Best Time to Send Marketing Emails [New 2021 Research - Definitive Guide]
"What is the best time to send marketing emails to my list?"
Since the year 2000, when I first started my internet marketing consultancy, this is one of the most-common questions clients ask me.
In this free training, we're going to take a look at the best days of the week to send emails, the best times to send out and also take a deep dive into your prospects' email behaviors.
Once you've armed yourself with this information you will know the best time to send marketing emails for your list.
Let's do this...
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Step 1. Realize The Best Time to Send Marketing Emails is a Science
Step 2. Discover The Best Time of the Week to Send Email
Step 3. Learn The Best Hours of the Day to Send Your Email Campaign
Step 4. Focus on Sales, Not Open Rates
Step 5. Don't Rely on Dumb Data, Destined for the Desktop Dark Ages
Step 6. How To Get More Opens and Sales from Every Email You Send
I need to be up front with you;
While I can present to the findings from every email marketing study I can find (and my own 20+ years experience of sending marketing emails) you need to know one thing;
It is really a science, where only YOU can find the ultimate answer.
I can point you in the right direction, and show you what works, and what doesn't.
You will even see some days and times when you definitely DON'T want to send any marketing emails.
"Use existing data as pointers, and then really dial things in, by doing your own testing."
What's right for my list, and all the lists in the countless studies featured on this page, may not be right for yours.
Don't worry though;
You can still learn a lot from the data I've gathered here from billions of emails to boost your open rate, click through rate and sales from your emails.
If you see anyone claiming to have the Holy Grail answer of the perfect best time to send marketing emails;
Don't believe them.
As Paul Talbot says on Forbes;
"There is no witching hour, no ideal time of day or day of the week to send marketing emails."
This is disappointing and frustrating but you can still get pointers.
Much of the research seems to suggest mailing on weekdays to get the best results.
But when you dig deeper, you'll find this can be down to how the data was measured, and "following the herd".
Knowing the best time to send emails is all about standing out in the inbox.
Doing the opposite of everyone else, going against the grain and getting noticed.
As PowerInbox CEO, Jeff Kupietzky, says (Forbes);
"The weekends are when people are more apt to engage and take action, by clicking on content in emails."
As you see, from this MailerLite data, there is almost no difference in open rates through the week;
There is a slight downturn on the weekends but that's it.
Open rate does not fluctuate enough to make a difference and...
More importantly - open rate is not the true measure of success for your email marketing campaign.
You are far better to look at click through rate and SALES.
Take a look at this data from SuperOffice, and you can see that email open rates took a hit in 2020;
As more companies compete for attention in the email inbox, people are opening emails less and less.
This makes it even more important to send your email at the right time.
If you're looking solely at open rates (which you shouldn't) then you might make the assumption that Tuesday is the best day to email;
But we really need to dive deeper here;
The answer you're looking for will be specific to your niche and will depend on your industry, your relationship with your list, how they are looking at emails and the best time of day.
We are going to investigate all these, starting with...
When you look at open rates alone you can see there's a big variance from one industry to the next, as the data from Campaign Monitor shows;
HubSpot agrees, that there can be swings approaching 15% or higher, depending on which industry you're in;
When you drill down further, you can find out that many companies who've researched millions of emails, all agree;
If you want higher open rates - send your email on a Tuesday.
HubSpot analyzed over 20 million emails and found Tuesday to be the best, followed closely by Wednesday then Monday;
But is this conclusive?
Or is it just a case that most businesses send their emails through the week, and therefore, opens are bound to increase on those days?
As we'll see when we go down the rabbit hole on this.
If everyone is following the same advice, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
According to GetResponse, the best day to send an email (using global data) is a Friday (for open rates) or Tuesday (for click through rates);
When you zero in and look at the US and Canada, the percentages change slightly, but the result is the same;
Let's break this down further and look the data for all 7 days of the week;
What we are looking for is how to buck the trend.
Opportunities you can jump on which other people have not spotted.
Like emailing on a Sunday.
Take this interesting data set from HubSpot, which clearly shows some peak open rates on a Sunday evening;
So far we've established;
Sending emails on a Tuesday gets you good open rates (but open rates don't pay the bills, remember).
Sunday evenings also have potential.
Okay, great, what about the best TIMES during the day?
Let's move onto...
There is a widely-cited study from OmniSend which shows their findings on the best time to send emails;
Their conclusion is the best time to send emails is 8am, 1pm and 4pm.
They quote these as being "around work breaks".
Now of course - people are not going to open emails when they are busy working away from their inbox.
But does sending on their break times during the day really result in more sales?
This is the key.
If we look at the GetResponse data it shows the best time to send an email in the US or Canada is either 4am or 6am;
But, and here comes the rub...
You are not looking for the most opens, you are looking for the most SALES.
I will keep drumming this into you 🙂 In fact, if you want to learn some killer email marketing tactics which drives sales read this post I wrote.
What if only 10% of the people who open emails during the day buy something?
But 20% of the people who open emails in the evenings result in a sale?
Wouldn't you email later to double your sales?
Of course you would!
And this is why you need to look at more than open rates - just like ConvinceAndConvert did in this study;
You can clearly see that people are more likely to REPLY to emails during the late evening or early morning.
Outside of the times most of the research suggests.
"But I don't want people to reply to my emails!
I want them to click and buy!"
Well this is just it;
This data shows the times of day people are most RESPONSIVE.
When they are actually ENGAGING with the emails they have received.
Open rates can lead you astray because it could just be people trying to sort through a cluttered inbox;
Think of how you behave in your inbox;
You want it cleared out.
You crave that feeling of being organized and on top of it all.
So sometimes you go in and mark stuff as read, delete it and just sort it all out for later.
You've not set time aside at these times to actually focus and read the emails, in detail.
You're just "clearing your desk", to maybe look at them later.
The later evening and early morning times are when people actually seem to READ their emails.
This is important.
Of course, if all the data backed this up it would be clear that these are the best times to send marketing emails.
Sadly, there is huge inconsistency of data.
MailerLite data indicates 11am on a Tuesday is the best time to send an email to maximize your open rates and click through rates;
But if almost all businesses are sticking to this "only mail during the day, during the week" party line then there won't be enough data to prove the "evening and early morning, weekend model".
According to MailGun, sending your email at 3PM Universal Time, is your best bet of getting more clicks;
CoSchedule ventures further and offers the best time on each day to send.
This is interesting because there are earlier and later times in their recommendations, which are outside of the usual recommended-times, but do tie in with more detailed research I've found;
Litmus also wades in with their data, (of billions of emails), seeming to show that 10am is the best time to send an email, if you have a US-audience;
There is a way to send your emails at the same local time for everyone, regardless of their location and timezone which we'll look at soon...
All of this is very interesting, but not exactly conclusive.
Just because people are opening up their emails and clearing them out at certain times during the day doesn't mean sending at those times will add more to your bottom line.
Which is why you need to make sure you do the next step...
Let's talk money.
All the data on open rates, and even click through rates, is all well and good but as Jerry Maguire said;
"SHOW ME THE MONEY!"
Take a look at this, we gathered data from a study by Klaviyo, which shows how much revenue was made per email recipient across different days of the week;
This study looked at over 22,000 campaigns sent to 1,217,123,149 (yes over 1 billion!) email addresses.
So that's pretty conclusive.
Thursday looks like the best day to send an email to get more sales.
The study then delved even deeper to take a look at revenue per recipient in the AM and PM periods.
Take a look at this;
OmniSend data also shows Thursday is the best day to send emails if you want more orders;
When it comes to getting more orders from your emails, you also need to consider the best day of the month!
I know - so many variables, right?
Here are the best days to send an email in the month;
Choosing the best time to send marketing emails is tricky, isn't it? 🙂
A lot depends on what your objectives are, as this data from Campaign Monitor beautifully reveals;
There's so much data out there it can be confusing.
This is why you need to make sure that you...
The last thing you want to do is;
Rely on data that assumes people only check their emails while at work or in front of their PC.
This is clearly not the case any more.
Just look how rapidly the growth in checking emails on mobile has grown in recent years (SuperOffice);
It's not even close any more;
People are checking their email on their mobile phones wayyy more than any other device as this data from Fluent shows;
And the idea that people only check emails when on their work break is exploded to smithereens in this Adobe data;
You need to make sure your emails are mobile-responsive and you are emailing at times which best-suit your specific audience, and their mobile habits.
You can also get a real edge over your competition by following the next step...
The Pro Tip I'm about to share with you is not available with all email autoresponders.
I've been doing email marketing for over 20 years - I use Getresponse and you should too.
Because they have this cool thing I'm about to show you, as well as low fees, a free trial and great customer support.
Here's how this works...
Normally when you send an email with your autoresponder service you choose to send it immediately;
Or perhaps you are scheduling it for later on so you choose the schedule email option;
But there is another way to send your email which can really boost your sales.
And this is to use the "Time Travel" option;
Yes - hop into your Delorean, grab your hover board McFly, and prepare your flux capacitors...
You can send your email at a specific time of day for ALL your recipients.
Allow me to explain;
Let's say you decide 6am in the morning is the best time to reach your prospects.
But you have subscribers in multiple different time zones.
If you schedule your email to send out at 6am Eastern time zone then it's going to be too early for people on the West coast and wayyyy too early for people in Europe.
With "Time Travel", Getresponse will send your email at 6am LOCAL TIME, for ALL your subscribers, no matter where they are!
How cool is that?
However, it actually gets even better because...
Getresponse calls it "perfect timing".
They look at the data from all the previous emails you've sent and...
It's possible for them to know when the perfect time is to send your email to each recipient, to give you the greatest chance of them opening it.
They look at their previous open and click behaviour for all the emails you've sent before.
Each recipient then receives your email at the perfect time for them.
Now, of course, this functionality is only as good as the data it uses to make its decisions.
So if you've not sent many emails before it won't work.
If you don't have enough subscribers on your mailing list it won't be able to gather enough meaningful data.
And if you've forgotten to activate click tracking when you sent your previous emails, you can forget it.
But as long as you've done all these things, you're golden.
The only thing to watch out for with this, is what you have done the day before, and what you may do the day after.
Someone's perfect timing might clash with your next email send time the following day.
So it's best to only use Perfect Timing if you are not emailing daily.
If you're still struggling to get good open rates you might also want to make sure you are writing the best email subject lines which really stand out.