When Should I Hit Send?
So you’ve crafted that perfect marketing email, and you’re ready to send it out. But wait! Are you doing yourself a favor by sending it out now, or should you wait until a different time that may lead to more opens and clickthroughs? We break it down for you here.
HubSpot’s 2015 Report came up with facts that are widely agreed upon. Their research said that any weekday at 11 o’clock a.m. is the best time to send an email that will be opened and acted upon. Of that, Tuesday seems to be the day with the best results, and Friday the worst. If you must send on the weekends, the report says, you will see the most success by sending your email out on Sunday night at 9 p.m. (presumably because it will be near the top of their inbox on Monday morning). Many businesses follow the above-mentioned practices. However, is it really true?
An Experian report came up with some conflicting research. According to what they found, emails sent between 8 p.m. and 12 a.m. actually saw the most success! And although weekends saw less emails being sent, emails that were sent then saw higher open and clickthrough rates, and generated more revenue!
Although the second report does not follow tradition, it actually makes sense. The majority of emails are opened on mobile devices.With smartphones, people are consistently getting notifications and checking their email. During the day, they will most likely open work-related emails, but not necessarily any others. At night, however, when things are slower, it seems plausible that people are opening marketing emails. The same reasoning goes for the weekend. People have more free time to click on an email and go through all of its steps. That may be why revenue is higher in weekend-sent emails.
So What Do I Do?
Numbers may not lie, but they can be confusing. Looking at this conflicting research, it’s obvious that there is no “one-time-fits-all” here. Instead, as always, think of your buyer personas and target audience. When would they be most likely to open an email? If you’re targeting moms, for example, you may want to consider sending emails early in the morning or at night, when they have a moment to themselves. But maybe they open more emails during the day, when kids are at school? Try A/B testing to really find which times and days see the most results, by splitting your email list in half and sending the same email at different times to different people. By doing that a few times, you will get a good feel of which times work well for you.
Since the majority of people are getting emails straight to their phones, chances are they are not opening every single one. You’re fighting for space in a crowded inbox, so you must make sure to have an intriguing subject line, as well as preview text. Your goal should be for receivers to be excited to see an email from your company, not annoyed.
The Bottom Line
Looks like there’s no magic time that will ensure skyrocketing open rates. Based on your contacts’ habits and your own research, you will have to find the time that works best for you. All in all, a great email will see results (almost) whenever it’s sent. Timing is a factor, but don’t forget about what else makes an effective marketing email!
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Chaya Lencz is our marketing associate at AbilitySEO. In addition, she is currently a student at University of Baltimore's Merrick School of Business.