Email Campaigns: What is the Best Time?

As an ecommerce marketer, you probably know that the difference between high and low email click-through rates is measured in dollars.

Best Time to Send Email Campaigns

In other words, failing to engage your subscribers is too costly of a slip up.

So what can you do to avoid that?

You can send your emails at optimal times.

Striving to find out what the best time to send emails is, we’ve gathered unique data on 9,500 different brands that collectively sent more than 92,000 email campaigns (that’s nearly 800 million emails).

And we emerged with a list of best practices that lead to high conversions.

Our findings shed light on the three frequently asked (and searched for) email marketing questions:

  • What is the best hour to send emails?
  • What is the best day of the week to send emails?
  • What is the best day of the month to send emails?

But before we take a dive into our data, let me say this – these best practices will have little effect on your bottom line if you don’t have a strong email list. 

Whichever list-building tactic you’re using (we’re big fans of exit-intent popups), ensure you’re actively collecting emails from your visitors to increase your exposure and eventually boost your conversions.

Now, let’s dig into the data.

The best hour to send emails

We determine the timing success by looking at email open and click-through rates. Typically, there are three main factors that can influence an email’s performance:

  • User availability: are they eating, sleeping or checking their emails?
  • Competition: how many other brands might be emailing them?
  • Relevance: is there anything specific about your niche that you need to consider?   

In terms of our study, we’ve had to restrict our data to one time zone (we went with the UK) to ensure the data is not distorted. Also, because the spectrum of niches within this data set is quite varied, it’s difficult to make any meaningful conclusions on relevance.

In our study, we analyze data to find answers about the other two aspects – user availability and competition.

We can see a clear trend line when open rates and click rates are plotted based on hours. To provide more context and ensure it’s not affecting the significance of the data, we also include the total campaigns sent.

Looking at this chart, it’s obvious that 5pm (17h00) is the optimal time to send emails. With at least 450 campaigns sent, it has the best combination of open rate (19.7%) and click rate (3.98%).

Although there are other times that stand out, they are likely skewed due to a small sample size.

The best day of the week to send emails

There are many variables that come into play when trying to determine which day of the week is best for sending out email campaigns, including a stand-out subject line, compelling snippets, relevant messaging and even weather.

We have zeroed in on five different markets to see which days of the week are getting the best open and click rates – US, Canada, Australia, UK and India.

The highest open and click-through rates suggest that Wednesday (averaging a 19.6% open rate) and Sunday (with a 4.4% click-through rate) are the best-performing days. However, before jumping to conclusions, we should also take into consideration the total number of campaigns sent.

It is obvious then that, averaging an open rate of 19.61% and a click rate of 4.3%, Wednesday is the best day of the week to send out emails. Thursday comes in second.

The best day of the month to send emails

Knowing which day of the month offers the best engagement and conversions comes in handy if you’re sending out bi-weekly or monthly newsletters, or tend to run once-in-a-while email campaigns.

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Having analyzed nearly 800 million emails, we have identified two key dates – the 1st of the month (19.87% open rate) and the 4th of the month (19.68% open rate).

When should you be sending emails?

Here’s what we’ve learned from the data:

  • The best time to send regular email campaigns is 5pm on a Wednesday
  • The best day for monthly emails is the 4th of the month (or at least a day near the beginning of the month)

This makes sense because people are typically paid either at the beginning or very end of the month. This short period is also a unique opportunity for ecommerce marketers to engage prospects when they’re most likely to make a purchase.

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Our simple chart wraps it up nicely.

Looking at the click-through rates, we see that the 4th comes at the top of the list (4.53%) and the 21st is a very close second (4.52%). Once we compare the open and click rates with the number of total campaigns sent, the 4th of the month stands out with the best overall rates.

Email campaigns: What is the best time?

Whether this data will help you improve your open and click-through rates will depend on how well you can adapt it to your own brand.

As always, we strongly advise you to put these best practices to test and see what results it produces.

And with that being said, I’m sure you’ll see steady improvements in your open and click rates, and ultimately – your conversions.

Best Time to Send Email Campaigns

 

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Bernard Meyer

Bernard Meyer

Bernard Meyer is a content marketer for Omnisend, the e-commerce marketing automation platform dedicated to helping e-commerce stores build strong, lasting relationships with their customers. He also has a passion for good research and helping e-commerce businesses with their multichannel marketing needs.
Bernard Meyer

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