Shh! I have a secret about when to send your email…

Sharon Jennings

02 April 2013

2 o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon.

Now let me paint you a picture… At 2 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon, email marketers everywhere hover to press send. As the clock strikes two everyone hits that magic button. What do you think happens?

Inboxes start to fill up with emails. They very quickly get full as hundreds, if not thousands of emails flood in… Recipients can’t deal with that amount of emails in one go… They mass delete… The next wave then crash in to replace them... Servers start to crash, unable to cope with the load… The world explodes...

Well maybe that last one is a lie. But more importantly, your open rates plummet. Click-throughs are non-existent. Bounces are high. Your saving grace is that unsubscribes are low, because no-one can be bothered to do it on that scale!

Then, the next day, someone who was off sick on Tuesday, or was just not clued in enough to know that Tuesday at 2pm was the golden time to send the email (what an idiot!), hits send on Wednesday at 4pm instead.

Their email is the only, lonely email in their recipients’ inboxes. They get almost a 100% open rate, they get an amazingly high click rate. Success. All of a sudden 4 o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon is the new ideal time to send an email…

I hate to disappoint you, but contrary to the opinion of all of those tweeters and bloggers out there who claim to know the optimum moment to press send, IT DOESN’T EXIST!

Well, actually it does. Kind of.

There most likely is an ideal time to send YOUR email. But it’s different for everyone. I worked for a sports-betting company, the best time to send their weekly newsletter was just before midday on a Friday; just before people disappeared out of the office ready for the weekend of sport. Any match-related emails were best sent either the day before, or a few hours before the game depending on the sport. At a children’s charity I worked for, the best time was first thing on a Monday morning – people seemed to feel more giving after the weekend.

So the moral of this story; Get to know your audience better. Test out different days and times to send your regular emails – your audience will soon let you know when they want to read them. Just look at your reports, the answer will be there.