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...