Send Emails In The Evening To Avoid Unsubscribes, Study Says

Email recipients are most likely to unsubscribe in late morning, and least likely to do so from 5 p.m. on in the evening. And brands can benefit from a “long tail” of engagement during the latter hours, according to a study by SmartFocus.

For better open rates — and fewer unsubscribes — the best day to send emails is Tuesday, followed by Monday and Sunday. Saturday is the worst day. 

SmartFocus tracked 1.4 billion marketing emails sent by UK retailers. The firm implies that better timing can help brands comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but that will not be fully known until after the law takes effect on May 25.  

Unsubscribes peak between 10:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and hit their lowest point between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

However, in a seeming contradiction to those findings, the best time to email millennials is in the morning until 12:30 p.m., the study says. There follows a post-lunch dip, then an upturn from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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Older consumers — those in their 70s and 80s — engage most robustly between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m., and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. They fade off during the evening.

The study also found that:

  • Recipients tend to leave their mail and open it in bulk between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday has highest email open rate — 19%. Its click-through rate is 2%
  • Men respond best between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., and women between 8 and 9:30 p.m.
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