The best time to send an email campaign is…

18 December 2012

How many times do people ask us “when is the best time to send emails?” According to Google, every month on average, this very question is searched 2,400 times worldwide (1,600 times in the US alone). Put in perspective, this is a big figure highlighting that email, and for our purposes email marketing, remains a pivotal communication medium used by millions of people daily.

Every email marketer wants to figure out the best day and time to send email campaigns. The answer, however, is not universal, but rather it’s based on the context. This can further be divided into two main categories:

  • Nature of your email campaign: are you sending out a newsletter or a promotional email?
  • Type of recipients in your mailing list: who’s your audience? Are they your customers, prospects, readers?

Ironically, the best answer to the question “when is the best time to send” lies within your own data from your lists and past mailings. You are the one who has all the data to make an informed decision! So, how do you compile all the data (e.g. mailing times, open rates, number of recipients) into one comprehensive report?

In MailUp, you simply go to the Analysis and Benchmarks section and view the Best time to send section: (click to enlarge image)

Email Timing Chart

In the example shown in the screen shot above, the email timing chart tells this sender that the best day to send their emails is Tuesday and the best time is around 6pm (i.e 18.00 hrs). The green inbox icon in the chart indicates a higher than average open rate, while the red icon indicates a lower than average rate.

Things To Keep In Mind On Email Timing

  • Test and monitor your campaign results! The only way to truly understand when it’s the best time to send your emails is to test various scenarios. For example, you may want to try early in the week from 7am to 9am for B2B marketing, or between 7pm and 10pm to reach your retail customers on ecommerce-related promotions.
  • Be consistent. Once you figure out a day/time in which your audience seems particularly ready to engage, keep your communication consistent and build a routine, so that your audience has an idea when they will receive your emails. For example, you may realize that your readers are more engaged to your monthly newsletter on Wednesday nights. By sending out your newsletter consistently every second week of the month on Wednesday nights, your readers know to expect your newsletter.
  • Keep track of trends. Your recipients in your mailing lists may be more active on different days and times during certain periods of the year. In fact, your business may be affected by seasonal trends, and thus your email marketing will change based on the summer or winter season. In MailUp, you can change the time frame used for the Best day & time report, and see how those values change over time. For example, you may find that in the last 3 months the best time has shifted, and can adjust your campaigns accordingly.

In closing

The better you know your readers, customers, and fans, the more relevant the communication you can establish with them and build stronger relationships. A win-win scenario!

And one of the things you’ll certainly be able to do is to answer the question… what’s your best time to send emails?

This article was written by

Sergio Mandrone

Sergio Mandrone

Sergio is Associate Product Marketing Manager at MailUp in the San Francisco office. With 5 years of digital marketing experience, he writes for the MailUp blog, manages the Email Design Workshop blog, and is currently working with the MailUp BEE team to grow the line of BEE products.

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