Email marketing is a vital tool in the marketer's arsenal. However, the success of your email campaign is largely dependent on one critical aspect: timing. Let's dive into the art of timing email campaigns to ensure optimum opens, clicks, and conversions.

Understanding the Importance of Timing

Before we delve into specifics, let's take a moment to understand why timing matters in sending out email campaigns.

The primary objective of any email marketing campaign is to reach subscribers when they are most likely to be checking their inbox and have the time to engage with your content. Sending out your emails at an inappropriate time would lead to them getting buried under a pile of unread emails, reducing their chances of being seen, let alone opened.

General Advice on Timing Email Campaigns

As we begin to explore the maze of timing email campaigns, it's essential to note that what we discuss here is general advice, widely accepted by the email marketing community. While these tips serve as a good starting point, they may not always work for every audience.

Daytime vs. Nighttime

One fundamental factor to consider is the time of day. As a rule of thumb, it's better to send out your email campaigns during the daytime when people are awake and most likely to check their emails.

Avoid Mondays

Many marketers avoid sending out emails on Mondays. Why? People are usually overwhelmed with emails accumulated over the weekend. The instinctive reaction is to delete a bulk of these emails, and you don't want yours to be part of that.

Tread Carefully with Weekends

Historically, weekends have seen lower open rates. People are often busy with personal errands and activities, leaving little time to check emails. As a result, many marketers avoid weekends for sending out email campaigns.

Prior Notice for Events

If your email is oriented towards an event, it's best to send it out 3-5 days prior. This gives your subscribers time to see the email and make necessary arrangements.

Mid-Week, Mid-day

The traditional approach of sending out email campaigns in the middle of the week, especially between 1-3pm, tends to do quite well. But remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Don't be afraid to experiment with different timings.

Fan Favorites: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday have traditionally been favorite days to send email campaigns. This is because marketers try to avoid the Monday blues and Friday's sliding-into-the-weekend vibe.

Breaking the Mold

While the tips above are considered general best practices for email marketing, there are situations that challenge these classical suggestions.

For instance, a company's internal data may reveal a different pattern. WordStream found that email newsletters sent at 8-9 am on Thursdays yielded over 25% open rates. In contrast, emails sent on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings resulted in less than 5% open rates.

Beating the Rush

One reason why the classical tips may not always work is the high competition. If all marketers send out emails on the "recommended" days and times, your email may get lost in the crowd. Sending emails on off-peak days like Mondays and Fridays might work better for you.

It Depends on the Device

The traditional "best time to send an email" advice is based on desktop usage patterns. However, mobile users tend to be active even late in the evening. Therefore, understanding the device usage patterns of your audience can help you determine the best time to send your emails.

Know Your Audience: The Key to Email Marketing Success

Understanding your audience is the most crucial factor for email marketing success. Their habits and preferences determine the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.

For instance, if you're targeting a young, tech-savvy crowd, you might want to ignore the general advice against sending emails at night. Similarly, if you're in the entertainment industry, Fridays might be your best bet.

The Ultimate Answer to the "When to Send an Email" Question

So, what's the best time to send an email campaign? Well, it depends on your audience. While there are certain generally recommended days and times, your audience's habits may vary.

To find the perfect send time for your specific audience, A/B test your send times. This is the best way to tailor your email marketing strategy to your audience's preferences.

Not Getting the Open Rates You Want? Don't Blame the Hour.

If your open rates aren't looking so good, consider these factors:

  • Do You Have a Standout Subject Line? Your subject line plays a crucial role in getting people to open your email.
  • Are You Sending Too Many Emails? Overwhelming your subscribers with too many emails may lead to lower open rates.
  • Is Your Message Mobile-Friendly? With the increasing use of mobile devices for checking emails, ensuring your emails are mobile-friendly is a must.
  • Is Your Email Copy Unclear? An unclear message may confuse your readers and discourage them from opening your future emails.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, while there are general best practices for timing email campaigns, the ultimate deciding factor is your audience. By understanding your audience's habits and preferences, you can tailor your email marketing strategy for optimal engagement. Remember, the key to successful email marketing is not only about when you send your emails but also about what you send.