Best Time To Send Email [INFOGRAPHIC]

Email campaign success depends upon subscriber engagement. You can analyze subscriber engagement by answering some simple questions: What time do your readers normally browse through their inboxes? When are they most likely to open and click? Do they read messages that are more than 12 hours old? GetResponse set out to answer these questions in our latest research on open-and-click times and came up with some interesting conclusions.

 

Research method:

We analyzed 21 million messages sent from US accounts in the 1st quarter of 2012 to determine top open and click-through times. We also analyzed the recipients’ top engagement times — all to test our thesis: sending times matter, and message results depend on reader engagement routines, not just a little but a lot.

 

Results:

One of the most important conclusions is that sending newsletters during readers’ top engagement times of 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. can increase their average open rates and CTR by 6%.

However, optimizing email timing takes more than awareness of top engagement times. As our research points out, it’s a combination of many factors, including knowledge of time zone differences, your subscribers’ daily routines and the practices of other marketers. Find out more for yourself:

 

 

Highlights of the infographic:

  • Emails have the best results within the 1st hour after delivery. This is when 23.63% of all emails are opened. But 24 hours after delivery, the average open rate is close to zero.
  • Almost 40% of all messages are sent between 6 a.m. and noon. This can result in inbox clutter, and significantly decrease results for these emails.
  • Messages sent in the early afternoon have a better chance of being noticed and consequently achieve better results: up to 10.61% open ratio and up to 2.38% CTR.
  • Subscribers’ top engagement times are 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.- 4 p.m. with up to 6.8% average open rates and CTR.


Key takeaways:

As the research shows: to achieve best possible results, you should schedule delivery of your email taking into consideration the following:

  • Emails reach the best results within 1 hour after landing in the inbox.
  • If your recipients are occupied with other activities, they won’t be able to engage while it’s still fresh, and your message will be crowded out by more recent messages
  • To optimize the engagement rates for your message, you should schedule it to hit the inbox no later than 1 hour before the top open times, when its chances of getting noticed are the highest.
  • If your emailings go to worldwide lists, make sure you use solutions that optimize delivery times in different time zones, such as GetResponse Time Travel.

 

Optimizing your mailing campaigns includes many factors, but the right timing is one of the most important success factors. The data points in the infographic are signposts, but remember that the best data you can get is your own metrics. Compare them to our general findings and let us know what times work best for you.

 

  • Dewane Mutunga

    Great infographic here. It was interesting to see just how response rates shift over time.

    As far as best send times, I would have to say that there isn’t a “best” time per say, as every list/segment is different. I think it’s important to test and see what generates the best results for each segment.

    Thanks for sharing this info!

  • Jim_Ducharme

    Great point Dewane! You have to test to know what works for your specific subscribers! Test everything! Aren’t you glad GetResponse has such amazing analytic tools?

    Regards,
    jim

  • Gerry Lacuarta

    I’m a satisfied customer of GetResponse. Thanks for this post. Now I have a better sense of the best time to schedule and send emails.

    I’m going to use the Time Travel Feature on my future mailings. That’s one feature I have overlooked :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/conrad.stuart.7 Conrad Stuart

    I send almost all emails at either 11AM or 3PM EST. I always make sure to send at times when most people on the west coast, east coast, UK and AU are all at least awake or about to be at the same time.

  • http://twitter.com/Paultfloo Paul Flood

    it would be very nice to have this feature included in follow-ups as well.

  • Ian Dixon

    Time of sending is one factor but not the only one. Tricky to do as well because of timezone differences.
    As an example, I get 2 emails every weekday from a newspaper. One is around 8am and the other at around 1pm. Now I look at them both even if it is 5pm because I know they may contain some interesting information. There are other senders that I watch for and read too no matter what time they sent the mail

  • mcleveland05

    Such, timely info. I am in that zone where I thinking about email marketing
    strategies.

  • David

    Brilliant! I had been wondering exactly that during the past 2 days.

    I am in the Spanish-speaking market for guitar video lessons. In my case, I also have to take into account that people rarely ever take their guitars to work hahhaha.

    Yes, they can open, click and watch a video lesson but definitely have to wait to go back home to grab their guitar and start following through. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003836176111 Jason Eugene

    Insightful information. I’ve seen some similar research floating around online about best times of day to “activate” and utilize your social media tools. The data looks similarly equal.

  • HannaAndrzejewska

    Good point, Ian!
    Email timing is just one aspect of optimizing your engagement results – and naturally you cannot forget about the others such as creating valuable content and meeting the recipients’ expectations.

  • HannaAndrzejewska

    Or you could as well test the GetResponse Time Travel feature ;) and make sure your message will reach the inbxes all over the world at exactly the same local time.

  • HannaAndrzejewska

    Great, let us know how it works for you.

  • http://www.makeitmindful.com/ Mindful Marketing Strategies

    Thanks for the detailed analysis Hanna. There seems to be some contradictory data (or perhaps it’s how i’m interpreting it). It seems that majority of messages are sent between 6am-12pm resulting in inbox clutter, yet messages sent in the morning have a 16.1% higher open ratio. Can you she some light on this? Thanks. -makeitmindful

  • BDAD

    Any data on what day(s) of the week works best?

  • HannaAndrzejewska

    Hi Makeitmindful

    thanks for spotting that :) Actually it’s my mistake – the phrase in bold should only be “early afternoon” – that’s when email can reach top results according to our research. The blooper is now corrected – I wander why no one mentioned it before :)

  • http://twitter.com/Mindful_MKTG Mindful Marketing

    I don’t know, maybe they’re not paying close attention : )

    btw i still see “morning and early afternoon” in bold. maybe it takes time for your update to propagate through?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tejinder.sharma.7 Tejinder Sharma

    I think the platform of receiving an email could have an impact. If your customers use PCs or laptops, the timings could be different. Those accessing the mails on smart phones, i-pads, etc. the response could be different. Issue is particularly important in emerging economies with lesser penetration of mobile smart devices.

  • M.

    Some good data. Did you look at what day. Also, the subject line and email message is also key particularly for survey research. I would imagine if the CEO sent a message on an inane ones meeting at the end of the day everybody would open it up. Also travelers have issues as well because checking email in flight is getting there but not all there.

  • HannaAndrzejewska

    Hi M.
    yes actually we do have some data regarding the results by day of the week and a short article is coming up soon.

  • http://twitter.com/JayRosenberg Jay Rosenberg

    There is also research that shows sending email at the time you first hear from the prospect/customer gives a 20% lift. So if prospect signed up at 2p it’s a good idea, if you can mange it, to send them email scheduled to arrive just before 2p.

  • HannaAndrzejewska

    That’s a good point Jay, and if you want to make sure your subscriber receives your welcome the moment they sign up – it’s best to set up a follow-up email Day 0. Then you don’t need to worry about the timing. The auto responder will be sent automatically the moment they’re added to your campaign.

  • davidcoonin

    Testing. I posted yesterday but don’t see my comments?

  • Karolina Kurcwald

    Hi David, we haven’t received any comment again – can you post it again, please? Thanks!

  • Karolina Kurcwald

    Hi, if there’s anything we can help you with, just give us a shout!

  • Triin Linamagi

    Great IG!
    The worst time to reach out to your customers must be from 4pm to 8pm during weekdays. Most people are in traffic jams or underground at the time.
    The most effective time to send out SMS and Email is immediately after your customers has subscribed to your service.
    But in the end, there are no strict rules (except sending emails at night) as every industry is different and the expectations of the audience vary. So it’s all about testing, testing and testing.
    You might want to know the best times to post on Social Media and send out SMS:
    http://bit.ly/GXDger

  • http://www.nelsoncarvalheiro.com/blog Nelson Carvalheiro

    Wonderful tips! I used them for my Travelblog!

  • chris

    Very interesting. But looking at the time travel feature, I noticed something puzzling: when you turn it on, it says “send at the same local time regardless of time zone”, which means the opposite of what we want (regardless = ignoring). Shouldn’t it say something like “according to list members’ timezone”? I don’t get it…

  • KatarzynaPietka

    Thank you for your feedback, Chris. Obviously, the instruction refers to the send time on the side of the user – this means the time travel process takes place automatically. We’ll think of a better alternative for this decription, though.

  • Chinwe Obi

    Did you publish this research in any academic journals?

  • KatarzynaPietka

    Hi Chinwe, thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, we didn’t publish this infographic in academic journals. May I ask why you wanted to know?