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Vision 2020 - When is the best time to send email?


When is the best time to send email?

We are often asked by clients when would be the best time to broadcast their email campaign. It's a really good question, but certainly one that defies a clear, rigid, "one size fits all" answer!

There's always a short answer, and a long answer, which we thought we'd share.

Short answer:

The latest info we have seen from the various email marketing metric reports shows that sending between 10am - midday is still good practice, as (working) people are likely to be at their desk, having cleared out their inbox from anything that has arrived overnight.

But ANY day, Monday-Friday, works equally well. And for some B2C retailers, Sat/Sun work well too, especially if there are time sensitive offers. Sure this doesn't take into account the vast number of people reading email on their mobile phones or tablets on the couch, the train, or at the doctor's office! But as a general rule of thumb, it's a good starting point for any campaign.

Free Download: The Email Marketing Metrics Report, January - June 2012

Longer answer:

Over the last couple of years, the open rates at different days/times have actually started to flatten out. Although 10am Tuesday or Thursday was (anecdotally) known as a sweet spot for a while, what we've seen over the last 12 months is the landscape change so that there isn't really a "best" time or "best" day to broadcast any more --- and certainly not one that works across the board for different industries, business types, products etc.

(And imagine if there was, everyone would be sending at the same time, which would then make it the WORST time to send ;)

This actually works in our favour though, as we have some more flexibility in sending things out, without risking a massive drop in open rates just because we chose the wrong day!

The more important factors now are the subject line and brand loyalty (or at least brand recognition), along with compelling content! E.g. regardless of WHEN I receive an email, I'm always scanning my inbox to see which emails I need to action NOW, which ones to delete, and which ones I want to come back to. If I recognise your brand, and the subject line (and content) looks compelling, I'll either read it now or save it for later.

So while there's absolutely nothing wrong with 10am Thursday, there's no indication it will be any better than 11am Wednesday --- but (intuitively) my thought is that if you send out earlier in the week (Mon/Tue/Wed), then there are those extra couple of days that may be the difference between a sale and the trash, once your reader decides to come back and find your email that they saved for later!

Want to get started with your Email Marketing campaign? Contact us today!
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