that is as subjective and nuanced as it gets. It depends on several factors, such as the industry type, region, and email type, among others. Reaching out to customers with the right email at the right time tops the priority list of every business out there, but getting there is no walk in the park. Safe to say then that once you get your email timing right, there’s absolutely no looking back either for you or your business! Ready to learn more about it? Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents:

Importance of Timing in Email Marketing

Many email marketers struggle with generating the expected engagement and ROI on their campaigns. The primary culprit? Timing. Your emails will only work their magic on your subscribers if you deliver them at the right time. And that’s quite logical, isn’t it? Suppose a store is planning to organize a sale in a week’s time from now. They decide to print flyers for the same. They’ll obviously get more footfall if they start distributing the flyers 4-5 days before the sale than if they do it just a day prior. Likewise, distributing the flyers late afternoon or evening when the streets are more crowded will fetch the store more visitors than during the wee hours. It’s all about timing. 

In the current scheme of things, what you send in your emails isn’t the sole factor that determines your success anymore; when you send it, is equally vital. However, selecting the best time to send emails to your audience is a tricky affair. One email marketer’s ideal slot might not necessarily hold true for the other. It depends largely on the Internet habits and the overall behavior of your target audience. Every day, a flurry of customized email templates flood your customers’ inboxes. Thus, the only way to get their attention (and register improved open rates and click-throughs in the process) is by sending them emails at the right time. Sure, email marketing might have an astounding ROI, but that also means it invites far more competition than other marketing channels in the fray. So, how do you come up trumps? Yes, you guessed it, by staying on top of your email timing. 

What is the Best Day to Send Email?

We understand that the answer to this question can be extremely subjective. Hence, to construct a reliable response, we will reflect on the data-driven findings compiled by industry leaders such as HubSpot, GetResponse, Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, Omnisend, and a few others on this matter.

On the broader side of things, weekdays have been observed to register substantially higher engagement rates than weekends. SendinBlue’s findings report that weekdays account for over 85% of the total weekly volume of opens and almost 95% of weekly clicks. The majority of these studies are unanimous in their opinion that Tuesday is the best day of the week to send your emails (followed closely by Wednesday). Emails delivered on Tuesday were observed to fetch the highest open rates, subsequently leading to improved click-throughs and conversions.

Come to think of it, it makes perfect sense too. Working weeks generally start on Monday, so you’d expect Mondays to have high email engagement rates. But that’s not the case courtesy of Monday blues (shuddered at the very mention of it, didn’t you?) and the fact that people have to plan their work for the week and check work-related emails first. So, it eventually takes people till Tuesday to actually start checking all emails including marketing emails, explaining the high email opens and click-throughs.

Although hardly any survey crowns Wednesday as the most popular day for delivering emails, it did take second place in quite a few of them. However, if you are planning on sending two promotional emails a week, send one on Tuesday and select Thursday as your second day. This will put you in a better position to maximize your open rates. Sending emails on consecutive days might not do any favors to your engagement metrics, and these studies corroborate the same. 

Moreover, different days are more likely to cater to different engagement metrics. For instance, most of these studies conclude that while Tuesday fetches the highest open rates, Thursday takes the cake when it comes to click-throughs. This means that emails sent on Tuesday might get you visibility, but the emails delivered on Thursday will be roping in business. 

Another important thing to keep in mind- don’t ever go about blasting your subscribers’ inboxes. Even on high engagement days spamming your recipients is never the solution- it will sooner or later cause them to grow resentful of you. The last thing you’d want for your meticulously crafted emails is to end up in bins or spam folders, right? 

As you’d have already figured by now, the worst days of the week to send emails are Saturday and Sunday. People rarely check their emails on weekends, and no matter what kind of email you decide to greet them with during these two days, it will inevitably get ignored. A few of these studies highlighted Saturdays and Sundays registering high opens and click-throughs. But, there’s a caveat associated with it- Saturdays and Sundays are also the two days of the week when the fewest emails are delivered. Hence, even with higher open rates, the total number of emails that are opened on weekends is considerably small. 

The bottom line is that email activity attains its peak in the middle of the week. As the week goes on, although the number of opens remains steady more or less, the volume of clicks tapers dramatically. Of course, there will be a few exceptions every now and then, but delivering your promotional emails and weekly newsletters between Tuesday and Thursday is most likely to bring them greater success. 

At the same time, keep in mind that you and we are not the only ones privy to this data; your competitors are too. As we speak, they’re perhaps formulating strategies that align inch by inch with the inferences of this data. Thus, occasionally to outwit your competitors, you must be open to experimenting with your email campaigns (in a calculated manner, of course). Factor in your conversion goals and the behavior of your subscribers and test out different days to finalize the best course of action. Remember, there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to email timing, only a bunch of data-driven conventions. And if you are breaking patterns with practical observations and experiences, we don’t see the harm in it. For all you know, you could very well become a trend-setter within your domain or niche.

Take a look at this graph for more clarity:

Image Source

Now that we know which are the best days for sending newsletters and emails, let’s look at how different industries time their campaigns.

Which is the Best Time For Email Campaigns?

Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days for sending your emails- we know that by now. However, that solves only half our problems. Unless you know which is the ideal time to send emails on Tuesday, Thursdays, and other email-friendly days, you’ll never be able to crack the complete email timing code. 

The time of the day at which you deliver your emails can go a long way towards shaping your customer relationships. An email sent at the right time has the power to convert new subscribers and first-time buyers into loyal, recurring customers. On the other hand, sending emails at the wrong time can cause your unsubscribe rates to go through the roof. 

As was the case with choosing the best days, choosing the best time slot for sending emails is a subjective affair too. So, how do you finalize it? By thoroughly familiarising yourself with your buyer personas. Wondering what all data points you should gather from your target audience? Consider answering the following questions:

Once you’ve gained the answers to these questions, it’ll become substantially easier for you to intercept your subscribers’ routines and greet them accordingly with your marketing and promotional emails. Before you seal your time slot, though, there’s another important factor you should take into consideration- time zones. If the major chunk of your audience is concentrated in one time zone, you need to formulate a strategy that caters to it. Otherwise, if your customers are distributed equally in number across different time zones, you’ll have to employ individual strategies for each.

Now, let us try to wrap our heads around the findings of the surveys we mentioned above.

The majority of these reports conclude that the ideal time slot for sending your emails is 10 AM. Another notable slot that is highlighted by these findings is 11 AM. Campaign Monitor’s research states that the best time for sending emails is between 9 AM -11 AM. Their report mentions a peak at 10 AM. According to them, as many as 53% of emails are opened between 9 AM – 5 PM (excluding lunchtime) during weekdays. 

The folks at Mailchimp suggest 10 AM – 12 PM as the most opportune slot for delivering emails. As per them, this slot witnesses the highest volume of email opens. Another high engagement time slot that was highlighted by most studies was 2 PM. This is the time when most companies wrap up their lunch breaks and resume their second half of the day. Hence, 2 PM registers high opens and clicks for the same reason as 10 AM does- both slots denote a “beginning.” Checking emails is the first order of business for most employees prior to carrying on with their affairs. HubSpot’s analysis states that the highest click-to-open rates are typically observed at 10 AM (21%) and 1 PM (22%).

There’s also a strong chance of boosting your engagement metrics by delivering your emails as early as 6 in the morning. No, really, we’re not making this up. Almost 50% of people start their day by scrolling through their inboxes in bed. The next slot that witnesses a peak in email activity is 8 PM – midnight. This is not particularly surprising considering the fact that many people prefer checking their emails either after signing out of work or just before going to bed. 

The only problem with sending emails at 6 AM or 12 AM is that if you haven’t sized up your audience, your campaigns can tremendously backfire. Sure, these slots give you the scope of being the first or last email of the day respectively in your subscribers’ inboxes, but do they want it? Not everyone appreciates waking up to an email or receiving one before hitting the hay. Therefore, ensure you are well-informed on your buyer personas before you lock these slots.

In a nutshell, you need to target your audience:

This graph summarizes our arguments:

Image Source

So, which times of the day are most suitable for various industries? Let’s find out.

If you’re subscribed to a business from both your personal as well as official email address, you’ll receive the same email on both of your addresses at different times of the day. Keeping in line with the trends, the email sent to your professional address would most likely be around 10 AM and the one sent to your personal address, probably around 6 PM.

Case in point? These customized email templates are from Uncommon Goods. Take a look at the timestamps. 

Email sent to the professional address:

Email sent to the personal address:

Factors to Consider to Ace Your Email Timing

While the findings and trends shared above with you have been derived from data-intensive studies, don’t be surprised if they don’t work for you as they worked for others. We’ve said this once, and we’ll say it again- email timing is incredibly subjective even if you are sending well thought out or innovative and responsive email marketing templates. You’re obviously free to make use of the conventions that have already been established, but unless you test out different days, times, and email types with your target audience, you’ll never understand what’s best for them. 

Listed below are the factors you should take into account to make sure your email timing is on point.

Setting Right Time For Automation

Automation is a boon to the world of email marketing; automated emails, the future. Automated emails have allowed email marketers to not only send their customers the right message at the right time but also enabled them to realize personalization at scale. 

There are different kinds of automated emails- welcome emails, cart abandonment emails, follow-up emails, re-engagement emails, transactional emails, and the like. For each of these emails to have the desired effect on the subscribers, they need to be delivered at the right time. 

Take a look at this email from Brooks:

What Next?

Although email timing is critical to improving your email open rates, you can’t consider it as a be-all and end-all. Treat it as a starting point while also implementing other tactics that will help you accrue greater opens and clicks. What are those techniques? Take a quick look.

Wrapping It Up

Email timing must be an intrinsic part of your email marketing strategy because sending your email at the right time to your target audience is as vital as curating your campaigns’ design and content. Cracking the email timing code can be a touch taxing, but once you’re successful, nothing can stop your emails from generating surplus engagement and conversions. 

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