Maximize open rates and engagement.
Set up a baseline according to global trends and aim for the start, middle, or end of the workday.
HubSpot, Wordstream, Mailchimp, and Campaign Monitor have all published studies showing that emails have the highest odds of being opened when sent either at the start of someone’s workday, in the middle of their workday during their lunch break, or at the end of their workday.
These days tend to see the highest open rates:
Research general industry trends when it comes to email open and read activity.
- Industry advocacy groups for research they’ve done.
- Medium or LinkedIn blogs from industry insiders who have already tested various email send time hypotheses.
- Web search results for Best time to send [your industry] emails.
For example, a corporate office supply brand may be most popular at the end of the week when office supplies are running low, but a family-focused brand may see higher email open rates and click-through rates on the weekends when parents are home with their children.
Customize your email send times for your core audience’s time zone.
Look at your email statistics and identify where the majority of your audience lives. Then, tailor your email send times to their time zone. This is independent of where you, your email team, or your physical storefront is located.
For example, if you’re based in the Pacific time zone, but the bulk of your email list is in the Eastern time zone, aim to send your emails at 3am or 4am Pacific Time so that they’re in your core audience’s inbox at 6am or 7am in their local time.
Review your personal email statistics to further tailor your send times to when your audience is most active.
While general trends tend to hold true, don’t discount the fact that your core audience might have their own distinct browsing behavior. Review the statistics for your open rates and click through rates and look for:
- Days that have the highest email activity
- Specific times that have the highest email activity
Split test your most promising send time and your second most promising send time.
Keep your email exactly the same, down to the subject line and sender name, but send an A/B test at a time that:
- Fits your expectations
- Fits your historical data
Review the results of your split test to confirm or disprove your expectations.
Consistently test during seasonal variations and marketing campaign changes.
You will see seasonal variations around holidays, long weekends, and other notable changes to your core audience’s standard schedule. During these times, do continuous tests and A/B reviews. Track the results in a simple spreadsheet so you can refer to it the next time a seasonal variation rolls around.
Other factors that may affect the best time to send your emails include:
- Changes in email frequency: If you start sending more or less frequently, your users may react by changing their email activity.
- Changes in offers: A special discount or sale may break from the norm and may require additional split testing.
- Changes in products or services: A launch of a new initiative introduces additional variables that will need to be tested.