Email marketing statistics can vary by industry and by audience. If you’re a B2B company marketing to senior level executives, your open and click rates for an email sent on Monday at 8am may be very different than if you’re a B2C company marketing to new parents. There are so many factors to consider, making it hard to pinpoint that perfect time to send an email.
Recently, a few studies have been done on top engagement times for email marketing. These studies do offer some good insight, but we feel that you still need to do your own homework to determine the time and day that works best for your business.
Run your own study
Don’t worry, you don’t need to do a full-blown study. It just requires a bit of trial and error on your end. Put on your research hat and have fun with it. Here are a few suggestions:
- Name the day – Send your emails on different days of the week for a few months (or weeks if you do weekly email blasts) and see if a specific day has more engagement than others.
- Zero in on a time – Once you identify a specific day of the week, experiment with different times of day. Send your email on the same day, but at varying times over a few months (or weeks). You don’t need to try every hour of the day. Just try certain “shifts.” For example, 8-9 a.m., 3-4 p.m., and 7-9 p.m.
- Think big – If you’re sending monthly email blasts, make sure you consider the time of month in your informal study. You may want to try sending your email at the beginning of the month, mid-month and end of month to see if you notice a difference in engagement. Also, consider your audience. If you’re marketing to finance executives, the end of the month may not be an optimum time to reach out.
What the experts say
After your informal study, you can compare your results to those of actual studies. Here are a few highlights of some recent studies conducted by several email marketing providers:
- Top engagement times seem to be 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (GetResponse)
- Emails sent in the early afternoon seem to have a better chance of getting noticed (GetResponse)
- Most emails are opened within the 1st hour after delivery (GetResponse)
- 50% of email opens occur within the first six hours after the message is sent (MailerMailer’s annual Email Marketing Metrics Report)
- Emails sent earlier in the morning drive the highest open rates and those sent between 12 a.m. and 3 a.m. generate the most clicks (MailerMailer’s annual Email Marketing Metrics Report)
- Open rates are best at the beginning of the week (MailerMailer’s annual Email Marketing Metrics Report)
Use the right system
Of course, to do all of this, you need a modern email platform to send and track your campaigns. Don’t use Outlook. It wasn’t designed for blast emails and can result in you getting banned across the Internet (we’ve seen it happen). Our CreateSendTM system (powered by industry-leader Campaign Monitor) is a great option. We use it for our Forge3 emails and love the robust reporting, website integration and automation features.
MailChimp is also a good option, but we find it slightly more confusing to use. To us, Constant Contact and Vertical Response are getting a little long in the tooth. We’ve used them all and prefer Campaign Monitor.
The bottom line
Like with anything, there is no end-all-be-all answer on this. Change it up and see what happens. Even if your efforts increase your opens and clicks by just a few percentage points, that means more people are reading your content – potentially leading to more opportunities for your business.