When should I send my email campaigns?

One of the most fre­quent ques­tions I am asked is when is the best time to send my email cam­paigns.

It is an impor­tant ques­tion as a campaign’s suc­cess (mea­sured by key met­rics like opens, clicks, con­ver­sions) will vary based on when you send the cam­paign.

Quite sim­ply, you want to time your sends dur­ing hours your audi­ence is most like­ly to be avail­able to read your cam­paign. If your recip­i­ents are focused on oth­er activ­i­ties, they won’t be able to engage with your email while it’s still fresh, and your mes­sage will be crowd­ed out by more recent mes­sages.

To max­i­mize the chances that your emails are arriv­ing at the tight times, I rec­om­mend you fol­low these 4 prin­ci­ples.

Note: I am focus­ing main­ly on busi­ness-to-busi­ness cam­paigns in this blog post. Many of the prin­ci­ples are the same for busi­ness-to-con­sumer cam­paigns; the main dif­fer­ence are the times and days of avail­abil­i­ty of con­sumers.

 

Principle 1: Emails are most likely to get opened within an hour of arriving in an Inbox.
Stats and graphics courtesy on Get Response.

Stats and graph­ic cour­tesy on Get Response.

Con­sid­er these fig­ures:

  • Near­ly a quar­ter of all email opens hap­pen in first hour.
  • The results drop by half in the 2nd hour
  • After 5 hours, the chances of an email being opened drop by more than 90%

Key take­aways:

  • Launch your cam­paign so that it hits your recipient’s Inbox when they are like­ly to be check­ing their email with­in an hour of when you send the cam­paign.
  • If you mar­ket in mul­ti­ple time zones and you know where your cus­tomers are locat­ed, con­sid­er seg­ment­ing your lists by time zone. Then launch your cam­paigns by time zone.  Your results will improve.

 

Principle 2: Send email campaigns during time slots when recipients are reviewing their Inboxes.
Stats and graphics courtesy of Get Response.

Stats and graph­ic cour­tesy of Get Response.

Many employ­ees check emails when they arrive in the morn­ing and then lat­er in the day. The mid­dle of the day is often filled with meet­ings and an out-of-the-office lunch.

Research indi­cates that top hours for peo­ple review­ing emails are 8–9am and then 3–5 pm.

We also see that met­rics can be high in ear­ly evening as many peo­ple check email after work — often on mobile phones.

Key take­away:

  • Cre­ate your cam­paigns in advance and then sched­ule them so they arrive dur­ing these key time slots.

Note on busi­ness-to-con­sumer emails:  new research from Pure360 sug­gests the best time to send a con­sumer email is now dur­ing the ‘Post Work Peak’ (after 5pm), as peo­ple are fin­ish­ing up at work and head­ing home. Over a quar­ter (26%) of mar­ket­ing emails that are sent in the most suc­cess­ful hour, 5pm to 6pm, are opened, which is 9% above aver­age.  Click here for info­graph­ic on Pure360’s research.

Principle 3:  Send emails on days when your recipients are likely in the office and checking email
  • Tues­day through Fri­day tend to be the busiest days for B2B email sends
  • Thurs­day has the high­est met­rics in terms of opens and clicks

Open rates by day

Key take­away:

  • Send your email in the morn­ing on Thurs­day if your cam­paign starts lat­er in the week
  • Move it up to Tues­day morn­ing if the cam­paign takes place ear­li­er in the week

 

Principle 4: Test campaigns to confirm your results are consistent with these principles

It may be that in your indus­try cus­tomers respond with dif­fer­ent pat­terns than the research pre­sent­ed above. Con­sid­er doing some AB tests to deter­mine if these days and times are best for you.

 

SUMMARY:

In the B2B world, to max­i­mize your met­rics, I rec­om­mend you:

  • Cre­ate your cam­paigns in advance
  • Sched­ule them to be sent on Tues­day or Thurs­day at 8am of your time zone
  • For most of us who don’t have our lists seg­ment­ed by time zone, I would send the whole list at 9am ET
  • If you are fin­ish­ing up a same-day email, I would rec­om­mend you wait until 3pm ET  to send the cam­paign
  • I would track the met­rics. If met­rics are dis­ap­point­ing, I would con­duct AB tests to deter­mine bet­ter times to send

 

Want to dis­cuss your email met­rics? Con­tact Aptus Dig­i­tal for a free con­sul­ta­tion.

 

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