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What's the Best Time to Send an Email?

Email is one of the most reliable, tried-and-true marketing channels. Because marketing professionals know email is hugely valuable, it’s an incredibly competitive. Customers have become more fickle as their inboxes are saturated with promotional materials. Generation Z, in particular, is known to always look for an excuse to wipe away or click elsewhere. So, you’re dealing with a crowded field, hard-to-please audiences, and stiff competition. Success depends making every possible optimization to your email strategy. One of the ways you can optimize is by being intentional about what time you send your email.

This is, in a sense, an old-school marketing question. Conventional wisdom has always been: don’t send emails on weekends (people aren’t on their devices as much), don’t send emails on Mondays (people are too busy getting caught up to look at promotional emails), and don’t send emails on Fridays (some people are already checked out for the weekend). The most popular choices for marketers have always been the middle three days of the week: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

The best day to send an email

At a glance, emails sent on Tuesdays and Thursdays have the most engagement compared to any other day. But it’s not such a simple, cut-and-dry issue. Because marketers have been hearing about Tuesday and Thursday for years, it’s become industry standard to send the majority of emails on those days. In other words, they might get the most engagement, but they’re also the most crowded. Meanwhile, marketers have always regarded the weekend as an inferior time for outreach, to the point that now, you face significantly less competition. In other words, it might be a good decision to try it out again! This peculiar situation shows how the best time to send an email is not a fixed question—it’s always changing, and depending on what kind of email, the best time to send an email might be when everyone else isn’t sending emails. In other words, the “best” time might be conventional wisdom’s “worst” time!

And it gets more complex from there: people behave differently on different days of the week, too. So the best time to send an email will also depend on your goal: do you want people to view your email, or are you trying to get them to an external landing page? This will affect your decision making: for example, Tuesday has better click-thru rates, while Thursday has better viewership.

The best time to send an email

So, Tuesday and Thursday are the best days, but what about the time of the day? Again, there’s a lot of conventional wisdom on this topic: for instance, bothering your customers late at night seems rude and intrusive.

In general, you’ll get the best results by capturing your audience’s attention at a time when they’re opening their email absentmindedly, without a specific goal in mind. This is typically when they’re checking email before work, on their lunch break, as they’re leaving the office, and right when they get home. In other words, early in the morning, midday, and early evening are the best times to send an email.

But again, it depends on your goals. People tend to make impulse purchases later at night, so if your goal is to close sales with your email campaign, then you should reach out then. The best time to send an email depends on the lifestyle habits of your customer base: their age, what kinds of jobs they work, their daily routine, and their relationship with technology are all crucial variables to consider in determining your email outreach strategy. Fortunately, most marketing platforms collect analytics and allow you to split test your campaign, so you can send emails at different times and compare audience responses. Ultimately, since there’s no universal “best time,” you should be scheduling your email blasts based on your own research of your audience’s distinctive habits.

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