What Are the Best Day of Week and Time of Day to Send Emails?

Breaking news: The research is in! Three different, definitive sources have published strongly-worded conclusions with ever-snazzier infographics that purport to reveal the best days of the week and times of the day to send your marketing email campaigns.

The problem, unfortunately, is that each source has reached completely different conclusions.

Best Time: 2pm
Best Day: Thursday

Best Time: Midnight
Best Day: Saturday

Best Time: 8am
Best Day: Thursday

Well, that’s helpful.

We don’t know if there is a holy grail of knowledge related to when to send an email or not. We do know that, at least in traditional direct marketing, response rates are always strongly correlated to the list, the offer, and the package. Let’s say you market a free date with Chris Pine (the new Kirk) to a list of members of the Star Trek fan club, available to the first 1,000 buyers of a new iPhone. You could pretty much send it at 4am on New Year’s Day and still sell 1,000 gadgets the next day (poor Chris would be busy for what, three years, but hey, Star Trek III can wait).

One point made in a couple of different places is that the volume of competing emails arriving around the same time in the inbox is a factor in how well yours may be received. If that’s true, these studies may act as kind of a market seesaw, where with each new study release, the market moves towards sending emails at what used to be considered a poor time to send emails. The trick may well be to plan on sending at the opposite times recommended by the latest research.

By the way, our fantasy offer of a date with Chris Pine might benefit from our List Genderization tool. Then again, maybe not. It is a very targeted list after all!