What Is the Best Time of Day to Send an Email in 2020?

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The cold email, the campaign, the newsletter, the sales email:

There are times when they will perform better or go unread. And everyone sending them out knows the struggle of getting your email to the top of the list at just the right time. 

Just think of how often we glance over the inbox and how short our attention span is when it comes to things that are not a top priority.

Which begs the question:

What is the best time of day to send an email? 

Well, it depends. This might not be a very satisfying answer, but it’s the only correct one. Let’s have a look at some statistics that will help us get closer to resolving the issue.

Fascinating Email Statistics (Editor’s Choice) 

  • The best two days to send a marketing email are Thursday and Friday before lunch break.
  • The best time to send an email on Sunday is at 11 am.
  • 60% of people check their email as soon as they wake up.
  • 53% of all emails are opened during work hours.
  • A good open rate very much depends on your line of business, but the overall average open rate is 17.92%
  • The best performing day of the month is the 5th, with a 19.15% open rate.
  • Up to 53% of all emails are opened during office hours.
  • Your recipients will open 66% of emails but won’t respond to more than 40%

Best Time to Send an Email

(MailChimp, Wordstream, Yesware) 

Everyone has found themselves wondering when is the best time to send an email at one time or another. And as many have discovered, the answer will not necessarily please you.

The thing is:

You cannot find the answer by simply hitting the search button, as it is as different as the companies sending them out and people receiving them. 

Don’t worry, though:

There are some general guidelines. For the most part, determining the perfect time slot for your needs will take research, planning, and testing. 

Some of the general rules seem intuitive, but should still mention them. 

Does it matter what time you send an email?

Apparently very much.

There is a big difference between the rate at which emails are opened and the rate that people reply to them. And the time of sending is crucial to whether you will receive an answer or not.

In fact, your audience will open 66% of received emails on any day but won’t respond to more than 40%. Out of those, 30% will be responded to that day and the rest at a later date.

Up to 53% of all emails are opened during office hours and 47% during the rest of the day. Click To Tweet

Looking at day vs night, daytime emails perform better for obvious reasons, especially when it comes to campaigns.

Now:

When it comes to what is the best time of day to send an email, Monday is always a bad idea. People are dealing with the start of the week, trying to clear the most important tasks out of the way first. And unless your email is one of those tasks, it will go unnoticed. 

The weekend is also problematic. Everyone is out and about and trying to have fun and run errands at the same time. So, there aren’t many time slots for reading emails during those days.

The safest bet, which will not get you the top result often but is reliable and traditional, is what some like to call a mid-week, mid-day strategy. 

Here’s the deal:

Emails sent on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday between 10 am and 3 pm tend to avoid most pitfalls and are the classic emailing zone, with the slot from 11 am to 2 pm being peak open time. Monday is too stressful, and on Friday everyone is almost out the door.

As it is true for every rule, these too have exceptions, sometimes many of them. That’s where researching your target audience and your line of business comes in. 

So, should you send emails late at night?

If you are targeting young people, the evening rule goes out of the window, as they will check their phones until quite late at night. If you are sending out entertainment content, the rule of doing it during work hours means nothing, and you will do best with the commute times. For example, the best time to send an email on Sunday is at 11 am.

What Is the Best Time of Day to Send an Email

Best Time to Send a Business Email

(Campaign Monitor, Optinmonster, Catapult Agency Growth)

As much as it is advised not to open your inbox first thing in the morning, the rates show that not many are following the advice. In fact, 60% of people start their day doing just that, email statistics reveal. The number of openings starts to increase as soon as people start waking up. 

With that in mind, a late-night email on Sunday might not be a bad idea when it comes to business emails. Counting on the majority following the general rule of not sending emails on a Sunday, yours might end up on the top of the Monday morning pile. The best time to send email on Monday is just after midnight, just as Sunday turns to Monday, and at dawn, around 5 am.

Other morning hours also work well.

Business emails are read mostly during work hours (9 am to 5 pm). But as the best time of day to send an email within that time frame, the 9 am to 3 pm slot works better, with the real peak happening in the morning from 9 am to 11 am.

Another peak time is just before lunch. And even if the overall opens during lunchtime drop only a bit, the content is different. Work-related emails take a plunge, while people turn to lighter topics during their break.

Which brings us to the next question:

What is the best time to send a cold email?

The best time of day for sending cold emails seems to be early in the morning, between 6 am and 7 am, before the target audience gets into the office, and evenings around 8 pm, which is usually the last off-work business checkup for those who don’t leave their work at the office.

What’s more:

Email statistics show that reply rates in this time window are significantly higher, around 45%. The reply rate is something to look at when trying to determine the success of your emails rather than the open rate. After all, it shows if an action following your prompt was taken rather than just acknowledged.

Best Time to Send Marketing Emails

(Optinmonster, Wordstream)

According to research, which are the two best days for sending email marketing messages?

Check this out:

When it comes to marketing emails, they do not always go by the mentioned mid-week, mid-day rule. In fact, the time when most people engage in reading marketing emails is on Friday. People open, click, and browse in preparation for the offline and online shopping that they will in most cases do on Saturday. 

With this in mind, the best two days to send a marketing email are Thursday and Friday before lunch break. The best time to send a newsletter on Thursday is at 8 pm, followed by 10 am, 6 am, and 2 pm.

Now:

Aside from that, the best time to send a newsletter also depends on the device, and daily habits play a big role. This means the emails must be optimized for both. Additionally, you should keep in mind when it will be read on a Friday – during office hours on a desktop or during the commute home on the phone. 

Partly due to the alarming rise in cell phone addiction, mobile users are very active in the evening hours. So, combined with Saturday shopping plan- making, Friday evening is also an option as the best time for email marketing.

Best Time to Send Sales Emails

(Automation Hero Wordstream, Optimonster)

When it comes to what is the best time of day to send an email to boost sales:

This is when knowing your recipient really comes into play. You need to think about who you are sending your emails to. A workaholic CEO type will open their emails on weekends. And given the drop in send rates, yours will stand out. Aim for Saturday and Sunday afternoon for higher open rates. 

However, if your recipients work 9-5, they are less likely to check their email at those times.

The best time to send an email, in that case, is Tuesday, as it’s the day with the highest open rates during the week.

One thing is certain: 

You won’t know until you test it, and a simple A/B test conducted multiple times gives the best results. That being said, the best time to send a newsletter on Tuesday is at 10 am, 6 am, 2 pm, and 8 pm.

Best Time to Send an Email Blast

(Campaign Monitor, Just Creative, Wordstream, FTC)

If you are wondering when is the best time to send an email blast, some would say never. 

In fact, many might argue the time of blasting your entire audience has long passed. Additionally, you cannot afford to rely on covering everyone at the same time, now that targeting groups has reached the heights and nuances it has.

The blast has to observe the Can Spam Act, have an unsubscribe link, and be clear about who is behind the email. Click To Tweet

That being said, if you are still opting for this method, you will need to pay attention to the geography and the regions your customers are in, the timezones, differences in culture when it comes to working days and office hours, statistics about the use of devices and online behavior, and, finally, details specific to your company.

With so many things to observe, the best time to send mass email is definitely from Tuesday to Thursday, in the late morning hours, before the lunch break

Now:

To give you an idea of how your emails should be doing, the average open rate should be from 15% to 25%, the average click-through rate should be around 2.5%, and the click to open rate should range from 20% to 30%.

Finding out when the audience engages with your brand is one place to start. So, look at social media analytics, consult the latest social commerce statistics, and start sending emails at those times.

Best Time to Send an Email Campaign

(Optinmonster, Omnisend, Wordstream)

Looking at the numbers for orders per campaign, the time that works best is 4 pm. Attention drops as the end of the workday is near, and many will look for ways to distract themselves by browsing or even buying something. 

Another peak time is the evening commute at 6 pm

The time between 2 pm and 3 pm represents a pit, as during lunchtime people do not go through offers much, as they are either planning the last part of the workday or looking for amusement.

Many say the morning is not a good time, but campaigns and newsletter emails have also been known to have success in the morning hours from 8 am-9 am, not surprisingly coinciding with the morning commute. This slot brings open rates of 25%.

Looking at the days and the best times to send emails, Wednesday stands out for campaigns, newsletters, and marketing emails when it comes to open rates. And the best time to send emails on Wednesday is 8 pm.

And that’s not all:

Friday is the day most campaigns are actually being sent, although Thursday performs better.

Tuesday mornings, while great for business emails, are the worst time for campaigns and newsletters, followed closely by Monday with only 5% open rate.

A solid open rate doesn’t always guarantee success, though. Campaigns sent at 10 am have a good open rate of 19.83%, but they don’t generate a big number of orders per campaign, only 4.66, as most people do not have enough time to finalize the buying process at that time.

As with other types of emails, the best time to email is 1 pm.

What Is the Best Time for Email Opens?

(Omnisend, Optinmonster)

The highest open rates happen at 8 am, and newsletters that go out at those times get an open rate of 20.32%, with a 7.79% click-through rate. The number of orders coming in from that time slot is 8.37.

However, the best order rate comes from the 4 pm time window when there is an average of 10.66 orders per campaign.

What is the best day to send an email? Tuesday is the day with the highest open rate, followed by Wednesday.

What’s more:

The best time to send email on Wednesday is 2 pm, followed by 8 pm, 10 am, and 6 am.

Looking at the dates, the best performing days of the months are 5th with a 19.15% rate, the 12th with 19.03%, and the 7th with the rate of 18.54%.

The last two weeks of every month see weaker results, perhaps due to spending already over, and the majority of people waiting for the next paycheck. The worst days for emails and orders are from the 25th to the 27th.

The best time to send an email on Saturday is in the early morning so that your recipients can read it first thing in the morning with their coffee before the fun starts. Saturday sees a high conversion rate of 3.6%, and that is a full percent higher than the rest of the week.

Finally, the best time to send an email on Friday is during the evening commute from 5 pm to 7 pm. Tuesday and Friday have a rate of 2.5%, while Sunday and Monday follow close at 2.4%.

The Bottom Line

In terms of email timing, the best approach is to send emails is always a strategy you should customize to your audience and test.

What is the best time of day to send an email is as individual a question as an email’s content. So, you will have to research and try more than a couple of times to find the right answer.

With that in mind:

The best time to send an email is just before the hours that the recipient will be open to consuming your content depending on their lifestyle, habits, and interests.

Sources: