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The best time to send emails (2023 research)
Email timing is an important part of email marketing, which is why most marketers often wonder what the best time is to send out your email newsletter.
While often a complicated question to answer, luckily the Omnisend team regularly researches a variety of metrics to extract the deepest insights into what works for our clients.
You can find our latest up-to-date Ecommerce email marketing statistics 2023 here.
For understanding the best time to send email, we looked at email campaigns sent from three years’ worth of data—from January 1, 2019-December 31, 2021.
So to the question at hand:
What is the best time to send emails?
- The best days to send email are Tuesday for high open rates, Friday for high conversions
- The best days of the month to send email is the beginning of the month: the 10th for open rates, 2nd for click rates, and the 1st for conversion rates
- The best time to send an email is 8pm, 2pm, or 5pm
At least, that’s the quick answer. If you want to know exactly why these are the best times, you’ll have to read further below.
It goes without saying: email timing is just one of many factors that can influence your campaign performance. A well-crafted email sent at the wrong time can perform better than a rushed email sent at the perfect time.
The best day of the week to send emails
First, let’s look at the data to determine what the best day is to send emails.
This question is actually a bit more complex than it may seem at first. Specifically, it’s a question of what you’re optimizing for.
Most people want the highest opens, but it’s also important to consider the clickthrough rate and conversion rates.
Let’s look at these separately.
Omnisend data shows that the day of the week with the highest open rates is Tuesday. But…only by a little.
Tuesday has an average open rate of 11.36%, but Wednesday and Thursday are very close with 11.33% and 11.29%, respectively.
Takeaway: the middle of the week, Tuesday-Thursday will probably be the best time to send marketing emails for high open rates.
But let’s look at the results for clickthrough rates (the number of clicks compared to the number of opens):
The winning days here are much clearer. Friday and Sunday are much better for clickthrough rates, with an average of 13.58% and 13.57%, respectively.
The third-best day of the week for clickthrough rates is Wednesday, which is still in line with our insight above to send emails on Tuesday-Thursday.
Monday is the worst day of the week for clickthrough rates, coming in at only 13.07%.
The data for conversion rates (the number of sales compared to the number of clicks) shows that Friday performs best yet again:
This time, it isn’t really close. The conclusion is clear: customers that click on emails on Fridays are more likely to buy, compared to the other weekdays.
Next in line are Thursday, Sunday and Monday, which have a conversion rate range of 5.32-5.34%.
So to summarize, Omnisend data shows that:
- The best day of the week to send emails for open rates: Tuesday
- The best day of the week to send emails for clicks: Friday
- The best day of the week to send emails for conversions: Friday
Let's compare that with other research on the best day to send marketing emails:
- Klaviyo and Hubspot both saw that Tuesday has the highest open rates
- Moosend and Wordstream data point to Thursday as the best day for open rates
Overall, we’d still give it to the middle of the week, Tuesday-Thursday for good days to get overall the best results for your emails. Friday is also worth a try.
However, as always, test this to see which day works best for your brand. Some Omnisend clients are seeing success sending out emails on low-competition days like Sundays.
The best days to send emails
Of course, the best time to send emails depends on specific customer actions. For example, the best welcome emails are sent out shortly after a new subscriber joins your contact list.
With that being said, other types of emails go out to your entire list. If you offer a weekly or monthly newsletter, let's say for your digital marketing blog updates for example, that message should arrive at a predictable time every week or every month.
Sending these messages at the wrong times will have a negative effect on engagement and make it harder to reach your campaign goals.
Let’s see what the latest Omnisend data can tell us about email engagement at different times of the month. This data will help you adjust your newsletter routine to get optimal results.
First let’s look at click rates:
As you can see, two days are standout: the 10th (10.19%) and the 24th (10.18%). After that, the 3rd, 26th and 27th bring in average open rates in the range of 10.12-10.13%. The 29th is the worst, at 9.91%.
Let’s look at the clickthrough rates by day of the month:
Here, both the 2nd and 26th have the highest average conversion rates of 14.33%, quickly followed by the 7th (14.3%) and 6th (14.24%). The worst days are the 14th (13.64%) and the 12th (13.68%).
Lastly, the average daily conversion rates:
Here, the 1st has the highest average conversion rate at 5.52%, followed by the 30th. The worst conversion rates are on the 23rd (4.81%).
What we can glean here, in total, is that the middle of the month isn’t really the best for conversions, clicks or — to a lesser degree — opens. Starting from around the 20th of the month, the numbers begin to trend upwards.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to say which factor or factors are responsible for these statistics. Pay schedules are one reason why customers appear less likely to make purchases at the end of the month.
Most consumers are paid at the beginning and/or in the middle of the month, so these may be better opportunities.
The best time to send emails
In this research, we looked at which is the best time to send email campaign in terms of performance. We've recently updated this data with emails sent from Jan. 1, 2022-Jan. 1, 2023.
Unsurprisingly, email performance is closely tied to the typical customer’s workday. With that in mind, it’s important to adjust your approach to email timing for weekday and weekend campaigns.
In order to grab this data, we looked at the brand's local sending time, which gives a better understanding of the overall correlation between email sending time and performance. Alternatively, many other studies look at one time zone, like UTC, which may not be very helpful since it reduces all sending times to one time zone.
In order to grab this data, we ignored our send optimization data, in which brands can schedule emails to be sent based on their customers' time zones.
Let’s see what the data says:
In terms of open rates, we've got a few surprises here. The absolute best time for open rates (a whopping 59%) is surprisingly 8pm, followed by a more common sense 2pm (with a 45% open rate).
After that, we're getting into the late evening, with 11pm showing a 40% open rate.
Before we draw any conclusions, let’s look at the data for clickthrough rates:
Here, we've got a few more surprises. We've got two sets here:
- 5am and 6am
- 5pm and 6pm
In terms of evening, that makes a lot of sense since people are reading and clicking on relevant emails after work.
As for the 5am-6am high click rates, that's most likely a result of low competition: whoever's up at that time and receives an email will check and click on it, because there aren't that many new emails in their inbox.
Something to remember.
Overall, for both open and click rates, we're seeing that the classic early morning 6am-11am have good opens and clicks. After lunch we have even better open rates (compared to morning opens), but click rates drop a bit.
Compare this with:
- research from Wordstream that shows the best time to send newsletter is between 8am-9am
- Hubspot study showed that 11am was the best time to send email blast
- Moosend research that shows 1-2pm have the best open rates
In general, sending emails from roughly 7pm-7am should mostly be avoided—unless your tests show that it works for you. It's possible that later at night is the best time to send newsletter for your store.
If you’re using a good email marketing platform, you can schedule your newsletters to go out according to your customers’ time. For example, with Omnisend, you can schedule your email to hit all of your customers at 8am their time.
Some thoughts on the best time to send email campaigns
Use timing to your advantage—if you want to send an email on an off-day, as previously mentioned, choose the best time to send a newsletter on Friday.
While many “best practices” might discourage sending on a Sunday, INGLOT Canada found that sending a campaign alongside an SMS yielded great results on Sundays, when shoppers were relaxed and had more time to shop.
When sending an email on a Sunday, opt to move outside of the typical 9-5 workday and shoot more for mid-morning to noon. Nailing the perfect timing for your emails is a breeze if you can schedule your marketing emails ahead of time.
Omnisend can help you perfectly time your newsletters with automatic scheduling.
5 ways to improve your email metrics
Besides timing, there are other important things to consider if you want great results from your newsletter campaigns.
Clean up your contact list
While list building is crucial to long-term success in digital marketing, quality is more important than quantity.
Make sure you:
- review your contact list at least once every six months to remove any inactive subscribers
- don’t send messages to users who aren't interested in your brand. This can hurt your deliverability
- limit your newsletter to active subscribers to improve your sender reputation and help you prioritize customers who are more likely to convert
Optimize your email frequency
Along with email timing, frequency is another factor that can have a surprising impact on each campaign.
Sending more emails won’t necessarily lead to more orders. Instead, it may make customers ignore your messages, or even unsubscribe.
On the other hand, sending campaigns too infrequently may cause you to miss out on important opportunities for engagement and sales.
While once per week is a good starting point for most newsletters, the only way to optimize your email frequency is to test out different strategies over time.
Understand your target audience
Knowing your target audience is the most important thing in all of marketing.
If you sell to customers in their 20s, you might not have any trouble generating interest in a 10pm email.
On the other hand, stay-at-home parents are more likely to open promotional emails during business hours compared to subscribers who are busy at work.
The perfect time for one of those groups is unlikely to be as convenient for the other.
Double-check your subject line
It’s easy to make subject lines the afterthought of each campaign.
The problem with this approach is that the subject line is your best chance to get customers to open the email.
Consistent testing is the best way to ensure that you’re fully optimizing each message. Check out our guide to the top email subject lines if you’re looking for a little inspiration.
You can test your subject lines with our free Subject line tester.
Leverage email automation
With marketing automation, you can configure emails to send at specific times and then focus on other tasks.
Keep in mind that automated emails can still be personalized in a variety of effective ways.
For example, you might trigger a cart abandonment reminder to send 24 hours after a user leaves your site. Include the customer’s name and unique product recommendations based on their browsing history.
Even though this email is “automatic,” it’s still highly relevant to each user’s behavior.
With this, you don’t have to worry about the best (manual) time. These messages go out based on your customer’s time (and actions).
You can also consider combining emails with text messages and look at the best time to send them.
Let’s review some of the most actionable insights from our deep dive into email timing.
- The beginning and end of the month tend to see better email performance. This will vary month-to-month depending on holidays and weekends.
- The best time to send an email is Tuesday-Thursday during the morning (8am), after lunch (1 pm), and at the end of work (4pm–5pm).
- Test sending on Sundays to offer a relaxed shopping experience.
- Avoid sending on Mondays and Saturdays when it makes sense.
Again, keep in mind that different audiences will respond differently to the same strategies. In short: leverage these stats to optimize your email timing, but make sure to use them as one factor in your decision.
Email timing and other marketing choices should also be based on your knowledge of the audience as well as your industry and brand image.
No fluff, no spam, no corporate filler. Just a friendly letter, twice a month.