Shopify Basics | Updated January 4, 2023  

How To Determine The Best Times To Send Emails

by Kiril Kirilov

Not sure about when to send your marketing emails? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a definitive guide to the best times to send email campaigns in 2022.

What’s In It For You

This guide explains the optimal time to send marketing emails to get the highest open and click through rates.

So if you want to:

  • See the importance of precise email timing
  • Understand the factors that affect email-sending times
  • Learn the best days of the week and time of day to send emails
  • Get the tips for creating a personalized schedule for your audience

Then you’ll love what we have for you today. Let’s get down to business.

Introduction

Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies because it helps build client relationships by offering value.

The value component can include white papers, newsletters, free reports, etc.

But the success of email marketing depends on timing.

Here’s the thing, for emails to be effective, the recipient must open them and click through to go to your website.

So if you send them to customers at the right time, there’s a higher chance they will follow through and make a purchase.

And the opposite is true if you send emails at the wrong time.

So how do you determine the best times to send emails?

Here’s a definitive guide to help you craft an email marketing strategy with the most effective timing in mind. Take a look!

Why Does Timing Matter in Sending Emails?

Like any other digital marketing strategy, you have to put effort into your marketing emails for them to work. And part of this effort involves getting the timing right.

Timing matters because it increases these metrics.

  • Higher open rates: Getting potential clients at just the right moment will increase the likelihood of them opening the emails. Also, opening an email without going further is a win because they have spotted the brand name and seen what you have.
  • More clickthrough rates: Clickthrough rates come after open rates. So higher open rates are more likely to boost the clickthrough rate. This increase will direct more traffic to your website and boost its ranking on Google over time.
  • An increase in brand name searches: Higher open and clickthrough rates will increase your brand’s awareness. Eventually, these will lead to organic searches and visits to your website.
  • More offline inquiries: Reaching customers at the right time can also make them reply immediately to ask questions. Some might fall into the clickthrough metrics, while others stop at opening. The rest might contact you for more info.

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Time to Send Emails

There is no best time to send email campaigns for every situation. Certain factors affect the effectiveness, and they include:

Demographics of the Recipients

As an email marketer, ensure you pay attention to the audience’s behavior and demographics. And it usually depends on their geographical locations.

Some vital factors to consider are religious practices. For instance, Western countries primarily practice Christianity. On the other hand, Arab countries in the Middle East generally practice Islam.

Christian countries usually take weekends off, with most people taking breaks on Sundays. But Sunday is a working day in Arabic countries.

So sending email campaigns on Sundays in the US will not be effective. But it might be the best day if your target audience is customers in the Gulf States.

With age, older people are more likely to open and respond to emails between 8 am and 9 am. This timing is just before they begin their work day.

But if your target audience is college students, they might not check their inboxes until about noon.

Also, consider the gender and status of the customers.

For instance, if you deal with products for working mothers, study their lifestyle first. The goal is to determine the most convenient time for them to read their emails.

In most cases, it is different from the lifestyle of single women.

Types of Products or Services Offered

If you offer B2C solutions in the leisure or entertainment industries, the best time to send marketing emails will be on Fridays or weekends.

But for B2B products/services, the email campaigns will be more effective somewhere in the middle of the week. Tuesday or Wednesday will work.

Email Frequency

Sending too many emails can be annoying to your email subscribers. But sending too few emails might not be sufficient for brand awareness. So this frequency will fail to give the desired impact.

Try to strike the right balance to create an effective email marketing strategy.

But the data can vary because customers have different preferences. Two emails a week can annoy them.

So you can use the trial and error method to determine the working frequency. Or let each one decide the email frequency that works best.

This data will help you segment your audience and build a loyal brand following.

Seasonal Changes

A season’s onset might be the peak time for sending email campaigns because of the opportunities they present.

For instance, open and clickthrough rates usually double during winter.

Why?

Most people get stuck at home due to bad weather.

Also, the target audience might be expecting Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales offers during winter.

So studying seasonal changes and their effects can significantly increase the effectiveness of your email marketing strategy.

User Experience

When designing an email campaign, ensure it provides a meaningful and relevant experience to the audience.

For instance, it should be user-friendly, have good graphics, and have easy-to-understand text.

Also, most people read emails on their smartphones. So keep them mobile-friendly with features like short subject lines and large fonts.

Best Times To Send Emails

When considering the best times to send emails, you need to factor in the day of the week and the time during the day.

Let’s take a look at the two-time variables. 

Best Day To Send Emails During The Week

Researching your target audience will help determine the best time to launch your emails.

But case studies can help you get initial data and insights. And here are a few.

CampaignMonitor Study

In CampaignMonitor’s 2022 email marketing benchmarks report, weekdays tend to perform best with these stats.

  • Monday has the highest email open rates (22%)
  • Tuesday has the highest clickthrough rates (2.4%)
  • Tuesday and Wednesday have the highest click-to-open rates (10.8%)

Industry-wise, Tuesday proved more successful. Campaigns for leisure, travel and marketing/advertising agencies were more effective that day.

Sundays were best for education emails, while Wednesdays proved effective for healthcare, beverage, and food marketing emails.

The study also highlighted the worst days to send emails.

  • Sunday had the lowest open rate (20.3%)
  • Saturday and Sunday had the lowest clickthrough rates (2.1%)
  • Friday, Saturday, and Sunday had the lowest click-to-open rates (10.1%)

CampaignMonitor came up with this report after analyzing data from over 100 billion emails sent across their platform in 2021.

GetResponse Study

GetResponse studied over seven billion emails in 2021, finding minimal engagement differences from Monday to Friday.

Mondays and Fridays had the highest average open and clickthrough rates.

But since the difference is minimal, you can experiment with any weekday to find the best one for your audience and business.

Although weekends had the lowest results, they had the least competition.

We don’t recommend sending email marketing campaigns during the weekend, but you can explore the option.

Omnisend Study

According to a study done by Omnisend, Tuesday had the highest open rate, averaging 11.36%.

Wednesday and Thursday follow in at a close second and third with 11.33% and 11.29%, respectively.

But Friday and Sunday have the highest clickthrough rates, followed by Wednesday.

So customers are more likely to go through with the purchase on Friday.

It means more emails will convert to sales compared to other weekdays followed by Thursday, then Sunday.

Key Takeaways

Generally, the days in the middle of the week are the best for sending these emails.

But Tuesday is hands down the best day to send emails, and Thursday is the second-best day.

So if you plan to send two emails weekly, Thursday should be your second day.

No data showed Wednesday as the most popular or best day to send marketing emails. But it came in second place several times.

So you should consider this day if you sell food, beverage, or healthcare services.

Also, some studies suggest that Tuesdays have the highest open rates while Thursdays are the highest money-making days.

So it might be wise to send educational emails on Tuesdays and actionable emails on Thursdays.

Best Time To Send Emails During The Day

We have already established the right day. But this data is not enough. You should send the email campaigns at the right time during the day.

Omnisend Study

Omnisend also did a comprehensive study on emails that covered the best time of day to send emails.

Four periods stood out when comparing the open rate. The hours are 4 pm, 1 pm, 8 am, and 3 am (in that order).

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But the clickthrough rate has different stats. Marketing emails had the highest clickthrough rate at 5 pm hour followed by 8 am, 4 pm, and 1 pm.

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So if you combine the charts, you will note that most people have time to read and click the links in emails when not working.

8 am is just before work, 1 pm is during lunch, and 4 pm - 5 pm is after work.

Generally, 4 pm emails had the highest order rates, while 5 pm emails had high clickthrough rates. So these evening hours are the best overall.

Sendinblue Study

Sendinblue did an industry-by-industry breakdown of the best time to send emails. Their studies found the best hours to be the following.

  • Ecommerce: 10 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • SaaS and Software: 2 pm - 3 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Marketing Services: 4 pm on Wednesdays
  • B2B and Professional Services: 8 am-10 am on Mondays and Tuesdays
  • Hospitality and Retail (Offline): 8 am - 10 am on Thursdays
  • Nonprofits: 3 pm - 4 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays

So overall, the best time is 10 am or 3 pm on Tuesdays or Thursdays..

These findings are not surprising because most people check marketing emails at work.

They check the newsletters and promotional messages after responding to the more critical work or time-sensitive emails. This sequence of events explains the 10 am timing.

The afternoon peak at around 3 pm - 4 pm is when employees check their emails after lunch and before they leave work.

Looking at the graph, you will notice a spike at around 6 pm. People commuting via bus or train usually check their social media and emails at this time when going home.

Others turn to their inbox as a distraction towards their dwindling focus as the day ends.

Intercom Study

Intercom is a B2B product. And the information collected from their study reflects what happens with email campaigns from such businesses.

The company found the peak open rate was between 10 am - 11 am. This timing matches the findings by Sendinblue above.

But this data is not accurate for all days of the week. The open rate for Sundays is relatively the same during the morning, afternoon, and evening hours.

And the open rates for weekends are significantly lower than those for weekdays.

You can see the highest spikes on the graph on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am - 11 am. But the trend is generally similar during all weekdays.

Key Takeaways

All three studies show a similar trend.

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays stand out as the best days for sending marketing emails.
  • The best time during these days is during the late morning hours (10 am - 11 am) and mid-afternoon (3 pm - 4 pm)

But there is one crucial factor you must keep in mind; the time zone. Customers in the US, Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world have different time zones. Even the US alone covers several time zones.

So segment your email subscribers by region and time zone first. Then you can send the emails on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 am-11 am or 3 pm-4 pm during their time zone.

What About Holidays?

Holidays can be some of the best times to send marketing emails because subscribers expect bargains.

But this information is in the public domain, meaning you won’t be the only one sending promotional emails for the holidays.

So put more thought into the timing to stand out and get the highest open & clickthrough rates.

Here are some guides to help you maneuver through popular holidays

Black Friday

Customers who want to get Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals will want to see the special offers a week or two before the holiday.

So start sending the emails just after Halloween.

As for the number of emails, send one or two weekly like the regular times we saw above on Tuesday and Thursday.

This frequency should build enough anticipation ahead of the holiday without being a nuisance.

But if this plan does not suit your marketing strategy, try sending the emails before thanksgiving.

And do not delay past this day. You will see few or zero results if you send the campaigns that Friday.

Christmas

With the Christmas holiday, we recommend sending the emails much earlier to capitalize on the high customer spending when the year ends.

So start sending them in the first or second week of November.

The clickthrough rates usually go to an all-time high a week before Christmas, then drop sharply at around 22nd December. This trend goes on until New Year’s day.

Also, consider sending post-Christmas newsletters to capitalize on sales after boxing day. The best time to send these emails is in the evening because there is minimal competition.

New Year

Open rates remain low as the year begins because the holiday mood is still high.

But engagement increases slightly between 5th and 8th January. This increase creates a window for sending newsletters highlighting new products or services.

Other holidays like St. Patrick’s, Valentine’s, or Labor day usually have similar trends to regular days. So you can send the email campaigns as usual.

4 Tips for Creating an Email Schedule for Your Audience

Although these timelines have proven effective at increasing open and clickthrough rates, they might not work for your business.

Every enterprise is different, and your audience might respond differently to what the studies suggest.

So conduct your research to determine what makes your email marketing strategy work.

And here are a few tips to help you do the research.

Gather Data

All studies base their findings on data, so this should be your starting point.

Tools like Facebook Insights and Google Analytics have made data collection easy for analysis.

So you can learn about your audience’s interests, location, and demographics using the tools.

This data can help you predict your customer’s lifestyles accurately to determine the best time to send them emails.

Analyze Open Rates

After determining the best time to send the emails and sending them, the next step is analyzing the results.

In this case, you need to analyze the open rates from previous campaigns.

The average email open rate for most industries is slightly above 20%. So anything above this percentage shows you are on the right track.

But it might be lower due to the industry you are in or other factors outside your control.

So if you achieve an open rate you feel is satisfactory, there’s no need to change your strategy.

Just note the time and days you sent those emails, and use that schedule in the future.

But if the rate is low, make some adjustments.

And remember to check other factors, such as the conversion, clickthrough, and bounce rates.

A successful email marketing strategy requires you to check all factors, not just focus on one.

Check What the Competition Is Doing

You will be fighting for market share with other fierce competitors, so it makes logical sense to keep an eye on them.

A neat trick to try is to visit their websites and subscribe to their emails. You will get their emails at a schedule they think is the most effective for their audience.

So you will get free results from their research on their audience, industry, and digital experiences.

And since you are in the same industry competing for the same customers, you will get a personalized strategy that might be the winning formula.

So you can begin with this email sending schedule, then do studies and make adjustments along the way.

Test Your Email Send Times

After studying the market and coming up with an email campaign schedule, be open to making changes.

Circumstances might change, so alter the send times occasionally and compare the results.

Do A/B testing to this schedule regularly to determine other effective times of the day and days of the week for your audience.

Check all the metrics, including conversions, clickthrough, open, and bounce rates.

FAQs

Now that we are through with the most effective marketing email schedule, here are answers to the most asked questions.

What Was the Best Time To Send an Email Campaign in 2021?

Late morning hours from 10 am - 11 am and mid-afternoon from 3 pm - 4 pm. And the best days to send emails during these times are Tuesday and Thursday.

This data came from studies conducted by several organizations when analyzing the marketing emails they send to their subscribers.

Is There a Proper Time To Send Emails?

There is no proper time to send emails because people are different. Also, each industry tends to have slightly different optimal email-sending times.

So while we recommend sending your marketing campaigns during the days and times stated above, these might not work for your business.

You should do your studies, analyze the results, and test multiple schedules occasionally. The goal is to find the most optimal time.

What Is the Best Time To Send Email Marketing 2022?

The best time is still 10 am - 11 am and 3 pm - 4 pm on Tuesday and Thursday. However, you can consider this the generic time.

Make a point of studying your audience to determine the most optimal time to send them marketing emails. It might be the same as the one above or different. You never know.

Takeaway Points

To conclude, getting the timing right when sending marketing emails can be your winning formula in the increasingly competitive market.

And several factors affect the best time to send these emails.

But putting all things into consideration, the best time to send emails is from 10 am - 11 am and 3 pm - 4 pm.

For Western and Christian countries in general, the best days are Tuesday and Thursday.

But weekends might be better for other regions because their resting days might be Thursday and Friday

So once you understand your target market, you can implement the timings described above as a start.

After that, do regular studies and analysis while adjusting the schedule to match your results.

That’s it for now! If you have any questions or sentiments, drop a comment below, and we’ll be in touch shortly.

Kiril Kirilov is co-founder at Rush - Increase sales and boost customer retention rates. Rush automates the shipment tracking process on all fronts so you can turn your loyal customers into "human ATMs"