If you’re a veteran of the email marketing biz, you may be a wee bit tired of some questions that come up over and over again. I know I’m always being asked when the best time to send emails is.
The reason this question keeps coming up is probably due to the insatiable desire to load as many magic bullets in one’s online marketing gun as possible. Online marketers are like NASCAR teams, always looking for that one tweak to give them an edge.
Recently my company decided to study this question. We analyzed 21 million messages sent from U.S. accounts in the 1st quarter of 2012 to determine top open and click-through times.
The right inbox at the right time
A key finding: getting that email into subscribers’ inboxes during their most receptive times can increase average open rates and CTRs by 6%.
According to our research, the top engagement times are between 8 and 10 in the morning and from 3 to 4 in the afternoon.
23.63% of emails are opened within one hour of delivery. The longer an email sits there without being seen, the less chance it has of being opened. 24 hours later, an email is attractive as a day-old donut, with open rates falling close to zero.
Emails sent in the morning and early afternoon do better, with a 10.61% open ratio and up to a 2.38% click-through-rate. Not surprisingly, mornings are busy times, with 40% of email being sent between 6 in the morning and noon. You may want to try afternoons to avoid the noise.
I don’t think too many jaws are dropping right now, but we’re not that average, are we? The response to this infographic has been “off the charts” (sorry, couldn’t resist), attracting attention from dozens of blogs, thousands of Facebook likers, and hundreds who have retweeted t. All this indicates -- to me at least -- that time of send is still a big question among marketers looking for any advantage they can get to engage subscribers.
What’s right for you? Test and find out. This kind of data is helpful, but everyone’s list is a little or a lot different, and that’s why so often the answer to any question such as send times is: “It depends.”