How Do Send Times Impact Email Open Rates?

Have you ever hit "send" on a perfectly crafted email campaign only to see crickets in response?

You're not alone. Fortunately, revamping your email marketing strategy can be easier than you think. By changing the timing of your email blasts, you can significantly impact how many people actually open them.

how send times impact email open rates

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Why Email Send Time Matters

Why does send time matter? The truth is people don't check their email constantly. Our daily routines and habits dictate when we will most likely open our inboxes. Think about it: many of us catch up on emails first thing in the morning before work, during a lull in the afternoon, or perhaps while winding down in the evening.

Here's where timing is crucial. By sending your email blasts when your audience is most likely to be checking their inboxes, you significantly increase the chance they'll see and open your message. According to a study by Constant Contact, emails sent on Tuesdays have a 17% higher open rate compared to emails sent on Sundays. This highlights the dramatic impact send times can have on your email marketing success.

The psychology behind email checking behavior goes deeper than just broad timeframes. Imagine a busy professional. They likely check their emails first thing in the morning to tackle urgent messages before diving into their workday. Later, during their lunch break, they might have more time to browse less pressing emails. Understanding these habits allows you to tailor your send times to align with your audience's specific routines, maximizing the opportunity for them to open your email.

When you send emails outside these windows of opportunity, you risk your emails being ignored. After all, a recipient is much more inclined to open and read a marketing email when they're killing time on their commute to work.

In contrast, if you send emails at a busy time, they may just go through their inbox, deleting emails that aren't important at that very moment. 

The Best Days to Send Emails

Industry Benchmarks: When Does Everyone Else Send? 

There are some well-established industry benchmarks for optimal send days. Data suggests that Tuesdays and Wednesdays generally see the highest average open rates. This makes sense, as these weekdays fall within the typical work week when people actively engage with their professional emails.


However, it's important to remember that these are just averages. What works for the majority might not be the magic formula for your specific audience.

Experimenting with Less Common Send Days

For B2C audiences, for example, sending emails on weekends might prove more effective. People are often more relaxed on Saturdays and Sundays, with more leisure time to browse their inboxes and engage with non-work-related content.

The key takeaway here is that there's no one-size-fits-all answer. While industry benchmarks provide valuable insights, testing is the best way to discover the ideal send days for your audience. Don't be afraid to experiment with sending emails on different days of the week and analyze the results. Track your open rate and deliverability rates for each send day and see which ones consistently generate the best response. You might be surprised by what you uncover!

Golden Hours for Email Delivery

Now that we've explored the best days to send, let's delve deeper into the optimal times for those days. The age-old question: morning or afternoon? Research suggests that mid-morning sends often perform well, typically between 10:00 am and noon. This timeframe aligns with people settling into their workday and checking emails after tackling initial tasks.


However, there's always a twist. Afternoon sends, particularly between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, can also be effective. This timeframe might resonate better with audiences who clear out their inboxes during lunch breaks or before wrapping up their workday.

Another helpful tip is to avoid sending emails on the hour. Over 80% of all email campaigns are sent on the hour, and 70% of all email traffic occurs within the first 10 minutes of every hour. 

"You don't want to show up to the party when everybody shows up to the party. No, you want to walk in 10 minutes late. Jay Schwedelson.

By sending emails off the hour, like 10:07 am, you can differentiate yourself from the flood of emails pouring in and stand out to recipients. 

Time Zone Considerations

Remember, your audience isn't confined to a single location. If you're targeting a global audience, consider time zone differences. Sending an email at 8:00 am your time might land in someone else's inbox at 2:00 am, significantly reducing the chance of them opening it when they're asleep.

There are two main approaches to navigating time zones:

  1. Segment by Time Zone: If you have a large subscriber base across different time zones, consider segmenting your email list and scheduling sends for each segment based on their local prime time.

  2. Choose a Centralized Time: If segmentation isn't feasible, choose a centralized time that caters to most of your audience. This might not be optimal for everyone, but it ensures your emails land in inboxes during reasonable waking hours.

Segmented email campaigns are beneficial for more than just finding the most appropriate send time. According to Jay Schwedelson, email demand generation expert:

You can't do everything; there's too much to do, so prioritize segmented campaigns.

The top types of segmented campaigns to focus on include:

  • New buyer/subscriber
  • Abandoned cart
  • Products viewed
  • Birthday/Celebration
  • VIP or top 1% of customers

Contact Segmentation allows you to send more personalized emails to your list, increasing your open and click-through rates. Maintaining your email list and keeping it as up-to-date as possible is also critical. 

Testing Your Send Times

A/B testing is a powerful tool in email marketing that allows you to compare two versions of an email to see which performs better. In this case, you'll test different send times to discover the ideal moment to reach your audience.

Many factors influence when people check their email, and the best send time can vary depending on your audience's demographics, location, and daily routines. A/B testing removes the guesswork by sending the same email to different segments of your list at varying times. You can then track open and click-through metrics to determine which send time delivers the best results.

By uncovering the sweet spot for your audience, A/B testing your send times can significantly boost your email marketing success.

Beyond Send Times: How to Boost Open Rates

While sending at the optimal time is essential, it's just one piece of the puzzle. Here are some additional best practices to supercharge your open rates alongside strategic send times:

  • Compelling subject lines: Your subject line is critical real estate, acting as the first impression in someone's inbox. Make it count by sparking curiosity, urgency, or personalization. For instance, a subject line like "Limited-Time Offer: 20% off Your Favorite Items" creates a sense of urgency, while "[Name], Your Personalized Recommendations" adds a touch of personalization. Keep it concise and test different variations to see what resonates with your audience.

  • Preheader text: The preheader text is that short snippet displayed beneath the subject line in many email clients. It's a valuable opportunity to expand on your subject line and entice the reader to open it. Briefly summarize the email's value proposition or highlight an exclusive offer.

  • Sender name: People are more likely to open emails from familiar senders. Consider using your brand name or a specific individual from your company that your audience recognizes and trusts. You can also test variations to see which sender name performs best.

You can significantly improve email marketing success by combining strategic timing with captivating subject lines, informative preheader text, and a trusted sender name.

Want to craft compelling email content, optimize send times, and achieve your marketing goals? Aspiration Marketing offers a suite of email marketing services designed to help businesses like yours. Our team of experts can handle everything from content creation to list segmentation and send time optimization.

Learn about how Aspiration Marketing can help you unlock the full potential of your email marketing strategy!


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Nicole is a HubSpot Operations Lead. She also works on campaign management for clients. A Pittsburgh native, she is a lover of the outdoors, good food, and taking advantage of every travel opportunity that comes her way.

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