Timing means everything in email sending to achieve campaign success. It can drive increased sales, subscription, engagement, and conversion rates when done right. Meanwhile, it can cause massive unsubscriptions or damage your sender’s reputation when done wrong.
You can find various studies online as a reference to pick the best hours of the day and days of the week for sending your campaigns. But not every reference is exactly accurate as to the best time to send emails. This is because the time for receiving emails varies from one customer to another.
That’s why it’s your best bet to carefully observe your target audience first before sticking to a good campaign sending schedule. Read on to discover the various ways on how to do so.
The Best Time to Send Emails Based On Studies
Data from various studies suggests that the best hours of the day to send email campaigns are from 4 am to 6 am, 9 am to 1 pm, and 6 pm to 12 am. This is probably because users are checking their phones or computers for mail right after waking up, clocking out from a graveyard shift, transitioning from a morning break to lunch, and relaxing after dinner before bed.
However, these results don’t necessarily mean that you should send your emails on these hours as some customer pools have their own preferred time for opening their email inboxes.
When it comes to choosing the best days for sending campaigns, the global data differs depending on which side of the world and what culture your target audience belongs to. But as a general rule, it’s best to avoid sending campaigns on Mondays, especially mornings where most people are grouchy. Mid-weeks like Tuesdays to Thursdays are the ideal days for campaigns because people have adjusted into work mode.
How to Know the Best Time?
While following general recommendations for campaign sending is good, it’s still way better that you find out the right time to deliver your campaigns by experimenting and observing the behaviors of your customers based on their personal or engagement data.
1. Know your subscribers’ time zones
Each customer pool has its own preferred time when it comes to opening their inboxes. And these preferred times can vary based on the timezone they live in. To know which timezone your customers are in, use their geolocation data.
You can get this by making your email marketing tools detect their device locations by the time they open your campaigns or have them enter their location through the signup process of your business’s website. This is very good because you’re improving customer experience by emphasizing sending emails on hours where your subscribers aren’t busy.
2. Optimize based on the time they open emails
As mentioned, you can figure out when it’s the best time to send campaigns to your customers based on which part of the day they open your campaigns. This is done by observing the metrics presented in your email marketing platform.
You can then set your email marketing platform to send campaigns automatically 30 minutes to an hour and a half before their usual email opening time. This time frame works best because it makes your campaigns appear on the first page of their mailbox.
3. Understand the online habits of your target audience
Every target audience has a shared habit and knowing that is one of the best ways to figure out which is the best time for them to receive campaigns. For example, if you’re marketing to customers in a corporate environment, the best time to send them campaigns are on the hours of 4 am to 6 am, 10 am to 12 pm, and 6 pm to 12 am.
These are hours when they’re readying for work, having a morning break to lunch, and on the commute to their home until bedtime. Or you can take the example of stay-at-home mothers where their free time slots are 8 to 10 am, 2 to 4 pm, and 9 to 12 am.
4. Add a preference center link to your emails
Preference center links help your customers modify how you interact with them. They can use it to receive fewer messages from you, block certain types of campaign topics, or choose when to receive your campaigns.
This is a good strategy to employ because it eliminates the need for you to know their time zones, observe their interactions, and understand their online habits. All you need to do then is put them in different list segmentation based on the time they want to receive an email.
The result would be you sending more well-timed and personalized email campaigns that drive more open and conversion rates.
5. Pay attention to popular opinion
You won’t get insights on good campaign timing from only observing customers online. Talking with those you know personally and other acquaintances will also give you a good idea of which days are best to send your campaigns.
For example, most people if not everyone hates Mondays. You should avoid sending campaigns on this day because people are still transitioning from a relaxed weekend into hectic weekdays. Sending your campaigns on a Monday will only spark an unintentional ire that would cause your customers to unsubscribe.
6. Understanding the culture your target audience belongs
Aside from understanding the online habits of your target audience based on their demographics, you can also use the culture they belong to as a reference. This is an important tip to follow especially if you have customers globally or do email marketing on an international scale.
Let’s start by discussing the working cultures from two sides of the world. While most westerners prefer to check their emails on working days due to a relaxed working environment, easterners would prefer to open their mailboxes on weekends because they have more time to do so.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the right time for sending email campaigns. It truly depends on your customers’ behavior, culture, and preferences. That’s why you should take advantage of your email marketing tools by observing metrics and asking for your customers’ preferences through preference center links. You should also get to know how their daily lives work based on where they live by studying their culture.