What’s the best time to send an email? Are my emails getting enough clicks? If you’re asking these questions, bravo! It means you’re a smart email marketer.
Great news: We can help you answer these questions. And despite the current pandemic impacting some open and click through rates for email, there are general guidelines to help you maintain high email performance -- even in times like these.
Let’s take a look at the best practices for email send times, getting good performance rates, and more.
Finding the Right Email Timing
Everybody seems to have an opinion about the best time to send an email blast, but you need more than just opinions. So let’s look at the facts from an email marketing study of more than 4 billion emails from 1,000 business senders.
Generally speaking, the best send times are:
- 10 a.m.
- 1 p.m.
- 6 p.m.
You’ll get the most email engagement at these times because they coincide with most people’s daily email-checking behavior. The average person starts their day, eventually checks their email around 10 a.m., looks at it again around lunchtime, and checks it one last time in the evening.
However, the best time to send an email varies quite a bit depending on your target audience. Here are some examples.
B2B Audiences and Early Birds
A B2B audience is very likely to check their email when the workday first begins around 8 or 9 a.m. The same goes for other early-risers like teachers, bakers, general contractors, and military audiences.
Late-night audiences might be put off by emails that arrive during the daytime, so know your audience. If they’re night-owl freelancers or third-shift workers, push your send times back to 6 p.m., 9 p.m., or even later, depending on the hours they keep.
Emailing about a special deal? The best time to send promotional emails is during the lunchtime hour when shoppers idly scroll through their phones. Also, Tuesdays and Thursdays have the highest overall open rates for promo emails.
Don't underestimate the power of sending an email over the weekend. These days, more and more people are checking their emails throughout the weekend (sad, but true!).
Average Email Open Rates
In email marketing, it’s always a good idea to keep your eye on the averages and see how you’re stacking up against them. What if your email open rate is 43%? Is it too low?
Now consider this fact: The average email open rate is 37%. Knowing this, your 43% open rate looks pretty dang good.
Of course, it’s also crucial to look at the average open rate for your industry. Some industries have much higher rates than others.
Arts and entertainment organizations have the highest open rates. High open rates are also found in human resources, law offices, government organizations, real estate, and construction companies. People tend to view emails from these senders as urgent, yielding open rates between 40% and 60% or even much higher.
Marketing and advertising companies have the lowest open rates of all industry types. Other industries with low open rates include retail stores, food and beverage companies, automotive sellers, and airlines/travel. An open rate of 12% to 17% is totally normal for these industries.
Tips for High-Performing Emails
As you can see, you’ll get the best email performance when you set reasonable expectations and use careful timing and audience targeting. We’d like to wrap up by sharing a few more email marketing tips backed by research.
Emails matter even in low-open-rate industries like clothing retail, where 38% of consumers still say they have made a purchase due to an email they received.
Be honest, or be ignored. Today’s consumers are tired of being teased and tricked. If your email offer is “limited time,” provide the actual deadline. If it’s a “huge discount,” make sure the discount is actually huge. Otherwise, people will just block your emails.
Use their first name. People like personalization. Hubspot research from 2014 right up to today consistently shows that having someone’s name in the subject line drastically improves your open rate.
And here’s our best advice of all: Work with a seasoned email marketing company that can help you make smart decisions about things like the best time to send emails, your email open rate, and other important aspects of an email marketing campaign.