Email best practices

When’s the best time to send your email newsletter?

Looking for the best time to send your email newsletter? We studied data from sending billions of emails each month.

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If you're an email marketer sending marketing emails to customers, you’ve probably already asked yourself this: When’s the best time to send my newsletter? The time you schedule your emails determines how high your open rates and click-through rates (CTR) will be. And there are a lot of factors at play when deciding the best day of the week to send your emails.

Below, we’ll give you some tips on identifying the best days and times to send your newsletters and some recommendations to improve your overall email marketing strategy.

Why does email sending time matter?

You’ve worked so hard to create the content for your next campaign: you’ve come up with powerful copy, a catchy subject line, and great calls-to-action (CTAs)... And yet, why are your emails not being opened or clicked through? It might be that you're not sending emails at the right time of day.

The email inbox is a crowded space. Emails at the top of the inbox generally get the best email engagement than those at the bottom, which explains why the sending time is so important when planning your key email marketing campaigns.

Sending your campaigns at the right time can help you:

  • Reach higher open rates: Email open rates are the holy grail of email marketing. If your email is at the top of the inbox, your contacts are more likely to see it and open it, so sending at the perfect time is key to achieving a cross-industry average 21% open rate.

  • Boost click-through rates: Even if your entire email list opens your message, you won't get a decent return on investment (ROI) if no one clicks through. You should be getting around a 7.8% click-through rate. Sending at the wrong time might mean your contacts don't have the time to actually read your email or click on your great CTAs.

  • Improve conversion rates: Converting readers into leads or even sales is the ultimate goal of any marketer. However, with an average conversion rate of just 1.33%, it isn’t easy. This is because it’s the most time-consuming step for your audience as it often involves filling out forms or browsing product pages. Understand the routines of your target demographic and you’ll be able to reach people when they can comfortably engage.

86.4% of respondents say having time to read an email is an important factor in determining whether to open it.

Source: The path to email engagement in 2021

Understanding customer behavior, habits, and time zones can help you determine the best day and time of the week to send your email, and ensure your message is seen first when your subscribers check their emails.

Email send times: B2B vs B2C

People don't use their professional and personal inboxes in the same way or at the same time. Some people rarely use their personal email addresses, while others get notifications every time a new email comes in. Some professionals check business emails regularly, while others only do it during the workday or at fixed times.

To determine the best time to send your email blasts, you'll need to ask yourself questions like:

  • Do you send email newsletters to personal or professional email addresses?

  • Is your email list more likely to check their inbox when they wake up or during their lunch break?

  • Are your messages more likely to be engaged during weekdays or weekends?

  • Do your contacts check their emails on the go from their mobile or wait until they are in front of their computer?

Keep in mind that this distinction between B2B and B2C is very important, as users behave differently when using work or personal email accounts. If you have defined marketing personas, they will be very useful in understanding how your subscriber list engages with your emails. Use these insights to create email marketing benchmarks and find the perfect time to send your messages.

What's the best day to send your email blasts?

Your sending schedule largely depends on whether you’re a B2B or B2C brand and the industry you’re in. But in all cases, data shows that there are some days to avoid sending your weekly newsletters if you want to achieve the highest open rates.

The best day of the week to send emails

During Email Camp 2020, we peeked into the hidden vault of Mailgun statistics, revealing the best time for email engagement. We discovered that Tuesdays through Thursdays have the highest open rates. Open rates also followed suit, with midweek taking the lion’s share of campaign click rates.

While Tuesdays and Thursdays have slightly higher engagement rates, Wednesday is a solid second option. If you send emails twice a week within these days, however, make sure to pick a combination of Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sending emails on Tuesday and Wednesday, or Wednesday and Thursday, will make your customers feel overwhelmed and not read your emails at all in the process. Not good.

Fridays, while not the strongest day of the week for engagement, shouldn’t be completely disregarded either. People also get the most emails in the middle of the week. Maybe you might want to send your emails on another day of the week to have less competition in the inbox.

The worst day of the week to send emails

According to our research, Saturdays and Sundays are the worst days for email engagement. We’re busy going out socializing, seeing family, or doing errands. Emails are not going to be a priority, so as a rule of thumb, avoid the weekends. The exception to this rule is sending lighthearted content that’s more palatable on weekends.

However, if you had to choose, is it better to send an email on a Friday or a Monday? Traditionally, both Fridays and Mondays have been perceived as bad days to send emails. However, our research shows that Friday outperforms Monday significantly on open and click through rates. On Mondays, people are either planning out their week or are sifting through the weekend’s emails. And let’s be honest, we’re not the sharpest workers on Mondays. We’re still recovering from the weekend. So, as a bit of general advice, just avoid Mondays.

Our pro tip? Always consider your target audience and the times at which they check their emails. From ecommerce to tech, every demographic leads very different lives. Formulating an email marketing strategy based on user habits, such as when they read your messages, can really improve your email marketing metrics.

Choosing a day to send your newsletter

At the end of the day, the best way to choose a day to send your email campaigns is to do some A/B tests on your list. As a starting point, look at engagement data, past open rates, and click-through rates, and formulate a hypothesis based on past information.

No matter what, if you regularly send weekly promotional emails or newsletters, be sure to send them on the same day every week. This builds trust and anticipation as your audience will come to expect your content at that time.

During holidays or special events, don’t hesitate to send your newsletters at a later date or a different time. While consistency is important, it's always preferable to send at a different time and get higher open rates, than to stick to your sending schedule and remain unopened.

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What’s the best time to send your newsletter?

People check their email multiple times each day. In fact, according to our Email Engagement Report, 63.3% of users interact with their personal mailboxes at different points throughout the day.

A sundial displaying times that users check their email.

Most people check their email multiple times of day.

It’s worth remembering, though, that just because somebody checks their email, it doesn’t mean they have the capacity to act on it, which means getting the time right is still key to driving good email engagement.

Generally, here’s how you can choose the optimal time to send your emails:

  • 6-8 AM: Avoid sending emails when people wake up, as they are half as likely to be read immediately. And when they do check, your email will appear at the bottom of the pecking order. People don’t tend to wake up and log onto their computers, they lounge in bed or on the couch with their mobile devices, so make sure your emails are responsive and mobile-optimized.

  • 9-11 AM: According to many studies, this is a fantastic time to send your emails – regardless of location. In our Email Engagement Report, 42.5% of users said they check their emails in the morning, more than any other time in the day. However, this doesn’t mean your emails will be opened right away – with people busy at work, it might take a while to get all that desired engagement.

  • 12-2 PM: During work hours might be a great time for B2B email, but closer to lunch time will be better for B2C messages. While on lunch break, people will be looking at their emails before getting back to work in the afternoon.

  • 3-6 PM: According to our data, the afternoon and early evening is also a great time of the day to send your emails. This is a large window of opportunity, so send early in the afternoon in the EU to take advantage of all US time zones (or better yet, segment and schedule sends based on your audience’s location!).

  • 7-9 PM: The evening is probably not the best time to send B2B campaigns, as those will be at the bottom of your recipient’s inbox when they get back to the office the next day. However, it could still be an in time for B2C emails, as people browse through their inboxes during their commute, or as they get back home right after work.

  • After 9 PM: Avoid sending emails after this time, as it will not be read immediately, and by the morning, your email will appear at the bottom of the pecking order. If you're sending at this time, then earlier is better.

The graphs below represent email engagement – that is, opens and clicks – by hour, as seen by the team at Mailgun by Sinch when analyzing their campaigns sent. In general, 15 UTC has the highest engagement in opens and clicks – that’s when most of this opens and clicks happened.

However, that doesn’t mean 3 PM is the best time to send in your country! Remember to convert UTC times to your own time zone to find the best time according to your region. For example, 15:00 UTC translates to 12 PM in for Eastern Standard Time.

Graph displaying average weekly pen stats.

Open rates by hour of the day.

Graph displaying average weekly click stats.

Click rates by hour of the day.

How do different countries compare?

Is it better to send an email first thing in the morning or late at night? That depends on where your users are located. In our 2021 Email Engagement Report, we discovered fundamental differences in email habits across different countries and cultures.

Line chart displaying open data from USA, UK, France, Spain, and Germany.

Open rates data across different cultures.

For example, our survey shows the Spanish and Germans are not early birds and are half as likely to open your emails when they wake up compared to the US, UK, and France. People of France and Spain are also 30% less likely to open emails at lunchtime than the US, UK, and Germany. 43% of French and Germans choose the evening to check emails, but you’ll only get the attention of 12% of Spaniards if you send them your campaigns at that same time.

Interestingly, in the US and Spain, people are a third more likely to check their emails right before going to bed than in the UK, France, and Germany.

Before blasting that email out to the World Wide Web, take a look at this data first. Take the time to segment your audience to achieve the best possible engagement in your target countries.

Pie charts with percentage of users checking email in a day.

A large percentage of your user base check emails more than once a day.

How to determine the best time to send your newsletter?

As we have already said, finding the time with the highest email engagement depends on many aspects – your business, customers, targets, newsletter type, and so forth. Age, habits, and time zones (aim for 1 PM UTC) are important elements that will impact open rates.

Chances are, you already have a treasure chest of time-related data from your audience. Go to your email service provider’s statistics dashboard and select the day with the most activity. Then view the hourly breakdown and you’ll see exactly when your audience engages the most with your campaign.

Mailjet’s Statistics dashboard.

Mailjet’s Statistics dashboard can display email engagement by the hour.

Ultimately, we encourage you to undertake A/B tests and analyze the data. If you want to figure out the peak time to send your weekly newsletter, you could do a test spanning three weeks.

For example, in the first week of the test, send your newsletter at 10 AM, then next week send it at 1 PM, and the week after try 9 PM. You can also try A/B testing by sending a campaign to half of your list in the morning and to the rest in the afternoon. Compare and analyze the results, and move on to the next experiment, just like in science class.

Want to know more about email best practices? Check out our Email Growth Playbook, a database of 60+ tactics to help you increase the performance of your email campaigns.

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Send at the perfect time with Mailjet

Finding the best moment to send your email newsletters can be a difficult task that requires experimentation, time, and coordination when establishing the best schedule. As we have already mentioned, a lot of variables are at play, including the content marketing and scheduling of your email campaigns.

Mailjet’s email marketing service offers features that allow you to create, deliver, and track your email campaigns. With an easy-to-use Email Editor and many responsive email templates, you can create engaging newsletters in just a few minutes. Our features include Segmentation, A/B Testing, Campaign Comparison, and Email Statistics. These features allow you to really track and improve your digital marketing results and find the perfect time to send your emails.

How to compare different email campaigns

Mailjet's Campaign Comparison tool allows you to analyze different types of email effortlessly. This lets you figure out the best day to send emails backed by hard data. Our comparison dashboard is packed with visual and quantitative data – everything you need to analyze and continuously optimize your campaigns.

From each of your campaign’s stats page, you can choose to compare it to previous campaigns or you can access the tool directly from the top menu, under Campaigns. To learn more about how to use our Campaign Comparison feature, check out our detailed documentation.

You can view the results in a few different formats on the graph. The data in the table shows the lifetime results for each metric of each campaign and is continuously updated so you get the most up-to-date information every time you check.

Takeaways

When it comes to finding the best time to send your email campaigns, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The type of business you have, your customers, the type and number of emails you send, and your targets all determine your best schedule.

Using an email service provider that allows you to segment, test, and compare your campaigns will help you analyze the different variables at play. With Mailjet, you can create great email content, test different email subject lines, and find the best sending schedules to improve your open and click-through rates.

Mailjet

Send emails at the right time with Mailjet

Create and send your email campaigns with Mailjet. Benefit from great email deliverability and advanced testing and analytics, and improve your email ROI.

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