Email marketing is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to share your message and reach consumers. According to oberlo.com, there were 3.7 billion email users in 2017 and that number is expected to increase to 4.3 billion by 2022. That same article shows that 81% of SMBs rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel. One of the most convincing statistics that we see is that for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $32. There simply aren’t many marketing alternatives out there with those results.
One of the most common questions from marketers and smaller businesses regarding email is “When should I send it?”. Yes, the act of sending an email is easy, especially with new technology like brand management software to do the heavy lifting, but creating the content and building something that resonates will take time and resources. You want to make sure your efforts don't go to waste by deploying it when nobody's looking. Strategizing your marketing effort is nothing new–it’s the same reason why large organizations spend millions of dollars for a 30 second commercial during the Superbowl. A larger number of eyeballs means a higher chance of engagement and action.
So when, exactly, should you send your email to optimize response? The answer will vary based on your specific goals, but the data does show trends to help inform you. We’ll look at the latest to determine what may work best for your organization.
Best day to send an email
Based on data collected for a recent SmartInsights article, the best day to send your email depends on both your goals and your audience. A few factors that they recommend considering:
- The response from emails at weekends shouldn't be underestimated, both for B2B and B2C. Just because most office-based marketers work Monday through Friday that doesn't mean weekends won't be effective - in fact it may explain why.
- In B2B email marketing, Tuesday to Thursday traditionally sees the best response rates. This may reflect Mondays and Fridays being meeting days. Additionally, Tuesday is usually peak day for web traffic in analytics.
- Fewer emails are sent on Friday and over the weekend, so there is less competition in the inbox, which increases the chance of the email being seen. However, this is offset by lower open rates suggesting that people are perhaps less engaged at the weekend.
- Sending emails on Friday has potential and there is relatively little competition and you have a chance of being seen over the weekend as well.
Best time to send your email
We know that nobody operates on the same schedule. Nor does everyone open emails at the same time. Many studies have been completed to determine an optimal time to send your email to have the greatest impact. In the same SmartInsights article, multiple sources were used to determine a recommendation.
- People tend to check emails first thing in the morning (while still in bed) but may not click or reply
- At least one study found that the highest click rates came from emails scheduled to arrive at 12am or overnight (which were opened and clicked in the morning, in most cases)
- If a response is the goal, send in the early morning or evening so you are in the inbox first thing
Based on the overall data, the best day and time to send a B2B email is Tuesday at 10am. That, of course, is not a one-size-fits-all model and should be tested to make sure you are realizing your intended result. It is also not accounting for specific audiences. For example, entrepreneurs tend to respond better to email on Saturdays at 10am, average B2B users open emails on Saturday morning but click the most on Tuesdays at 10am and B2C consumers seem to respond to email early in the morning on Saturdays.
With all of the research that has been done, it is important to look at what those results are telling us, but equally important to test your own database and listen to what your users tell you. Once you have determined your best day and time to send communications, consider using a brand management software to streamline the process and keep everything on schedule.
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