[Updated for 2023]
Everyone who wants to reach an audience asks the same question: when’s the best time to send out an email? Should you send your marketing emails on Monday morning, Wednesday at lunch, or Friday afternoon? The right timing of an email can mean better open rates and better conversions. In this blog, you’re going to learn how to optimize your email marketing to maximize open rates, click-through rates and drive your engagements...
TYPES OF EMAIL CAMPAIGNS
There are many different types of email, each with its own unique tone and intent. A B2B (business-to-business) email greatly differs from a B2C (business-to-consumer) email. But how do you know when you should send out which one? Let's take a look at the different email strategies and the best times to send them.
- Drip Campaigns: Drip campaigns are standard for email marketing. These email campaigns should be used to encourage an action, such as getting a customer to go back to the items in their cart and complete their purchase. Popular drip campaigns include abandoned cart reminders, retargeting/re-engagement campaigns, and post-purchase follow-ups. The action (or inaction)of a prospect will determine when it is time to send a drip campaign.
- Abandoned Cart Reminders: The best time to send an abandoned cart reminder is 30 to 60 minutes after the last action on a website. A secondary drip should follow no sooner than 24 hours after that. A third message should follow 24 to 48 hours after the second message.
- Reengagement: When you target people who have engaged with your content in some way, whether that means visiting your site multiple times or downloading content, you will ensure that your users are reminded why they should return to your site. These emails should also be sent shortly after a customer leaves your site within a few hours to keep your product or service fresh in their mind.
- Post-Purchase Follow-Ups: A targeted email is a great time to focus on cross-selling or upselling customers who have recently purchased a product. You encourage them to add products to their order, promote additional products, or offer a discount on their next purchase. Most experts recommend sending these emails within one to three hours of the customer leaving your site.
- Newsletters: Newsletters are typically sent on a monthly or weekly frequency, which can be B2B or B2C. The right scheduling is important for achieving optimal open rates. They’re important for keeping your customers engaged and keeping your business top-of-mind. Newsletters actually perform the worst on Mondays, so try to avoid them on Mondays when you can.
Overall, the best days to send emails are Thursdays, then Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, according to CoSchedule. With morning hours seeing better open rates.
Follow-Ups: Email timing is more sensitive with follow-up emails, whether they're after an in-person meeting or an email that wasn't opened or responded to before. Typically, it’s recommended to wait 48 hours to send a follow-up.
OVERALL SENDING PATTERNS
Hubspot found that when surveying marketers on “which day of the week their marketing emails got the most engagement, 22.6% of U.S. marketers said Monday, 24.9% said Tuesday, and 21.3% of U.S. marketers said Wednesday…when we asked those same marketers which time of day their emails get the most engagement we found that 34.9% said 9 AM to 12 PM and 27.6% said 12 PM to 3 PM. From this data, the best days for seeing engagement fall during the first three days of the workweek, particularly between 9 AM and 3 PM.”
If you are looking to send B2B emails specifically, emails have better employee engagement between 9 AM and 12 PM. Hubspot recommends segmenting the B2B audience by job function or seniority to accommodate different modes of working. One newsletter a week tends to be more effective than three. Sending a B2C newsletter at 7 AM Monday is going to be less effective than 11 AM on Wednesday because of people's daily schedules and routines.
Overall Sunday, then Saturday are ranked as the worst days to send emails based on the number of emails that are actually opened.
B2B AND B2C EMAILS
The schedules for sending B2B and B2C emails are different because of the target audience and the actions you want them to take.
When sending B2B emails, you're more likely to get engagement when sending during working hours, particularly on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
B2C emails, on the other hand, offer more flexibility, as you want to send them either during breaks (lunch) or when consumers are more likely to be on their phones (e.g., after work hours, on Friday afternoons, or on the weekends).
Both B2B and B2C marketers agree that Sunday is the least effective day for sending emails and that if sending emails during the week, Tuesday and Wednesday were the most effective.
Increasing Click Rates
Each email should have a purpose and a clear call to action. You also may want to try segmenting your emails based on customer data. This will make sure you’re sending the right emails to the right audience in an effort to maximize engagement, open rates, and conversions.
Many email marketing platforms have automated analytics that can help you pick the best time to send each email based on previous email sends. Consumers today are inundated with emails from different companies, so yours needs to stand out. Personalization, whether it’s segmenting the email list based on purchasing behavior, other analytics, or sending tailored offers, helps to increase engagement and the likelihood that the customer will take action.
Don't forget. Email frequency matters, too - if you send too many emails, it can lead to lower engagement and a higher unsubscribe rate. An email is an important tool for marketing and engagement, and your email timing matters.
Talk to the Email Experts
For help with making the most of your email marketing efforts, get in touch with Ironmark’s digital marketing team. We know our way around the web and can help you get into the right inboxes at the right time.