Some of the most important questions in digital marketing are some of the hardest to answer, and “what is the best time to send my email campaign?” is a doozy. No marketer expects a simple answer, but every marketer has to ask themselves this question each time they want to send an email campaign, and too often the answer ends up being “when I feel like it.”
It doesn’t have to be a mystery though – follow the tips below, and you’ll be able to optimise your email sends to ensure they have the best chance possible of reaching people at the right time.
Test, test, test!
One test is worth a thousand opinions, and this is never truer than when applied to email send times. Until you’re looking at the evidence, any principle you apply to your send times is basically just a guess. Luckily, testing send times is easy – most email platforms give you the ability to ‘stagger’ your sends, sending out to a percentage of your audience at regular intervals throughout the day. If you run a few campaigns in this manner, you can check when your opens/clicks peaked, and this will give you a good idea of when the optimal send time is for that sort of campaign.
Consider your Audience
Even if you are only sending emails out for a single brand or company, your audience may not be the same from send to send. For example, your newsletter audience may not be the same as your product promotion audience, and if you are using automated marketing (such as emails triggered from completion of a form), then you cannot even guarantee that your audience will be the same every week. Once again, the answer is testing, but it’s important to remember that just because you’ve carried out testing on one type of email campaign you send, that doesn’t mean that the lessons learned will apply across the board.
What is your CTA?
Are you asking for a click, or asking for a call? If someone is interested in what you’re offering, when will they be able to act on it? These are some of the things you need to think about when deciding when to send – if the person receives your email late in the afternoon, will they have time to give your sales team a call if that’s the CTA? Such a consideration may trump your testing results and require you to send your email at a certain time. This is particularly relevant for B2B vs B2C – if it’s a B2C communication, it might be better to send your campaign around lunchtime or in the evening, as this is the time your recipient will allocate to respond to emails sent for non-work purposes.
The real lesson here is although there is no ‘silver bullet’ for email send times, there are things to consider and steps you can take to get as close to possible as the ideal. We can help you plan your email strategy, get in touch to find out how.