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You probably found this post after looking through several others searching for a real answer to the question, “When is the best time to send email?”
I say it that way because lots of sources out there provide the same answer: It depends. And that answer isn’t especially helpful.
So read assured, you’re going to find the information you need in this post. And you’ll also get a lot more.
You see, the reason why you want to know the best times to send email—or the best days—is that you ultimately want more opens and more clickthroughs to get more traffic to your blog. And you want all of that because your email list is your most loyal audience who’ll share your content once they read it, which creates the snowball effect of more traffic, more subscribers, and more customer conversions.
Can you get all of that by sending your emails at the best time? It’s a good place to start, so read this post to learn:
Let’s commence with the learnin’.
So, this post is packed with research findings on the best times.
But, as with most things, what works best may vary between businesses and industries. With that in mind, how do you set the best schedule for your own newsletters?
Start with the curated research in this post. Then, determine your own best times with this guide. When it’s time to start scheduling emails, use the bonus calendar template included, too.
Download it now and you’ll be on your way to success.
The best way to schedule email is with a marketing platform built to get your team organized. Equipped with all-new email integrations, that platform is CoSchedule.
With Email Marketing from CoSchedule, you can:
With Email Marketing, you can easily connect your preferred email platform (MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, and ActiveCampaign) to CoSchedule with just a couple clicks.
What’s super cool about this sample of articles is that the research varies from studying billions (yes, seriously) of emails to more than 20 million, from case studies to roundups. The data is diverse, but there are dots to connect that’ll help you send emails on the best days and at the best times.
Here are the studies:
And here’s the analysis:
According to these studies, prioritize your send days in this order:
I’ll note: Some of the studies mentioned high opens and clickthrough rates on Saturdays and Sundays. Well, those are also the days when the fewest emails are sent. So while the open rates may be higher in general, the actual number of emails opened is way lower.
Not every study had visual representations of the data in them, but you’ll find it interesting to see the similarity among the graphs that were present. It’s noteworthy that most activity happens during the middle of the week with only minor outliers. Here’s that data:
GetResponse found the peak inbox activity happens on Thursdays. The second highest peak was on Wednesdays.
MailChimp also found high open rates on Thursdays, with a second peak on Tuesdays.
Further data from MailChimp and Wordstream suggests that Thursday and Tuesday are the best days to send emails.
Tuesdays get the most emails opened compared to any other day of the week though Saturdays may also be a good day to send email for its high open rate, according to data from Experian and analyzed by Customer.io.
HubSpot found that Tuesday is the best day to send email, followed with a tie for Monday and Wednesday.
MailerMailer found Tuesdays win for opens, with Wednesday coming in at a close second. For clicks, Sundays win, with Tuesday coming in second place. Note that since Sunday has lower opens, it’s likely easier to get that high of a clickthrough rate.
Data from Dan Zarella and provided through GetResponse suggests sending emails on Saturday and Sunday and that it’s best for both clicks and opens.
While many of the studies found varying results, here is how you can prioritize your send times based on data:
Take a look at the similarities in these graphs for a lot more detail on the analysis.
Morning between 9–11 a.m. is definitely the best time to send email according to Campaign Monitor’s research. It looks like there is a peak at 10 a.m. Campaign Monitor sums it up by saying that 53% of emails are opened during the workday between 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
MailChimp confirms with Campaign Monitor that sending emails later in the morning between 10 a.m.–noon will get you the most opens. It looks like the best time to send email is at 10 a.m.
Surprisingly, different research from MailChimp and analyzed by Wordstream suggests there may also be a peak for opens in the afternoon. Wordstream says 2 p.m. is also a peak time to send email.
Data from Experian and cited through Customer.io suggests a similar approach to Wordstream’s analysis to send emails later in the day. Customer.io found that email opens are highest from 8 p.m.–midnight, with a second peak between 4–8 p.m.
Customer.io suggests that while it’s a common practice to check email in the mornings, most people are just beginning their day and may likely avoid email marketing in favor of productivity.
HubSpot researched open times to find late morning tends to get the most opens. Send emails at 11 a.m. for the best results.
Data from MailerMailer also suggests that sending emails in the late morning during work hours gets the best percentage of opens. Send your emails at 10 a.m.
Dan Zarella’s research, as analyzed by GetResponse, suggests 6 a.m. is a peak time to send emails, followed by late in the evening from 8 p.m.–midnight.
Every one of the studies this post analyzes mentioned in some way that the best times to send emails depends on your own audience.
Here’s a memorable quote from Megan at Wordstream:
That’s the advice. Now ignore it.
If that’s true, then why do so many studies offer similar information that suggests sending emails on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. will be the most successful?
Furthermore, there may be differences between different businesses with different audiences. Here’s a comparison chart of four different verticals from SendInBlue:
Still, it does make sense to use these days and times to start a test for your own audience. As John from MailChimp notes:
But keep in mind, the primary driver of engagement for your list is you: your content, your industry, the list you’ve uploaded.
Both Megan and John are right, though. And that’s why you can use your own data and Google Analytics to help you send email more effectively.
There are two phases to understand the best times to send email to your audience:
It’s really simple if you plan your work, then work your plan.
Follow this outline to test your days and times to send email. Regardless of how many emails you send during a week, you can walk through this process from first email to last email over the time frame that works best for you.
It’s like a checklist for the days and times you’ll send your next 12 emails:
That is now your plan for the next 12 emails you’ll send to your subscribers. Keep in mind, research also shows that 23% of your subscribers will open emails within 60 minutes after you send them. So It’s fine to schedule your emails to send 30 minutes prior to the peak time.
What you’re really after is understanding how much traffic your emails are contributing to your blog. After all, these are your most loyal readers who read, share, and bring additional traffic to your site.
So while you could go into your email service provider’s dashboard to look at your open and clickthrough rates, an easier way to gauge the performance of your test is by using Google Analytics and reviewing your referral traffic from email.
When you first open this report, you’ll simply set the start date and end date to the times when you ran the test. Then select Email.
Once you click through to filter your data to show only referral traffic from email, you’ll see the best days that are giving you the most traffic listed in order according to page views. From there, you can click through again to see the best times by hour when you receive that traffic.
This is probably the best place to start with your research. Something that has stuck with me from this analysis was a comment from Mark Brownlow all the way back from 2009:
Another trap is to think of “best day” and “best time of day” as two separate issues. The best time to send depends on the day you send it. And vice versa.
That seems like good advice.
Just like the first report, enter in the date range when you did your email test, then filter to see only referral traffic from Email.
From there, you’ll see your best times to send email based on data from your own audience.
It’s that easy to set up your email test.
But you want even more traffic than you’re already getting… so a good next step would be to get more opens. And the best way to improve that is by writing even better email subject lines.
It’s no secret that one of the primary drivers of opens is your email subject line. It’s the part that usually stands out the most in your subscribers’ inboxes right from the get-go, making your first impression for the content you’re sending.
So if opens lead to clickthroughs, and opens come from awesome email subject lines, let’s explore a few data-driven ways to write those subject lines so they help you reach your goal to get more traffic.
There is a lot of advice out there to help you write better subject lines. Upon review, a lot of that advice has a lot in common. This analysis breaks down the best information I could find and compares it to some of CoSchedule’s open rates, too:
Let’s get started.
A while back, Garrett analyzed more than 1 million headlines and found that how to, list, and question headlines get more social shares than any other type of blog title.
Not surprisingly, the research for email subject lines suggests that these same three types of messaging tend to perform really well for getting opens.
Recommended Reading: Here Are The 101 Catchy Blog Title Formulas That Will Boost Traffic By 438%
There’s an old adage that helps marketers get into the heads of their audience: What’s in it for me? Judging from the data, answering that question in your email subject line is an awesome way to increase your open rate.
You could call this a benefit, appealing to self-interest, or sharing your value proposition. The point is this: Make it clear what your audience will get if they just open your email to experience something they really desire.
Social proof helps your subscribers see themselves being successful—which works especially well when they see others rocking your solution. So use your email subject line to appeal to the benefits of stories, case studies, examples, and testimonials scattered throughout your blog post.
A lot of successful email subject line examples suggest that uniqueness gets opens. Think of including jokes, humor, or something unexpected in your subject line—anything that arouses curiosity beyond the same-old, same-old.
Recommended Reading: How To Build Your Brand With Humor So You’ll Feel Like A Human
The fear of missing out is a powerful motivator because it gets your subscribers thinking, “What do they know that I don’t?” Showing a deadline, appealing to a sense of urgency, or even suggesting scarcity in your email subject line can help you increase your opens.
It’s true that blog posts that feel fresh or essentially reporting on the news in your niche get some of the most social shares of any type of content. In fact, news posts get the most social shares of any type of content (yes, seriously).
When you write content that appeals to recent events in your industry, use those facts, subjects, and teasers in your email subject lines to spread the word quickly.
There is an old-school rule that email subject lines should be about 50 characters long. Since 54% of emails are opened on mobile devices, that seems like it’s still a pretty good idea: The shorter your email subject line, the better.
HubSpot calls it the “e.e. cummings subject line” and it’s something copywriting master Joanna Wiebe of CopyHackers does consistently: Write your email subject line in all lowercase.
Joanna says this approach is more like how a friend or family member would email you, and she offers this advice for email subject line writing:
So do yourself a favor and repeat after me:
Nobody actually wants to hear from me.
They only want to hear from their friends.
Your task, then, is to sound as much like their trusted friends, colleagues and/or clients as you can… without being tricky… or gimmicky… or lame.
Follow that exercise for every subject line you write, and you’ll get the opens you’re shooting for.
Nearly every email service provider lets you send A/B tests for your subject lines. You can do this same exercise for your own subject lines to help you understand why your audience opens and improve all of your future subject lines.
Simply write down your winner and loser from the test, the difference in the results, and scrutinize the reason why your winner performed the best:
|Winner :D||Loser :(||Percent Difference||Reason|
|8 Social Media Best Practices That Will Save You 25.5 Hours In A 2-Week Sprint||You Can Save 25.5 Hours With These Social Media Best Practices||8%||More specific, focused on the promise|
|101 Marketing Time Management Strategies That’ll Help You Work Faster||101 Marketing Time Management Strategies That’ll Boost Your Efficiency||6.6%||Work faster is a term our actual audience uses to define their personal productivity goal|
|150+ Blog Ideas That Will Absolutely Kill Writers’ Block||150+ Blog Ideas To Kill The Nightmare Of The Blinking Cursor||18%||Writers’ block is an undesirable state, while the winning subject line promises a solution|
|How To Promote Your Blog With 105 Content Promotion Tactics||105 Ways To Promote Your Blog To Get More Traffic||17.6%||Winner led with the subject|
|How To Get More Followers With 21 Ways That Will Boost Your Social Media Traffic||How To Get More Followers With 21 Unique Ways That Will Boost Your Reach||15.7%||Traffic is a key word our audience uses to define success, not reach|
You can see from these examples that we’ve been trying to strongly appeal to the benefits behind opening the email. Nearly all of these subject lines reuse the blog titles to test for the best-performing headlines. There is still room for improvement!
This free tool analyzes email subject lines and offers suggestions on how they can be improved. Try it here.
Recommended Reading: We A/B Tested Our Email Subject Lines For Months. Here’s What We Learned.
Once you get that email open, how can you get the most click-throughs from your subscribers to read your blog post? It’s a good question that deserves a simple and data-driven answer.
While your email subject line is one of the primary ways to get email opens, the design of your email can also impact your success.
You might think that a designed email—or HTML-enhanced with a theme of some kind—would increase your opens and clickthroughs. But when HubSpot researched the idea of HTML versus plain text emails, they found that HTML emails actually decreased both their open and clickthrough rates.
They summarized their findings with a very bold statement:
Aside from proper list segmentation, nothing boosts opens and clicks as well as an old school, plain-text email.
Super surprising, right?
But HubSpot wasn’t the only one to come to that conclusion. DIYthemes also testing a plain text version of their e-newsletter which their subscribers absolutely loved.
And when we at CoSchedule tested several HTML-enhanced emails for the ones we use to announce new blog posts, we found that our plain text versions increased the amount of opens by 3.5% while decreasing our clickthroughs by 2.12%.
At first, you might think that data is a bit misleading, but that 3.5% increase in opens means that more overall subscribers are clicking through to read our content, despite the slight percentage drop in clickthroughs.
So why is that?
To bring up Joanna Wiebe’s awesome point from writing subject lines, it’s because plain text emails look more authentic and less spammy than HTML-enhanced emails. HubSpot came to the same conclusion in their research, hinting that email filters may be strong enough to weed out over-enhanced emails.
If Joanna and HubSpot are right on those assumptions, then data backs it up. More of your subscribers see email as a 1-to-1 communication tool that plain text messages seem to reflect while HTML-enhanced emails scream mass marketing.
Another reason HTML-enhanced emails may perform slightly worse than plain text emails could be due to the fact that the message in the email itself often begins with gibberish.
Let me explain.
This is what HTML-enhanced emails look like before you open them:
And this is what informal plain text emails look like before you open them:
No one wants to feel like you’re marketing to them, but rather, that they’ve opted in to receiving information that will help them. Email is a way for you to build trust with the audience that is the most likely to convert into real customers. So, how can you build that trust?
Just write like you would to a friend. It’s just fine to start an email with Hey there. Let people into your lives a bit like this example of many from Noah Kagan:
Now, I’m not saying you have to be super whimsical like Noah, but I know that he’s built lists that have added up to seven figures of email subscribers (yes, that means more than a million subscribers). So how does he retain those email subscribers? By treating email as an avenue for a relationship. You read his emails and feel like you know the guy even if you’ve never met him.
Focus your message on explaining the value your subscribers will get when they visit your blog post. Now, the value isn’t the same as what your post covers, but answers the question, what’s in it for me?
There are a few ways to do this:
Now, if you don’t know those things, chances are… you probably don’t know your audience very well and that may reflect in your content. Here are three simple ways to get the information you need to write more effective emails:
Another email writing tip involves a bit of simple psychology: Write your email in a way that helps your subscribers feel like they’ve already made the decision to click through to read your blog post.
What does that mean?
It means using proven phrases like these…
…because those phrases assume the subscriber will act on the advice you provide or they will feel the cognitive dissonance of knowing they should have done something but they chose not to.
That technique leads directly into a call to action your subscribers can envision themselves doing. For example, here’s what that could look like for this post specifically:
You see how each of those examples suggests that you will do the action, and that when you do, you’ll solve a problem and get the benefits.
You just learned a ton of information that will help you get more traffic from email marketing. Here’s a recap of the process:
Where will you start?
This post was originally published on March 23, 2016. It was most recently updated and republished on Sept. 24, 2018.
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