Perfect Timing: The Very Best Time to Send Email Newsletters

September 4, 2014
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Timing is everything – right? It may not be everything, but it certainly matters, especially when it comes to getting subscribers to notice and open your emails.

best time to send email campaign

So when is the best time to send newsletter emails? We have some advice and we’re eager to share.

Best Email Send Time: General Advice

These general email send time tips are widely accepted by the email marketing community. They are great when you’re starting off, but be sure to read on and see why they won’t always work.

  • Daytime vs. Nighttime. While this one may be obvious, it’s usually better to send out your email campaigns during the daytime. You know, when people are awake. Not asleep.

  • Mad Mondays. The general consensus is that should avoid sending out email blasts on Mondays. Why? People are already bummed out about the end of the weekend. They march into the office and are flooded with emails they’ve collected over the past few days. What’s the first thing they do? Delete those emails of course!
  • Weekends. Historically, weekends are the days when folks are out running errands and going on adventures. Weekends tend to have low open rates, so most marketers avoid them like the plague.
  • Give Heads Up for An Event. While 23% of emails are opened within 60 minutes after being sent, there are some lingerers who may not check out your email until a day or two later. To be safe, send out event-oriented emails 3-5 days prior to an event.
  • Fan Favorites: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday have traditionally been favorite days to send email campaigns, as email marketers seek to avoid the Monday angst and Friday’s itchy-feet. MailChimp confirms that Tuesday and Thursday are the two most popular days to send email newsletters.

best time to send emails

  • Mid-Week, Mid-day: The tried-and-true traditional approach of sending out email campaigns in the middle of the week and in the middle of the day tends to do pretty well. General know-how suggests sending emails between 1-3pm (9-11am is recommended as well). It’s safe. It’s reliable. It’s not a bad choice. Just remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

MailChimp suggests 2 pm as the optimal send time based on their data.

when to send email campaigns

That’s the Advice. Now Ignore it.

The tips above are considered general best practice advice for email marketing. However, there are many, many, situations which quickly challenge the classical suggestions above.

Just take a look at our own WordStream data.

Best Time to Send Emails: Thursday 8 9 am

Most email marketing articles would claim that 8am is too early to send an email newsletter, but it works great for WordStream blasts – we get over 25% open rates with this time!

Worst Time to Send Emails: Tuesday & Wednesday 8 – 10 am

Many would claim that Tuesday and Wednesday mornings should be great times to send emails, but we’ve found that Tuesday mornings result in under 5% open rates, while Wednesday mornings have below 5% click to open ratios.

Our WordStream data shows that the status just ain’t always quo.

There are several reasons why these old classic tips don’t mean squat in the end.

Beating the Rush.

So everyone agrees that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the best days to send out an email campaign. Unless your competitors live north of Winterfell, they probably have heard this sage advice as well. This means that you’re facing a ton of competition by sending out emails on the “recommended” days and times.

If you don’t want your email newsletter to get lost in the hustle, swimming upstream may be your best bet. Although Mondays and Fridays are generally not recommended, who is to say they won’t work for you?

It Depends on the Device.

Traditional “best time to send an email” numbers are being thrown to the wind as user habits change across devices. The standard mid-week, mid-day makes perfect sense for desktop users who are opening emails at work. Mobile users, on the other hand, tend to be pretty active even late in the evening.

when to send email newsletter

It’s worth noting that although activity on mobile devices is plentiful on nights and weekends, a Brafton study shows that 55% of consumers open emails on desktops, while only 25% open emails on mobile devices. However, this study was done in 2013, and with users growing more reliant on mobile devices each day, these number could easily change. I also suspect that as businesses learn to craft more mobile-friendly emails, we’ll see greater email open rates on mobile devices.

Demographics: Know Your Peeps.

Understanding your demographics is the single most important thing you can do for email marketing success. They’re your audience - you should know their habits and cater to them.

Some examples of how demographics override the safe “best time to send” general advice:

  • If you’re targeting the young, tech-obsessed crowd, you would probably ignore the general tip about not sending emails at night. Evening emails could work just fine for younger audiences.
  • The much-maligned Friday could be a great choice if you’re in the entertainment industry, with folks looking for fun things to do over the weekend.
  • Weekends don’t have to be off-bounds either. What if you’re interested in reaching tech-savvy audiences in cold-weather climates? I bet they spend plenty of time checking emails on Saturday and Sunday.

Don’t forget to consider your target demographics’ time zone – you definitely want to customize email send times depending on where your recipients live.

The Ultimate Answer to the “When to Send an Email” Question

The answer to “what is the best time to send an email campaign?” is that there is no single “best time” to send an email – it depends on your audience.

I know, what a cop-out answer! It’s true though. While there are certain days of the week and times that are generally recommended by the larger email marketing community, we’ve shown today how easy it is to refute those claims.

Maybe you’re thinking – come on Megan, I came here for an answer, not some Nietzsche-esque statement about subjective truth. To which I’d say fine; the mid-day, mid-week motto is a great place to start and should perform decently enough.

However, if you really want to rock email marketing and send out your email newsletters at the very best time for optimal opens and clicks, you need to TEST!

A/B test your send times like crazy. This is really the best way to find the perfect send time for your particular audience.

Not Getting the Open Rates You Want? Don’t Blame the Hour.

Bad open rates aren’t just about your send times. If your open rates aren’t looking so good, consider these factors as well:

  • Do You Have a Standout Subject Line? Subject lines are HUGE when it comes to email marketing. You could argue that subject lines are even more important the email copy, since it’s the subject lines’ job to get people opening your message to begin with. Make sure you have a saucy, enticing subject line. Try checking out our post on the best email subject lines to increase open rates.
  • Are You Sending Too Many Emails? No one likes a blabbermouth. Could your low open rates be the result of sending out too many emails? Maybe you’re bugging the heck out of your email subscribers.
  • Is Your Message Mobile-Friendly? Your emails absolutely need to be mobile-friendly, end of story.

Do you have any tips on the best times to send email blasts? What works for you? What doesn’t work for you? Share your experience in the comments!

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Comments

Marketing Bees
Sep 07, 2014

While reading your post I put myself as someone who recieves a lot of newsletter and what action I'm taking depending on the time  I receive email. It's pretty much the same like you described here

Chuck Blake
Sep 08, 2014

I agree with your cop-out answer, it depends! 

Megan Marrs
Sep 18, 2014

;)

Christos Pittis
Oct 07, 2014

Hi Megan, Excellent article! Thanks for the info. I am a UDEMY teacher and we are allowed to send 2 promotional announcements a month. The problem is that we do not have demographic data about our students. We have students from many countries like India, USA, Australia, Spain e.t.c (you can tell by viewing the name of the student). As you can see we have to deal with several time zones. What to do? I have the feeling that the majority of my students are Indians, maybe around 55% and the rest from different countries. Thanks! 

Jonny
Jan 19, 2015

Hello,

With some programs you can easily set up groups with in the recipient field. I used to be in the food industry and I had much the same issue. We had Takeaways, restaurants, large function halls and schools. These groups read e-blast at all different times. Large Takeaways and restaurants had great results if sent later at night wherefore schools and function had much better take up rate in early afternoon..... We sent the same email but we had the recipients in different groups and the groups could be set up to received the email at different times.

Hope this helps.

Chris
Sep 11, 2015

You need to get them off of the UDEMY playground and onto yours. Include a "Resource Guide" in your UDEMY materials that drives them back to your website. Then you can gather all the information you want off of your BUYERS. Notice this isn't just a list, this is a list of buyers!

Give them another resource that has great value for filling out a longer questionnaire. You can then segment your list as deep as you want to go.

Jeroen
Oct 30, 2014

Thanks, I am just in time to send out my newsletter.. ;-)

Oddny
Nov 25, 2014

As a Marketing Manager for a company that has so many arms and products - I totally will agree! It Depends! It depends on the industry as well. In the past I used to work in electronics and then I found that emails on Sunday Evenings and Monday morning worked the best for me. Why? Because people went browsing over the weekend - then thought about it and shopped on Sunday or Monday before the day was over! Great Article - thanks 

Corie
Dec 04, 2014

Hi MeganGreat article. It's alway intresting getting other peoples ideas on how it works.I really think it's a whole heap of stuff.All of your points also but not limited to the following:

  1. the quality of data
  2. relevency of messaging in realtion to time of your
  3. emotion of economic climate
  4. sheer numbers your pumping out
Thanks for sharingCheersCorie 

Jonathan Williams
Dec 07, 2014

Thank you for the great info!

eddie
Jan 22, 2015

Hey Megan,

Great article , for me midweek newsletter yield the best results however I usually send it in the evenings so I cant recommend times.

Yes the rules are that there are no rules, its open to a/b testing and your audiance as well.

Thank you
Eddie

Mary
Mar 28, 2015

Hi Megan,
I' just want ask you how i can send my newsletter email inbox !!
i try to send but the message go to the junk why ?
can you help me please i want to send my email's to the inbox please
i can't work whit the junk mail please please any one can help me ?
Thank you for the article it's so helpful

Hamza
Dec 14, 2015

As a content writer for an email marketing campaign, I have learned that your email provider identifies some key words as spam, e.g FREE, OFFER, PROMOTION, EARN, etc.
Avoid using these words in your emails and titles to make them land into the inbox successfully.
Apart from that, there are text to image ratios and HTML Coding Issues.

Hope this helps :)

Regards, Hamza.

Lauri
May 19, 2015

Great article! I agree that sending out too many emails is a huge mistake. Our subscribers want to recieve good quality content not long and boring stuff am I right? In my company I use GetResponse (you can find free trial version here: http://www.getresponse.com/ ) because it's a very useful software.

Kyle
Jun 16, 2015

Your links to the MailChimp stats are broken - and your data on what MailChimp says is incorrect. See their latest insights here, they confirm your wordstream data:
https://blog.mailchimp.com/insights-from-mailchimps-send-time-optimization-system/

Elisa Gabbert
Jun 16, 2015

Thanks Kyle -- I updated the post

Ali
Jul 25, 2015

Satisfied,but I think we can send Emails from results which we have experienced.

Mike Donnelly
Sep 04, 2015

The real answer here is to personalize the delivery time of your emails.

While there have been numerous (countless!) studies on when to deliver marketing email messages, we (and our clients) have found there is no one-time-fits-all approach as you have also stated. Most advanced marketers are personalizing their content, however one gap left unfilled is personalizing the delivery time.

Another way to think about it is your audience is busy just like you and can’t always take the time to read your messages, let alone see them in their overcrowded inboxes. This is the exact reason that the position of the email in the recipients’ inbox is so important.

At The Seventh Sense, we built a platform that allows you to personalize the delivery time of every marketing message you send. Today it only supports Hubspot, however Marketo is coming. Using this approach, our customers are experiencing single, double, and in some cases triple, digit percentage increases in engagement. Furthermore, using this approach has a significant impact on decreasing unsubscribe rates and getting through SPAM filters, but that's icing on the cake.

Deepak Revi
Oct 07, 2015

Thanks a lot.... really helpful. :)

Bhushan Kulkarni
Oct 11, 2015

Hi Megan.. timeless info on the correct timings to send emails! Working on the same lines we at Ariticmail too are very particular about helping our clients send emails at the peak visibility hours. Our advance sequential auto responders and pre defined and customised to shoot off at the right time and trigger. They have yielded great results.

David Moakler
Feb 11, 2016

Thanks for this info, trying to refine the message and improve open rates.

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