Day 4: Identify the best time to send your email

If you google “the best time to send emails,” you’re going to find about a million responses all telling you different answers. And at the bottom of every article, it’s going to say this:

Do what works for you.

Ugh. It’s like searching for that secret weight-loss formula and the answer is always “eat right and exercise!” But guess what? All those articles are right. At the end of the day, you do have to rely on your gut sometimes and trust that you know your audience best.

But, I do have some research for you that will help you if you’re just starting out and you don’t have a whole lot of data from your own experience to go on.

There was a really helpful study done earlier this year that compiled data from 14 other studies on when to send emails (it’s comforting to know that everyone is asking this question). What they found was this:

The best day of the week to send your email is Tuesday.

The second best day of the week to send your email is Thursday.

There really weren’t any groundbreaking reasons for this finding. The best guess is that Mondays are typically hectic and anything not urgent is likely to be deleted. But Tuesdays are better for most people. They are finding a rhythm to their week and open to unexpected messages. It makes sense to me and I can relate to being a little more relaxed on Tuesdays.

Thursdays are also good because you aren’t on that last day of the week frenzy yet.

Now, the second part of this equation is the timing of the email. The research here isn’t as clear cut but in general, there are four times a day that were most commonly reported to have the best metrics (our topic for tomorrow!)

6:00 am — for those early morning, check your email first thing kind of people

10:00 am — late morning and the inbox has already been cleaned up from the day before

2:00 pm — an afternoon break for many

8:00 pm — one last check of email before putting the phone away for the night

Want a little tip to increase your open rate that it super easy to use? If you’re using an email platform like MailChimp or Constant Contact, you can choose to re-send the email to non-openers by literally just clicking one button. I like to do this about 24 hours after I send the initial email and it almost always results in several more people opening my email. Try it the next time you send an email and see what happens!

Today's 5-minute task

Look at your calendar for the rest of January and choose a day that you will send your first email using what you've learned so far this week! Circle it and stick to your plan! Now, use the action guide to write out what needs to happen before that date and make a plan to make it happen!

Here’s the bottom line - there is no magic formula. Finding the best time to send your emails is simply a matter of trial and error and knowing which metrics matter to you. The best time is the time that works for YOUR audience and that is going to vary depending on which industry you are in. The best thing you can do is start testing different days/times and tracking how it works. That’s why tomorrow’s final lesson is all about metrics!


Remember to comment on the course homepage about today’s takeaway or what you’re hoping to learn this week! And, to complete your 5-minute task! Have questions about today’s lesson? Email me at andrea@oneninedesign.net

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Andrea Shirey