The Best Times to Send Marketing E-Mails
Let’s just get this clear up front: there is no one perfect time to send a marketing e-mail—or any type of e-mail, for that matter—that will ensure it is opened, read, and clicked. Tons of variables prevent anyone from accurately predicting a specific time frame without doubt. What we can do, however, is provide clear guidelines as to when to send your marketing e-mail, dependent on these variables, to increase the likelihood of it successfully getting noticed and read.
General Rules for Sending E-Mails
While we may not be able to make sweeping predictions, some steadfast rules do exist when conducting e-mail marketing campaigns. First of all, your e-mail needs to be seen and seen quickly, preferably within the first hour it’s been sent; the likelihood it will be opened after the first hour drops by half. Moving forward, Monday mornings are generally not the best time to send any marketing e-mails. That’s because most people that work in nine-to-five industries start the week with a full inbox and sift through those e-mails at whatever pace or importance they decide. Adding to that digital pile only lessens your chances of your message being recognized and its content being seriously considered.
Similarly, Fridays are typically also not the best days to send marketing e-mails. People are looking forward to the weekend and even if your e-mail is opened and read, the message may not be seriously considered until the weekend is over, meaning there is the potential it may get forgotten in the Monday morning shuffle.
Test Your Audience
Not sending marketing e-mails on Mondays and Fridays is the general rule, but as we mentioned, so much of finding the correct timing is dependent on several factors, including which industry you will be e-mailing, the age and sex of the individual, whether or not they are married, and many more. The only way to truly maximize your results is to test when your contacts best respond to your campaigns.
A/B split testing is a good way to get initial results. This is done by sending the same e-mails with the same subject line and content at different times of the day and compare results. Make sure you are thorough and test each segment of your e-mail list accordingly so your results are accurate, but this should definitely provide a strong gauge of when your audience is listening.
Segment and Personalize
You absolutely must segment your lists; this is an important factor when conducting all of your e-mail marketing campaigns. Separate business-to-business (B2B) from business-to-consumer (B2C) e-mails; if you’re in different markets around the world then segmenting by language can also be beneficial. Whatever the divide, once you have made these differentiations, ensure your e-mails are personalized accordingly. Be sure to add a name to the intro of the e-mail and speak in a language that is consistent with the intended audience.
Get Ready to Make Some Changes
Once you’ve segmented your e-mail lists and tested them accordingly, be ready for some surprises. For instance, you may find that your B2C contacts open e-mails more readily after working hours or your B2B contacts may be more accepting of e-mails over the lunch hour. Whatever the results, believe what you see, not what you think to be right, and make the adjustments accordingly.
If you’re looking for help finding targets or need to expand your target lists, Macromark is a great place to start. We’ve been brokering lists for over 25 years and have adapted to become expert at conducting e-mail marketing campaigns for our clients.
Bizune, L., “When is the Best Time to Send a Marketing Email?” Mailigen web site, May 19, 2014; http://blog.mailigen.com/when-is-the-best-time-to-send-a-marketing-email/.
“Day of the Week and Time of Day that Average Open are the Highest by Industry,” ConstantContact web site; http://support2.constantcontact.com/articles/FAQ/1303, last accessed January 7, 2015.