For a long time, the belief was that the best time to send an email is at 10:00 AM on a Tuesday morning, and for the most part that still holds true. But, the overwhelming use of mobile phones to read email has us consuming content at different times and in different ways.
Data from MailChimp and Wordstream suggests that midweek - specifically Tuesday and Thursday - are still the best days to send emails. Tuesdays get the most emails opened compared to any other day of the week, although Saturdays may also be a good day to send email for its high open rate, according to data from Experian and analyzed by Customer.io.
Why the conflicting data? While it is imperative that the email can be viewed on a mobile phone, we are still addicted to our computers. The behavior we are starting to exhibit to combine these two is interesting: If we like an email we open on a mobile device we may save it and open it again later. This makes sense if you think about how and when we use our phones. We’re in between meetings (or in a boring meeting), or on the bus, or waiting in the sandwich line at lunch, and we scan through emails, deleting ones we don’t want to read and saving ones we do. The business emails we deal with during the business day, but leave the personal emails for after work or on the weekend. This is why it makes sense that the largest open rates are reported during the weekday, but click throughs on the weekend.
The time of day is also affected by this complex pattern of consumption. MailChimp confirms with Campaign Monitor that sending emails later in the morning, between 10 a.m. and noon, will get you the most opens. It looks like the best time to send email is at 10 a.m. Campaign Monitor sums it up by saying that 53% of emails are opened during the workday between 9 a.m.–5 p.m. However, Customer.io found that marketing email opens are highest from 8 p.m.–midnight, with a second peak between 4–8 p.m. Customer.io suggests that while it's a common practice to check email in the mornings, most people are just beginning their day and may likely avoid email marketing in favor of productivity.
This also supports why these second opens are so likely to result in conversion – because these are the emails we’ve saved. Whether they return to it on their phone or a desktop, they’re back to consider the offer and often click through to your website.
One thing is for certain: the phone has changed our email consumption habits permanently. So don’t cling to the past and reach out to your database at different times and days of the week. All of this data is directionally helpful, but you will need to test timing on your unique database to determine your optimal time to send emails.
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