We asked pros from 60 SaaS businesses to share tips for converting trial users to paid customers. Here’s how they’ve improved their paid activation rates.
Product and Design | Jun 26
Kevin Kononenko on May 30, 2018 • 37 minute read
If you were hoping for one, definitive answer to this question, you may need to readjust your expectations.
The truth is in the nuance.
Every subscriber, and their relationship with your company, is unique.
What’s more is that every person behaves differently throughout their day. We all have different schedules, priorities, and distractions that often dictate when and where we check our email.
If there was some magical time to send email, then your subscribers’ (as well as your own) inbox would become flooded at that time every week.
A better question to ask would be, “is there a best time for our company to send email given what we know about our subscribers?”
Like all marketing channels, we must take specific steps to understand what works best for our audience. Some marketers prefer to use a test-driven approach for learning this, while others use buyer personas and qualitative feedback to optimize send time.
There are even a few tools that use artificial intelligence to look at past email engagement, and customize future send time for you.
Rather than try to discover individual best times, we asked marketers from the Databox Partner Program about the strategies they use to find the best time for any sales or marketing email.
We grouped the responses by strategy so you can learn a range of ways to execute each one.
Some of the participants even shared why they do not believe send time is a major factor, and instead focus on other parts of the email.
Some tools can change the send time of each individual email based on past engagement history.
Here’s how this works- if you do not already have extensive email engagement data, the tool will send your emails at randomized times over the course of a few weeks to build a profile. Then, the tools will begin to personalize the send time based on past opens and clicks. You don’t need to do any testing yourself, and it chooses a specific time for each subscriber.
Does send time matter? I hate working on email at night, preferring to catch up in the morning. My preference means that emails early in the day get more of my attention. Everyone I send to has their own preferences which will impact email engagement.
Our Most Common Send Time: I send marketing emails at the time that best matches the recipients’ demonstrated preferences for engaging with email. The old Tuesday & Thursday early morning routine not only became crowded, but bulk emails are less deliverable than individual ones at any time of day.
How We Chose This Time: There’s no way I could manage all the variables that go into sending an email at the correct time for each subscriber. This is a perfect example of where early applications of AI are already changing marketing – even for SMBs.
60 Second Marketer
Does send time matter? Yes. Studies have shown that people are more likely to read a marketing e-newsletter like mine first thing in the morning rather than later in the day.
Our Most Common Send Time: Mine are scheduled to deploy in the morning. That said, I’ve also used a platform that deploys the emails at the time they’re most likely to be read. The platform uses AI to figure out when each individual is likely to open the email and deploys it to them at their individual time.
How We Chose This Time: In the case of the AI platform, I let the platform figure that out for me. If I’m not using the AI platform, I test my way to success using my own analytics.
Does send time matter? I do believe that the time you send your emails is important. I believe that managing an email inbox has become a much more emotion-driven task for both professionals and consumers alike. With so many emails hitting inboxes and overwhelming people, if yours isn’t on the top of the stack when they start cleaning out, then you’re less likely to have it read and instead face the dreaded “delete all” fate.
Our Most Common Send Time: From a marketing perspective, I’ve taken the guess-work out of the equation when sending emails and have left it to the AI experts at Seventh Sense to help parse through historical open and click data for each recipient and send to them individually at the right time.
How We Chose This Time: The numbers don’t lie. After we started using Seventh Sense, our open and click-through rates increased noticeably – both for ourselves and for our clients.
Søren Vasø Hansen
Does send time matter? Yes, catching the recipient at the right time is = getting higher opening rates. We use Seventh Sense together with HubSpot to determine when the time is right for the send. It’s an AI engine that chooses optimal hours for sending to each recipient.
Our Most Common Send Time: Sales emails are sent when the lead is hot and we have the first window of opportunity. It’s not a specific time.
How We Chose This Time: Again, for most marketing emails, we use an AI machine to figure that out.
Measure your email marketing results from Seventh Sense in real-time with the Seventh Sense Engagement dashboard.
Does send time matter? Yes, the time you send your sales and marketing emails is extremely important. In many cases, it’s the difference between being seen and not seen, or the difference between receiving honest replies and being ghosted. Every person you communicate with has a routine and if you want to generate leads or conduct sales over email, you have to engage the customer at their convenience. If you repeatedly show up when the customer needs you the most and have a reliable product, they’ll fall in love with your brand and become a lifelong customer and advocate.
Our Most Common Send Time: Email send time optimization tools like Seventh Sense aside, we have two methods for sending marketing emails. Each customer persona has a fictionalized job, family, set of routines and responsibilities. They receive emails based on their characterization. For example, when we market graduate school programs to teachers, emails are sent before 7:30 am or after 5:30 pm. The second method is an additional layer to this strategy. By localizing the send time to the contact’s time zone we ensure all teachers in the US, regardless of location, receive their emails before 7:30 am or after 5:30 pm.
How We Chose This Time: We determine the best send times based on historical email open rates, click-thru rates, and replies. If we’re marketing to a new audience, we’ll use our buyer persona research to identify a few time frames that we think will be the most effective. Over the first 3 months of marketing to a new audience, we run A/B tests to determine the optimal send time.
Choose a few potential times that might be convenient for most members of your list. Then, over the course of several months, you can send emails at each of those times to determine which one delivers the best results. You will want to run multiple tests on each time to ensure variation is not caused by an especially high-performing subject line.
There are many ways to run these tests- you can split the list into different time blocks each week, or vary the send time each week. Hopefullly, your email marketing software will make this easy so that you do not need to track segments manually.
Does send time matter? Yes! There are no algorithms in email (for the most part) so the time you send an email is crucial. Send at the wrong time and your email will be buried among your competitors’ emails.
Our Most Common Send Time: It depends. There’s no best time for everyone. For one client, we found that sending marketing emails between 8pm-10pm works really well. On the other hand, for ourselves, we’ve found sending emails at 7am works best.
How We Chose This Time: We always test, test, test, and then ask! Test a bunch of different times. Then after a few weeks, do a simple one question survey to your audience asking, “When would you prefer to get emails?” That’s one of the reasons our daily company newsletter has an open rate over 30%…every single day.
Does send time matter? Yes and no. Choosing the right send time is important so your message will be seen by as many recipients as possible when they’re in the midst of checking email. Getting those recipients to actually open the email is more a factor of the subject line and preview text than it is the send time.
Our Most Common Send Time: The time we send varies per client. Our marketing automation software (HubSpot) will suggest the best time to send based on historical data for each client. Whenever possible, we’ll use that day/time.
How We Chose This Time: First, we used industry best practices until we had enough historical data from client email activity. Then we used that data moving forward.
108 Degrees Digital Marketing
Does send time matter? The busier your target audience, the more important timing is… unless you’re absolutely essential to their day.
If you provide an essential service, e.g. news updates, product warranty information or billing information, your audience is more inclined to keep your message in the inbox until they are ready to read, regardless of the timing of your campaign delivery. Essential emails are, after all, essential.
If, however, your message is a “nice to have” and not a “need to have”, timing is critical to response as the number of emails a person receives in their business and personal accounts daily averages over 230* (Source: Radicati Worldwide Daily Email Traffic 2015 – 2019), which means that most of this messaging will be ignored or deleted by those too busy to spend the time to respond to this level of volume.
Our Most Common Send Time: We watch every client’s account activity to determine the best timing for their delivery. No two of our clients have the same list or the same program, so their delivery times vary according to what has historically worked for their account, or what we test to determine is the best time.
How We Chose This Time: Test, test and test some more. We run a variety of timing tests, including A/B split tests on subject lines as well as timing tests by time zone to determine when a list is most responsive. Smaller lists can take a while to test, but eventually, patterns emerge that make it possible to determine the best opportunity for engagement.
Does send time matter? Absolutely! The day & time you send your emails have a drastic effect on your open & click rates. If you send too early, your email gets buried with all of their other emails in the morning. If you send too late, they’re asleep. Weekends? Nobody wants to read marketing emails then. Send time is critical!
Our Most Common Send Time: We have found Tuesdays & Wednesdays best for sending marketing emails (for our client’s niches). As for the time of day, we found late morning/early afternoon (10am-1pm) gets the best response.
How We Chose This Time: We determined these days & times using the 2 things that everyone should use in their business decisions – testing & analytics. We use MailChimp for email marketing, and we segmented our list into buckets of 100 subscribers. We then sent the same email to each but at different times & days. After multiple tests, it was easy to see what performed best by the results (open rate/click rate/etc.).
Does send time matter? Without a doubt. The typical executive in the United States receives 121 emails per day. These are not processed as they come in, but rather in blocks or chunks of time– typically with some sort of routine. Some common blocks include the time before work starts (usually 8:00 a.m. in the local time zone), lunch and end of the day (typically 4:00 p.m. in the local time zone). The order of your email in the stack, or if you even appear in real time as emails are being sorted, has a dramatic effect on responses.
Our Most Common Send Time: At CIENCE, we specialize in sending these targeted, 1-to-1 emails at the appropriate times mentioned above to get the best response rates possible.
How We Chose This Time: We monitored analytics around open rates by time zone.
SmartBug Media, Inc.
Does send time matter? Of course. Recipient’s inboxes are like a war zone these days, which means you have to not only get their attention with the right message, but also send at the time when they are most likely to see your email. That said, you should always test the time you send an email because you may find with your recipients that there isn’t one perfect time to hit send.
Our Most Common Send Time: When it comes to marketing email, there is no one perfect time, as it varies from client to client. For one global client, we’ve found that the optimal sending time actually varies, so we’ll split our email sends by location. For another client, email on weekends, regardless of the time of day, results in the best performance. In short, it varies and needs to be tested continuously.
How We Chose This Time: We test, rinse, and repeat.
Does send time matter? I’ve worked both in B2B and B2C marketing and email timing does matter. The exact best email send timing varies depending on the company and the market they serve. A food delivery company might see the best performance on Thursday at 5 pm when people are more inclined to be thinking about ordering dinner. A company that’s trying to set up meetings for a B2B product demo might perform best on Tuesday’s at 10 am. It’s best to test on your own and try to figure out when your clients are more likely to act.
Our Most Common Send Time: For HealthJoy.com, our best performing times are midweek, Tuesday – Thursday in the morning. We also keep aware of holidays and special events.
How We Chose This Time: We started with some assumptions on the times that would work best based on industry data and fine-tuned our timing based on tests. I think we must have sent at least 4-5 different timed email drops to come up with the best times for us. Performance has been pretty steady with our lists.
Does send time matter? Timing is everything in business and bad timing rarely has good results. Proper timing of a sales email makes all the difference between a successful connection or losing email in the noise of digital space.
Our Most Common Send Time: We usually send sales emails on Tuesday and Thursday between 10-11 am.
How We Chose This Time: We determined that sending sales emails on Tuesday and Thursday works best between 10 and 11 am. Wednesday ranked as third best day to send sales email. We investigated by testing and determined that the open rate and click rate of email were highest at those times, in our case.
Does send time matter? Anyone can send an email at any time, we know that.
However, if you’re looking for the most ROI on your efforts and spend, then quite obviously, you need to be researching your industry to find out the best time to send your emails.
So yes, it is important to determine this early on.
Our Most Common Send Time: I usually send marketing emails on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 am if I am targeting B2B businesses.
However, I have several customers within the Agriculture sector and they are entirely different. You need to be emailing them in the evening between 7 & 9pm.
How We Chose This Time: I researched the industries I work with and started by sending them several A/B test emails and determined which were the highest performing.
Does send time matter? Absolutely. Day and time have shown to have the greatest impact on email open rates across of all the elements we have tested for our clients and ourselves. All of this testing has also revealed that the best time/day to send an email shows the greatest variation from one email database to the next.
Our Most Common Send Time: From testing on our own database we have found the best time to send our marketing emails is on Sunday after 5pm, when people are winding down from the weekend and preparing for the work week ahead. The second most popular time for us to send emails is early Tuesday and Wednesday morning – between 8 and 9a.
How We Chose This Time: We have tested different sending dates and times for our newsletters, promotional emails and blog subscription emails over the past year to arrive at these days/times.
Does send time matter? Timing is of huge importance when it comes to email marketing. One of the best ways to improve CTR rates and foster engagement is by scheduling your emails and knowing how often to send them to your target audience. The most successful email marketing campaigns must take timing into account — when a customer is most likely to click or make a purchase — for the best results.
Our Most Common Send Time: We send our marketing emails on Thursday at 10:20 AM.
How We Chose This Time: We pay attention to figures. Watching opening rates and how many subscriptions and unsubscriptions we are getting. You need to stick to the testing approach and see what works and what doesn’t work for you. A/B testing can be helpful as well, but remember to pay attention to all important figures.
Does send time matter? Send time matters. But the subject line matters more. Many users are more likely to read email when they first wake up or when they initially receive an email during their workday. So time-zone specific sending is worthwhile. If I wake up at 6 AM EST and refresh my inbox on my iPhone, I’ll likely click on the most interesting subject line at the top of my inbox.
Our Most Common Send Time: We send our marketing newsletters once a month on Wednesday or Thursday first thing the morning – specific to a contact’s time zone.
How We Chose This Time: Testing – we consistently receive 20%+ open rates when we send our newsletters first thing in the morning during the middle of the week. We’ve tried Mondays, and Fridays – but people seem less engaged on those days. Either they are ramping up their week on a Monday or powering down on a Friday.
Does send time matter? The time you send your sales or marketing emails is definitely important. You don’t want to send a marketing email at 3am on a Sunday, for example. You want to send such emails when you have the greatest chance that the recipient will see them and will also have time to respond to it. For instance, sending an email at 10pm on a Friday night isn’t ideal either. 10am on a Tuesday would make more sense.
Our Most Common Send Time: Sending sales or marketing emails isn’t only about the time but also about the day. You don’t want to send such emails on weekends. Also, I don’t recommend sending emails on Mondays as people are usually busy when coming back to work after the weekend. I don’t recommend to send emails on Friday either as people won’t have much time to think and respond. I recommend sending emails on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On timing, I suggest sending emails in the morning (between 9am and 11am) or in the beginning of the afternoon (2-3pm) as it gives recipients time to digest your emails and respond.
How We Chose This Time: I determined those time and days to send emails by testing. At the beginning, I was sending emails every day of the week, early morning, late morning, early afternoon, late afternoon, etc… After awhile I found out that I got more answers and conversions at the times and days I mentioned above.
If you have marketed or sold to a specific demographic for many years, you probably know the typical daily habits of your audience. Of course, your audience is not composed of one specific persona, but there may be one persona that describes a majority of professionals in the industry. You can use this knowledge to guess when they will be checking their inbox, and when they will be overwhelmed.
Does send time matter? Definitely. I’m a firm believer that the time you send an outreach campaign affects the success of said campaign. If the success of your campaign depends on your prospects opening and acting on the emails you send, why wouldn’t you want to help that campaign in every way possible?
Our Most Common Send Time: I only send Marketing (outreach) emails on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – preferably first thing and reluctantly in the afternoon.
How We Chose This Time: Trial and error.
I put myself in a prospect’s shoes and ask, ‘when would you be most likely to open, read and reply to an email?’/’when do you most often check your emails and when is your inbox most likely free?’
The first thing we usually do in the morning is catch up on our emails. Monday’s inbox, however, is full of the weekend’s emails. Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday mornings are all fair game. I usually avoid afternoons, as by then we’re stuck into the day’s tasks and are less likely to be sifting through our inboxes.
There’s a number of reasons to avoid outreach on a Friday. Your prospect could be too busy trying to tie up the week’s work before the weekend, there could be a publication queue which would push your content over the weekend, or they could be too excited about the weekend to mess around acting on your email.
Does send time matter? We don’t think the time emails are sent is important, we know it. At Hatch, we have thousands of emails being sent on our product every day, and we see dramatic increases in opens and clicks at specific times. It is thus best to make sure you schedule and plan campaigns accordingly.
Our Most Common Send Time: We send our sales emails around 9:30 AM.
How We Chose This Time: We looked at our target audience. When do they have time to respond, open, and digest the information we send? We found that individuals are more likely to be distracted or pulled from their work early in the morning, so that is prime time for us.
Valasys Business Solution
Does send time matter? Email remains the most productive and most lucrative channel for achieving clients and potential clients. It’s the most prevalent, as well. To put it plainly, without email, B2B showcasing would be an entirely unexpected diversion. So why it is so important.
Our Most Common Send Time: We send most of our marketing mail at 11 am on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.
How We Chose This Time: This has happened over time after considering many email campaigns over a number of years. Our data analysis gives great insights. We discover the best time to send emails after reviewing email open probability for different working professionals from different fields.
First Steps Online Marketing
Does send time matter? Yes it does. But I do not believe there is a blanket time for all emails across all industries.
Our Most Common Send Time: For one persona, I send marketing emails anytime. For the other persona, I send sales emails on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between the hours of 9:30AM – 3:30PM.
How We Chose This Time: You’ve got to know your target audience well. It is THIS element which should determine the days and times you send an email. Suggested times should act as a guideline, but your target audience will dictate optimal times. For example, one of my personas is keen to get e-mail about a topic anytime, day or night, weekday or weekend, but my other persona generally reviews email on weekdays during office hours, and after the immediate rush has died down and before the home time jitters begin.
Does send time matter? A great email can never grab attention if it is never opened. So it is important to take the time and effort to make sure that everything is right before sending.
Our Most Common Send Time: I normally send Marketing emails on or before 3pm on Fridays. I do this because even if the email is not opened on Friday, it should be on Monday.
How We Chose This Time: My thinking was that Fridays are pretty relaxed, and most people will spend the last few hours on a Friday clearing up their emails. If my email falls through the cracks, there is another opportunity for it to be seen on Monday, as again most people will be catching up on the emails that have come through over the weekend.
Does send time matter? They say timing is everything, and it certainly matters, especially when it comes to getting users to notice your emails. If you’re looking for more email interactions to increase traffic revenue, brand awareness or whatever it may be, it certainly matters what time and day you send out emails to your subscribers!
Our Most Common Send Time: With most of our clients, the best day we’ve seen to send emails is Tuesday – producing highest open rate.
In terms of time frame, we’ve experimented with a few ranges. For most email opens or clicks, we’ve seen success sending our email blasts between 12 PM – 4 PM. But for higher engagement, we tend to send our emails later in the evening between 8 PM – 12 AM.
How We Chose This Time: Generally, our email send times are influenced by the common device types among our audience. The standard mid-week, mid-day makes perfect sense for desktop users who are opening emails at work. While mobile users, on the other hand, tend to be pretty active even late in the evening.
Does send time matter? Yes, very important. Especially in link building outreach campaigns, as timing is one of the keys to improving response rates. The more responses we get through our outreach, the more we can focus on highly targeted prospecting (which often leads to better acquisition rates) – and the less we need to rely on the volume of prospects to be contacted to reach the campaign’s objectives.
Our Most Common Send Time: The best time (and days) to send outreach emails, based on our internal data of thousands of emails sent over the past couple of years:
1. 9am – every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
2. 1pm – every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
How We Chose This Time: As I’ve mentioned, we have thorough reports and spreadsheets for the outreach campaigns we’ve handled in the past. And our analysis showed that these are the times that really worked well in terms of getting higher open rates and response rates (even for follow-up emails).
SEO with Love
Does send time matter? I don’t believe in ideal set time for sending emails. I do believe in common sense and good empathy, which any good marketer should have.
Of course, time massively affects the performance of your email, however, when people say, “The best day to send an email is Tuesday”, I do not agree.
Use your common sense, learn who your audience is and what are their habits are. B2B is completely different than B2C. Identify personas for each of your converting audience. Think when they are most likely to check their email and when they would have some spare time to give your email a proper read. Is your audience composed of housewives, office workers or beardy hipsters? All these people would have completely different browsing patterns and you want to hit them when they check their inbox and are not in a rush.
Timing would also vary on your calls to actions. A heads up for an event? Send it to the office workers in the morning when they are checking emails on the go. A sale alert for mothers? Schedule it for Sunday 8pm when they are most likely to have some time to do some online shopping.
Our Most Common Send Time: I normally avoid Mondays, as most of the personas are busy with activities to start the week. I have recently started sending out marketing emails quite late – around 8-9pm and that seems to work well for B2C audiences.
How We Chose This Time: Common sense+testing. I have established a couple of times when my audiences react well to emails and keep using those. However, occasionally I will send out an email on an unusual time/day as a test. This occasionally brings me amazing results that force me to tweak the schedule.
Does send time matter? I think it is important when you send an email. I have noticed with clients and people I have discussed this with- the time an email arrives can make a difference between an automatic “mark as read” or an open. If I get an email with an interesting headline while sitting waiting for a meeting to start and I’m 5 minutes early, I will use those 5 minutes to quickly check it out!
Our Most Common Send Time: I avoid sending marketing emails on the hour or half hour as most people schedule emails at these times and have started trying to send them at 8:50 rather than at 9. This tactic means that you could catch people as they are scrolling on their phones while waiting for a meeting.
How We Chose This Time: I observed the behavior of checking your phone before a meeting and then started asking people what they do in those last few minutes before an appointment. Based on observation, we decided to give this a try. I always try and match the sending time with the buyer persona and their behavior – so although sending time matters, it is dependant on the persona you are targeting with an email. For the client that I have tried this approach on, their personas spend a lot of times in meetings. This approach is unlikely to work for an email to get you to buy shoes online.
Orbit Media Studios
Does send time matter? Until you’ve built so much trust that people just see your name and click …yes, it’s important.
Timing isn’t everything, but along with sender name, subject line and preheaders, it’s a factor in open rates. Recipients are busy or available, stressed or relaxed at different times of day, different days of the week. So yes, it can make a difference.
Our Most Common Send Time: Thursday mornings at 6:30am!
It’s a bi-weekly marketing newsletter.
How We Chose This Time: We’ve tested a few other times without much impact. But we’ve sent this email for 10 years. People expect to get it then. They’re ready for it. If we send it late or change the timing, people complain.
Does send time matter? Timing is really important if you want to make your messages relevant to your subscribers and customers. That’s why marketing automation based on actual behaviors can be so impactful. It is directly tied to something that your reader just did.
Our Most Common Send Time: We have a number of triggered emails that are sent based on actions someone has taken using our product or visiting our website. For our less targeted emails we usually send at 11:30 AM ET to try to capture as many timezones as possible.
How We Chose This Time: We wanted to avoid the morning inbox cleanup for as many people as possible across the time zones that matter most to us and still send within business hours. It’s not a perfect system, but one we will continue to test over time.
Does send time matter? We care about the recipient, his/her status in our sale funnel, and the content of the message.
Accordingly to these three criteria, the time we send our email is important.
We try to put ourselves in the shoes of our recipients. We try to get their attention in the right moment.
Our Most Common Send Time: It depends on recipient’s status in our sales and marketing funnel. However, generally speaking, we try to avoid to send nighttime and early morning (6am – 8.45am) email.
How We Chose This Time: We determine the particular time accordingly to the recipient’s status in our sales and marketing funnel, his/her job position, location, local’s holidays, topic of the message and urgency of the message.
Many email marketing companies, like MailChimp and Constant Contact, release reports on open rates by time/day based on industry. They use millions of data points to segment email data by send time. This shows the actual behavior of prospects and cuts out the guesswork.
Espresso B2B Marketing
Does send time matter? The time (and day) that we send emails is important. Some days and times work better. However, there is no one day and time that works best for every client. Each target market is different. Ideally, we’d like to be able to tailor the day and time down to the individual.
Our Most Common Send Time: We usually start by sending emails on Tuesdays, Wednesday or Thursdays. We try to have the email not get lost in the overnight crush of emails. However, this is a starting point for a new client. We do experiments. If weekends work well for their target market, we’ll send emails on the weekend.
How We Chose This Time: We’ve read the reports from all of the experts. It’s interesting to note that the experts don’t agree on the best days or times of day to send emails.
Does send time matter? The time you send your marketing emails is important, but it depends on who your audience is. If you’re a B2B business, sending your emails on Saturday or Sunday may not be the best idea. Most of your customers won’t want to think about work on their days off, much less about buying business services. If you’re a B2C business, you may want to send your emails right before shopping hours. This could mean 5-6 pm during the week or early to late morning on the weekend.
Our Most Common Send Time: As a B2B business, we generally send our marketing emails on weekdays before noon.
How We Chose This Time: We came to this determination through trial and error, but also by reading up on the subject. Most of the research we’ve read suggests B2B businesses should send emails in the morning during the work week. Some research even suggests that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the most effective days, so we try to send emails on those days when we can.
People are bombarded with emails these days, so any tactic to help you stand out is worth trying. Timing it right gives your email a better chance of showing up in your customer’s inbox right when they need it, rather than it getting nested and deleted later.
You know all that time and energy you are using on testing, persona research and reading? You could also spend that time on writing better subject lines, preview text and email copy. If list members love your emails, they will look forward to your thoughts every week. They will let your message sit in their inbox and review it when they are ready.
Of course, keep in mind that hundreds of other marketers are also competing with you to write the most interesting email possible.
The Social Media Hat
Does send time matter? The time that you send your emails *CAN* be important depending on who you’re sending to. It’s not a blanket truth, but a conditional one.
If your audience is a global one, and you’re sharing something that’s not time-sensitive, like a new article you’ve written, your send time likely has very little impact on the open rate of your messages. That’s going to be driven more by your subject line and past value shared.
On the other hand, if you’re sending to a geo-specific audience and can be reasonably sure when most of your audience is getting up and doing things like checking email, then putting your message in their inbox at just the right time could positively impact open rate.
Our Most Common Send Time: Most of my emails are sent mid-morning – but that’s a matter of convenience for me and no reflection on the audience. I have a global audience so, as I mentioned a moment ago, each recipient’s “best time to receive” is going to be different. Emails sent to New Yorkers as they’re heading into their commute and looking at their devices are going to catch my Brits in the middle of their afternoon, and my Aussies late at night.
So I don’t worry about it, and I send my emails when they’re ready to be sent – usually after I’ve published a new blog post and am ready to notify my subscribers.
How We Chose This Time: I’ve spent years paying attention to my email open rates and click rates, and the variables that impact those metrics, including send time, subject, email format, from address… you name it.
It’s challenging to test and make conclusive decisions based on your own email sends since each email you send is completely different from the previous campaign and therefore all variables are technically different. Over time, if you pay attention, you can see what really matters.
Blue Steele Solutions
Does send time matter? It really depends on what you’re sending, and to whom, and what the goal of the email is. If your audience is large and confined to a specific region, a specific time MAY be more effective, but it also may not be. Everyone assumes an email sent in the middle of the night won’t be effective in any region, but you won’t know that until you test it — some people love waking up at 4am, and an email in their inbox may delight them. It all depends on the audience.
It varies so much that this obsession with send times often becomes meaningless. If you have a large, international audience, every time is bad for someone. The content and subject line matter far more than the send time.
And sales is a completely different beast. Sales emails sent in a hypertargeted fashion may be extremely effective ONLY at certain times for each lead. Even still, the timing is only a small part of the equation—if your subject line and content suck, it doesn’t matter when you send it.
Our Most Common Send Time: I have arbitrarily chosen 10AM as a time to send my marketing emails because it makes my life easier. We have a large international audience, and frankly it doesn’t matter when we send as someone will always be annoyed with the time I choose.
How We Chose This Time: Randomly.
Does send time matter? Email send time is no longer important. Recipients consume information on their own terms and timelines. Being at the top of the inbox is no longer going to impact open/click rates. Recipients are driving email engagement, not senders. Instead, relevance of the message and curating content that the recipient finds useful are more important.
Our Most Common Send Time: Around the lunch hour in the recipient’s local time.
How We Chose This Time: Based on research and personal experience, lunchtime is the period in the day when professionals have the most time and cognitive bandwidth to read an email that isn’t urgent.
Does send time matter? Not really. We find that the more important variable is the content of the email and subject line – not when you send it. Our success is pretty heavily tied to personalization, so we focus on making sure the email we send someone is what they want to see, not when they want to see it.
That being said, we’re not sending emails in the early morning or late evening – it’s important to stay smart about contacting people during work hours because even if your email is super-personalized nobody will read it if it’s sent before they get to the office or while they’re relaxing at home.
Our Most Common Send Time: During work hours (adjusting for time-zones) is really all we focus on when sending out sales/prospecting emails. Don’t send stuff before work, after work, or during lunch.
How We Chose This Time: We used to do a lot of trial and error when it comes to sending out emails at specific times, and we found that the slight uptick we get in open rates doesn’t compete with the ROI we see when the message is personalized. The trial and error we performed helped us understand that, for us, the timing didn’t matter as much as personalization. We’ve doubled down on the personalization aspects of our training program and make sure that our SDRs send emails out with a purpose.
When most marketers think about send time, they immediately focus on open and click rates in order to measure success. Those are two important metrics, but there are other important reasons for ensuring that your email receives a high level of engagement.
One metric to consider is number of dormant subscribers. These are the list members that subscribe to your emails, but have not engaged for months. They are sometimes also called “passive unsubscribes” since they might as well be off your list.
If you are sending at the wrong time each week, the percentage of dormant unsubscribes will grow due to personal email open time preferences. Unless you have an email that is incredibly valuable, of course.
Also, if you send at the wrong time, your email is more likely to end up in the junk folder.
Corporate ISPs, or internet service providers, look out for emails and senders that do not earn engagement. They may soon put your emails in the junk folder of every employee at the company.
Send time is only one factor that might affect these email marketing metrics. If you would like to learn about other ways to improve your emails, check out our curated guide on email marketing tips.
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