The 2017 Email Marketing Field Guide: The Best Times and Days to Send Your Message and Get It Read

Have you ever gone looking for advice on the best time to send your email and walked away feeling more confused than confident?

You’re not alone. There is lot of conflicting information out there about when and how to send emails in order to get the best results. Literally, dozens of studies have been done and almost all of them offer up slightly different conclusions.

Why is that?

One of the challenges with this kind of data is that the studies are not consistent.

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In some cases, they’re based on emails going primarily to B2B users. In other cases, it’s a B2C audience subscribed to information about shopping or products. On top of that, they often define success differently--some look for opens, others look at clicks, and yet others are counting actual responses.

Almost none of these studies properly parse all of these topics to give you information specific to your audience, industry, or goals.

After all, the optimal time to generate clicks on an ecommerce sales email is probably not the same time that’s ideal for requesting a sales demo of your enterprise software.

We wanted to do something a bit differently than other guides and graphics on the topic. Rather than keying in on one specific study or simply aggregating the data from a whole bunch of studies, we wanted to sift through the available data and see what differences might have contributed to the factors.

We’ve compiled our findings into a visual guide: The 2017 Email Marketing Field Guide.

The 2017 Email Marketing Field Guide

Notable findings:

  • Many studies note that mid-week are the most-effective days to send emails. Others say the weekends dominate. We concluded that it depends on the type of audience that you’re trying to reach. Do they check emails on the weekend? Or are they strictly, 9-5, Monday-Friday?
  • Even if your messages are all going to a B2B audience, it’s important to make a distinction between entrepreneurs and “workaholic” types who check email all day, every day versus those who just check during business hours.
  • Open rates are often higher for emails sent early in the morning, but clicks and responses tend to peak in the late morning or late afternoon.
  • Most studies focus on sending B2B emails, but data from Experian seemed best suited to describe the habits of B2C consumers receiving emails from brands, which are often treated differently from those sent for business purposes.
  • We keyed in on three separate audiences and three key objectives based on the research we reviewed and provided some baseline best practices in each case.
  • As a whole, the data feels inconclusive. Oftentimes, it makes sense to consider the habits of your target user to key in on the most effective times for sending messages.

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