There’s no question that email has completely changed the marketing game, but it’s not always a foolproof way to get your messages across. You want your subscribers to actually open and read your emails, not automatically relegate them to the trash bin or (even worse) designate all of your future messages as spam. A big factor in getting recipients to read your emails is to send them on the right day and at the right time.
Why is the send day and time so important for marketing emails? According to a recent GetResponse study, almost 24% of all email opens take place within 60 minutes of the message landing in an inbox. Most people try to keep their inboxes managed; they tend not to save marketing messages to open later. They make a quick decision: open or trash? What this means for you is, in a nutshell, timing is everything. Here are three things to keep in mind for getting your marketing emails opened and read.
- Send Your Message When People Are Actively Checking Email
There are a few good times during weekdays to send marketing messages. Early morning is the first one, from roughly 6am to 10am. This gets the people who check email on their mobile device before they even get out of bed, as well as people who sit down before the workday to see what landed in their inbox in the past few hours. Then, as the workday starts, people begin by checking and returning email, so their attention is focused on their inbox. Ten in the morning actually came up in several studies as a prime time to send out emails.
Mornings are ideal because people are fresh and not yet overwhelmed by the tasks of the day, but the after dinner hours are also good for getting your message opened; the window here is from around 7 or 8 at night until 10 or 11. People are unwinding and often casually checking email, again on their mobile devices, and they may be intrigued by a well-titled and well-written marketing email.
An interesting detail that comes up in the studies referenced above is that marketing messages that have to do with finances are likely to be opened in the last few hours of the work day, from around 3pm until 5pm. The reasoning is that employees are tired; they’re thinking about leaving work for the day and possibly thinking about more big picture concerns, especially personal finances.
- Day Does Matter, To An Extent
If you want your marketing emails opened, you’re better off sending them in the middle of the week. Mondays are hectic, and people are eager to get a jump on the week ahead. Fridays find employees focused on their weekend plans and spending less time on email. According to a study by MailChimp, Thursdays are the best day, but just slightly, as “no single day wins hands-down.” Another write-up on the best day to send email, based on ten individual studies, showed that Tuesday is slightly better than Thursday, Thursday is also good, and Wednesday is a solid third.
The real takeaway here? Shoot for the middle of the week.
- Definite Times to Avoid
We’ll be blunt about this: don’t send your email in the middle of the night. Sure, you might get a few insomniacs and night owls checking their inboxes, but for the most part, the overnight hours are just inbox build up time leading to a mass purge in the morning. The same holds true for mid-morning and early afternoon. Most people are focused at work during these times and don’t have time to closely monitor an inbox; the end result is that they’re likely to just dump all of the nonessential messages that come through during this time.
Your Mileage May Vary
The best way to determine what day and time you should send your emails is to keep track of timestamps and response rate via open tracking software. Try a few different times on a few different days, using the suggestions mentioned above as a starting off point. It may take a few weeks and a dozen or so emails, but you’ll eventually see a pattern that reveals a best time and day for you to message your subscribers.