One of the first questions most people ask when defining their email marketing strategy is, “What’s the best day to send emails?”
There is a ton of conflicting advice. Should you send it at night? Or is that rude? Are Saturday emails better? What about Mondays when everyone is heading back to the office?
The truth is, the timing of your emails depends.
Which, unfortunately, is probably not the short and sweet answer you were hoping for!
Strategically, email can be one of the most powerful marketing channels for contacting current and prospective clients. Unlike social media, where your brand has to compete with algorithms and pictures of cute cats, email gives you direct access to your subscriber’s inbox. It’s powerful stuff.
You can use email to educate, share new products, and build a direct relationship with subscribers—but only if you use email well. And it all starts with working out the right day to send your emails.
Why does it matter what day you send emails?
Before you spend time figuring out the right time to send your organization’s emails, you might be wondering if it even matters what day you send emails. Surely your email will still be there when your audience opens their email box, no matter what day you send it?
There are a few benefits to getting your timing right:
1. Higher email open rates
Emails that are at the top of the inbox are more likely to get opened. People are less likely to open your email once it has been pushed down in their inbox. So sending on the right day makes it much more likely that your email will get opened.
Higher email open rates also lead to higher deliverability rates and a decreased chance in ending up subscriber’s spam folder. Essentially, higher open rates lead to more people seeing your emails.
What to do if you still have low email open rates?
If you figured out the best day to send emails, but are still seeing low open rates, you could try resending the email to unopened recipients. Check out MailPoet’s Guide to Subscriber Segmentation for a detailed walkthrough of how to do it. Scroll down to the section titled “Send to Specific Email Actions (Open or Clicks)”
2. Higher email engagement rates
You don’t just want people just to open your email—you also want them to take your desired action, such as click a link, buy a product, or download that awesome new ebook you put together. Emails that are sent on the right day are more likely to get engagement.
Overall, if you want your emails to be successful, you need to make sure you are hitting the right time for your industry and your brand.
So, what day is that?
No, really. What is the best day to send my email?
CoSchedule recently published a post that analyzed the results of studies completed by over a dozen different email providers. According to all the different studies, the best time, on average, to send an email is Tuesday at 10 am.
Which makes sense. Most office workers open their email as soon as they get to the office Monday morning. They get caught up responding to coworkers, fixing problems, scheduling meetings, or, you know, actually working.
By Tuesday, they are in the swing of things and aren’t trying to get caught up from the weekend. So they are more likely to be more receptive to your email, and they are more likely to have time to read your blog post or buy your product.
But, before you go changing your entire email strategy, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Does your target audience work a standard office job?
- If not, when do they check their email?
- Is your audience likely to want to hit “inbox zero”?
- Are you emailing them about work stuff or non-work stuff? (For example, a makeup brand’s ecommerce email at 10 am isn’t likely to get much traction.)
- What industry are you in? B2B, B2C, or something else?
- Do you send more than one email per week?
All of these factors can influence when subscribers are more likely to give your email their time, and which day is going to be the most effective day for you.
Determining the best day to send emails for your organization
There is a ton of data out there about the best days to send emails. WordStream found the best time for them to send emails is Thursday between 8 and 9 am. CNBC has reported the best average time is weekdays between 10 am and 2 pm.
Campaign Monitor has a full report of email habits by industries, including days.
All of this conflicting data is why you need to find the best day to send emails based on your audience.
So, we’ve talked about why finding the best day to send emails matters and discussed the best day and time on average. Now, let’s look at how to determine what the best day is for your emails.
1. Look at the best average day to send emails
The easiest way to determine the best time for you to send emails is to test what works for your brand. To get started, look at the best overarching day to send emails.
According to the CoSchedule post we mentioned before, the best three days to send emails, on average, are:
The best times, on average, to send emails are:
- 10 am
- 8 pm
- 2 pm
If you are looking for a quick place to start testing, choose Tuesday at 10 am and Wednesday at 8 pm. This will give you a wide range of data to look at.
2. Look at the best days by industry
The issue with looking at the best day to send emails on average is that there are so many different types of businesses and organizations. The right time for a B2C company to send an email can be very different than the right time for a B2B organization, or even a nonprofit or club.
For example, if your audience is mostly entrepreneurs, they will have very different email habits than school teachers. Looking at what works in your industry will give you insight into how your audience might behave.
MarTech recently reported on a study that breaks down the best days to send emails based on the specific industry. According to their research, the best day and time to send emails are:
- eCommerce: Wednesday at 10 a.m.
- SaaS: Wednesday between 2 to 3 p.m.
- Marketing services: Wednesday at 4 p.m.
- Brick and mortar retail & hospitality: Thursday 8 to 10 a.m.
- NGOs & nonprofits: Tuesday or Wednesday 3 to 4 p.m.
These are good days to test sending email for your organization. But we aren’t done quite yet.
3. Consider your audience
In addition to looking at the average best days, you need to consider your specific audience. Look at data you already have access to and consider when your subscribers interact with you most often.
For example, look at your website traffic. What day of the week do you get the most traffic? Look at your Facebook and Instagram analytics and see what days and times you get the most interaction on social media.
This information will give you an idea of when your audience is online and more likely to open your emails.
4. Test the best average days and times
Now you have three different sets of data: the best day to send an email on average, the best day for your industry, and a bit of insight into when your audience is active online. If those times overlap, then you’ve got a great day to test.
If the different “best” days are all over the place, start with two different days/times and see what works best.
In MailPoet, you can create different segments and send emails at different times, then look at your statistics to see which email day performs better. Consider looking at open rates and click rates to see which email time performs best.
Tip: don’t be afraid to test “weird” times
Just because a day (or time) isn’t traditionally the best day doesn’t mean it won’t work for your audience. So test, test, test. This is really the only way to figure out the best day to send emails to your audience.
You may also find that a day where you get a lower rate of opens actually results in more clicks to your website. Or you might find that randomly sending emails at 4 a.m. gets fantastic results.
Test to see what works for you, don’t rely on random stats to tell you who your audience is.
Other sure-fire days to send emails
Most of the information here discusses how to find the best day to send regular emails, such as newsletters. However, there are many other days you might send an email that might not be the “right” day of the week, but is still valuable.
Here are a few additional days to consider sending emails.
- The day before an event: You can give directions, add last minute advice, or just remind your audience about the event.
- The day before a sale starts: Send a teaser email to entice them to open your next email.
- The day before a sale ends: Maybe they were putting off buying until a paycheck came through, maybe they just forgot. Either way, reminding them is likely to drive conversions!
- A few days after a purchase arrives: Were they happy with their purchase, is there anything you can help with? There may be a reason they are dissatisfied but think it isn’t important enough to reach out.
- Two days after they abandon their cart: A quick reminder that they didn’t check out can help increase sales.
- The day after they sign up for your newsletter: A welcome series of emails can be automated and is an effective way to start building a relationship with your subscribers.
- Before holidays like Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, Valentines, etc.: Even if you don’t have anything to sell, send a quick email to wish your audience well, or share a resource. This helps create a positive brand association and keeps you top of mind.
- The day a new blog post goes live: An automated email can help drive traffic to new blog posts and requires no work (after set up) on your end.
Remember, the right day to send an email isn’t the only day you should send emails. Make sure you include timely emails into your email strategy as well as regularly scheduled emails.
There is no short and sweet method for determining the best day to send emails or even the best frequency. This is because every industry and every audience is different.
You know your audience best, and no study or stat can tell you when your audience is most likely to respond to your emails. Besides, you don’t want to send emails on the same day as everyone else!
The information here will help you find the best times to test sending emails—the rest is up to you. So dig into your stats, experiment, and work out the day that works best for you and your subscribers.
Good article, thanks Becs for the sound advice. I think there’s a lesson in there for me : just try any possibilities !
Thank you for this! My post notifications have two different frequencies, depending on the subscriber’s preference: weekly or instantly for every post. I have discovered, since I started allowing our subscribers to choose the frequency, that those who receive instant notifications have a much higher open rate than the weekly ones. Since they get basically the same email subject line, I wasn’t sure what the problem was. Now I know. I just picked a bad time for the weekly email! I’m going to experiment now. Thanks again!