When is the Best Time to Send Email?
By Kelly Forst July 27, 2021
Discover the best time to send emails to your subscribers. Use this knowledge to boost open rates and drive results.
You may have heard it a million times before. But it’s true: There’s no one best time to send email.
That’s because at its core, email is communication. And communication requires two parts: the sender and receiver.
And every email has a unique group of receivers. Every audience is different.
Plus, if the receiver isn’t in the right frame of mind to process your message, you might as well be talking to yourself. Like any form of communication, your emails are going to have more of an impact if you use timing to your advantage.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at how email send times can impact your overall email marketing performance, as well as ways to optimize send times for success.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this post:
- What is the best time to send emails?
- What is the best day to send emails?
- How to find the best time to send email?
What is the best time to send email?
The best time to send an email is 5:16 a.m. EST.
Or at least it is if your name is Seth Godin. Seth sends an email nearly every day at that exact time.
But your name isn’t Seth Godin.
Seth has figured out that early morning is the time to reach his audience. However, what works for Seth might not work for everyone.
And there’s the rub…
The best time to send email is different for every audience
You have to know your audience like the back of your hand:
It’s important to be aware of:
- Who your audience is
- What their behaviors are
- What motivates them
- How you fit into helping them achieve their goals
For instance, if you’re a nutrition coach and you want to optimize when email send times and days to drive more sales of your ebook, you may consider the following:
People starting a new routine may be feeling most motivated in the morning when decision fatigue is less.
On the flip side, if you offer business consulting services, your optimal send times and days may differ:
Your audience may be working on their side-hustle at night or on the weekends, so considering the times when they are logged on and paying attention could yield better results.
Ultimately, it’s about considering what you’re asking people to do, and when they’re most likely to be in the frame of mind to do it.
We know hearing “it depends” is hard when you’re looking for a quick answer. So take into account the following takeaways from a meta-analysis conducted by Co-Schedule:
- The best time to send email in the morning is 6 a.m. or 10 a.m. This is because many people tend to check email upon first waking up or after they’ve settled into the day mid-morning.
- The best time to send email in the afternoon is 2 p.m. or 8 p.m. This is because people tend to look for a mid-afternoon distraction in their inbox before winding down for the workday. They also check emails before going to bed.
What is the best day to send email?
Just like finding the optimal send time is highly dependent on your unique audience, the same is true for finding the best day to send email.
Consider the examples of the nutritionist and the business services consultant above:
The nutrition audience may be feeling down about their choices coming off a weekend, so Monday may be a good time to present them with a solution (i.e. your ebook).
Meanwhile, the consulting audience may be swamped with emails on Mondays and may be more likely to respond to an inquiry mid-week.
Different audiences. Different goals. Different optimal days to send email.
However, if you’re looking for a good place to start, the same meta-analysis from Co-Schedule offers the following:
- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the best days to send email, with Tuesday being the far and away best day of the week to send.
- Some studies show that Saturday and Sunday are the worst days of the week to send emails, as people tend to not pay attention to their inboxes during the weekend. However, others show these days yielding the highest click through and open rates.
Optimize your email send times with split testing
If people are going to respond to an email, they’re most likely to do so within two minutes of opening it.
From there, the likelihood of a response starts to dwindle. If someone doesn’t take action within 48 hours, they probably won’t.
That means if you’re not sending emails when people are most ready to respond to your calls to action, you may be missing important opportunities.
With that in mind, let’s talk about how to figure out your optimal send time and day.
Because the optimal send time is different for everyone, your best bet is to run a few experiments to find out when your audience is most likely to open your emails.
If you know your target audience, you can probably make an assumption about when you think they’ll be most in the mood to engage with your subject matter. But, of course, you want to test your assumptions.
Deliberately schedule your next few emails at a variety of different times, and on different days. Run a few different split tests to see if the same email content yields different results on different days.
In order to split test email send times, take the following steps:
- Create 2 versions of the email you want to send.
- Set up a split test in your email service provider. It should be a 50/50 split, ensuring that half of your segment receives version A and version B.
- Schedule your email for the times or days you’re interested in testing.
- After a few days, analyze your results. This will give you insight on the best time to send your emails.
Keep in mind you’ll probably need to test a few different emails to be fully confident in your results.
Ready to find your best time to send email?
With AWeber, you can split test nearly every aspect of your emails — subject lines, send times, copy, templates, buttons, and more! This gives you the power to optimize your email strategy.