Marketers have been asking this question for years. While there isn’t an exact science to when consumers will open and read your email, there has been a lot of analysis around send times that has helped to formulate a handful of standard guidelines that are widely accepted by the email marketing community, including:
- Try to avoid sending emails on weekends as people tend to disconnect, spending time with their families, running errands, etc.
- Traditionally, the best days to send emails are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Generally, you should avoid sending emails on Monday as most people are flooded with emails they’ve collected over the weekend and tend to automatically delete.
- Avoid sending emails during rush hour (8am or 5pm). In a recent Hubspot survey, it was reported that the highest engagement for marketing emails was between 9am to 12pm (34.9%) and 12pm to 3pm (27.6%) with 2pm being suggested as the optimal send time based on their data.
Technology is Advancing!
The thing is, there isn’t a hard rule that says when you can and can’t send marketing emails…it’s more about optimization. More recently, email distribution services begun rolling out an add-on feature called Send Time Optimization (STO). In short, this feature uses data science to suggest to marketers the optimal time to send their campaigns based on the individual subscriber engagement patterns, local time zones, etc.
Using this historical data, STO pinpoints the ideal time within 24 hours of your selected send date and will send your email to different recipients at different times based on where they live and when they are most likely to engage. STO has been shown by multiple studies to increase open rates by as much as 10%.
Seems like a no brainer, right?! When sending your next email, check with your email distribution service to see if the Send Time Optimization feature is included in your plan.