Why Nobody Opens Your Emails: Timing Edition

Posted by Brandon Frisby on 27 Sep, 2017


Timing is everything, so naturally, some of the most frequently asked questions by email marketers center around timing. Which day of the week sees the highest open rates? What’s the best time of day to target Buyer Persona XYZ? Is there a “wrong” time to send that prospecting email you’ve been working on? 

If your email is mistimed, your message runs the risk of being lost in the recipient’s inbox, which translates to low open rates and even lower engagement rates. Tailoring your send schedule to the recipient’s schedule ensures your email has a greater chance of being seen, opened, and engaged with. 

Every day of the week has its pros and cons when it comes to sending emails. Which day of the week works best for your campaign will depend on the recipient and their schedule. However, using the standard five-day work week, research has identified some noticeable trends.


Mondays are generally considered to be the start of most people’s work week, and email-reading habits show a noticeable downtick on the first day of the week. This correlates with company meetings, as well as readers coming back from the weekend, being otherwise preoccupied on Mondays. 


Tuesday is arguably the best day to reach out. Data shows a 13 percent higher mail volume is sent on Tuesdays than any other day, with 16.8 percent unique click-through rate. This aligns with what analytics show to be peak web traffic days. Your audience is more likely to be settled into their weekly routine, and therefore, they’re more apt to lend their attention to your message. Research suggests that Tuesday morning, around 9 a.m. in your recipient’s time zone, is the most optimal time to send an email if the campaign is reliant on replies. 


Wednesdays are an excellent alternative if Tuesday’s don’t work out for you, although no studies have found Wednesday to be more conducive to click-through rates than Tuesday or Thursday. By electing for a Wednesday send, there is potential to avoid being crowded out or buried in the Tuesday rush, with just slightly lower open rates.


Thursdays have been shown to be particularly well-suited for B2B marketing, with open rates showing a significant upward trend when messages arrive in the morning.


Friday can be risky, as open rates tend to be lower. However, Fridays are beneficial in that usage can span both office and home. This means a recipient has additional potential for contact, but the weekend often means radio silence, especially in B2B campaigns. 


Saturdays and Sundays typically enjoy higher click-through rates but lower open rates. This is partially because there tends to be less inbox competition on weekends. Despite this lower open rate, research shows a drastic spike in B2C market interactivity over the weekends, leading some research to award Saturday the title of “best day” to reach a customer in a B2C campaign. This can be attributed to the fact that consumers have more free time on the weekends than they do during the work week, which translates to more time to shop and browse their inbox. 


Timing may well be the most difficult customization component to navigate. Assuming two users follow the same schedule can be a costly mistake when scheduling email blasts, and this should be avoided when more personalized information is available.

As a general rule, research shows customers check their inbox when they wake up, with a 6 percent preference trending upwards in the morning hours, peaking around 11 am local time. 

This aligns with both work arrivals and users checking their devices at home in the mornings. Customizing email delivery to the user just before or during these segments of their day can raise interaction rates by over 45 percent. 

Your send schedule should adapt to your recipient’s most-likely interaction times, as individuals manage their daily routine differently. Time zones, which days of the week a person is more engageable, and any known personal preferences are important variables that should always be taken into consideration when choosing the perfect time to send your emails. Failing to do so puts your email at risk of being ignored or buried in an inbox altogether.

Ready to start making the most of every email you send? Check out our earlier installment in the Why Nobody Opens Your Emails series that focuses on how to make a great first impression and boost open rates with the perfect subject line, or click the button below to learn how the world's leading personalized selling platform can help your business accelerate sales and increase revenue.


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Tags: Good Sales, Personalization


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