It's the age-old question that we're all asking… what is the best time to send emails?
The completely unsatisfying answer to this question is that there officially isn’t a ‘best time of day’ to send your emails… BUT there will definitely be a better time to send for you and your market.
We’ve got two different strategies to share with you that will help you figure out the best time to send emails for you, so let’s get into it!
The Best Time To Send Emails – Split Testing
We hear about split-testing a lot when we’re talking about sales pages, offers, and email content, but you can (and should) also split-test the time you send your emails.
It doesn't need to be a complicated process, it's as simple as recording and testing sending your emails at different times and all you need is a spreadsheet and some perseverance. The longer you can test for, the more accurate your results will be, which means just one thing – better email marketing!
The first thing you want to do is set up a spreadsheet to record the date and time you sent each email and columns to record the open rate and click-through rate for each email. Once you're set up it's a simple 3-step process, but consistency is key.
Step 1: Pick a time to send your emails and make sure you send all your emails at that exact time (give or take a few minutes) for 3-4 weeks.
Step 2: Around 48 hours after an email is sent, go into your email marketing system and check the open rate and click-through rate, then pop those numbers into your spreadsheet.
Step 3: After 3-4 weeks, calculate the average open rate and click-through rate your emails get for your chosen send time.
Now it's time to start all over again, this time sending at a drastically different time. It's usually best to range from 11am-10pm and keep nudging towards the time that gets you better results until you find the sweet spot.
The Best Time To Send Emails – Facebook Insights
One of the key pieces to all of this is sending emails when people are actually online, that’s when you have a better chance of being right at the top of their inbox.
There’s a cheeky little trick for finding out exactly when your audience is online that doesn’t involve any email marketing, instead, we’re going to head over to Facebook. There's a great way of finding out when the people who like your Facebook business page are online, down to hours of the day and days of the week – nice one Facebook!
Just head over to your page insights and click on the ‘posts’ section. There you’ll find a graph showing you what time of day your audience is online and when they are most active.
It’s a great starting point to get immediate results for higher open rates and delivery on your emails and also gives you a nice idea of where to start when implementing the manual split-testing strategy. It’s important to regularly check this section of your Facebook insights as it will change over time, and you don’t want your data to get outdated.
What’s the best way of dealing with the email marketing for products and services that have a shorter shelf-life, the things that people want NOW and maybe aren’t as interested in building a long-term relationship?
Rob: I think the first thing to think about is the transference of skills. So you provide a solution for a problem that a customer is having right now, it’s now your job to use email marketing to show them that they need to use that skill in other areas of their life, and therefore they should continue to hang around and listen to you.
Kennedy: For me, the answer is a very different part of the puzzle. We’ve got locked into the idea that email marketing is about the nurturing of a long-term relationship, and it is about that to some degree, but not all of it needs to be. A huge part of email marketing is about the pre-sales process and how you get somebody from being interested in you, to becoming a customer. That could be someone who has opted-in from your blog or someone you’ve sent a quote to, you can now use email marketing to warm them up!
If you have an email marketing question you would love us to answer you can submit it right here.