The Best Time to Send Cold Emails to Improve Open Rate

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You’ve created a killer offer, made the best email copy, and selected an outstanding prospect. This is great. However, don’t let the eagerness to hit the “Send” button overcome you. There’s a right and wrong time to hit send, which could be the difference in whether this prospect converts.

So, when is the best time to send cold emails? What times give you the best open rates and conversion rates?

Well, it honestly depends. If you ask this question to 10 different marketers, they’ll all give you a different answer. Why? Because it depends on your specific data. Your target audience, industry, offer, copy, everything determines this. And it’s up to you to find this data out yourself.

But here’s the thing. There are a tonne of benchmarks available online from trustworthy sources. As a result, we’ll explore these benchmarks to give you a general idea of the best time to send cold emails. This will help as a great starting point to find your ideal day and time to send cold emails.

Best Times to Send Marketing Emails (According to Studies)

As mentioned, 100s of different case studies suggest the “best” time and day to send cold emails. To save you from reading all of them, we’ll be going into detail about the top options.

Determining the Best Day to Send Cold Emails

A study by Moosend in 2021, after analyzing 10 billion emails, found that Thursdays hold the highest open rates, closely followed by Tuesdays. On the contrary, weekends experience the lowest engagement.

Similarly, research conducted by GetResponse over the first half of 2020, which examined more than 2.85 million emails, revealed an interesting pattern. Although the differences between weekdays were slight, Friday emerged as the day with the highest open rate, a marginal increase over Thursday, which had the lowest rate in their study.

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Source: GetResponse

Additionally, Brevo’s analysis focused on email engagement, particularly click volumes. Their findings indicated that Tuesdays and Wednesdays experience the most engagement, correlating with many opened emails.

Based on these studies, for the best time to send cold emails, the middle of the week, especially Tuesday and Thursday, is the most effective. These days offer a greater likelihood of catching your audience’s attention. However, Fridays also show promise, challenging the midweek trend.

Determining the Best Time to Send Cold Emails

Moosend’s research sheds light on early mornings as a critical time for email engagement. They pinpoint the 8 AM and 9 AM windows as having the highest open rates. Interestingly, they also observed that available rates don’t vary too drastically during regular work hours; 9 AM to 5 stays relatively high.

Including this, Omnisend took their analysis a step further by examining 2 billion promotional emails. Their data reveals three distinct peaks in open rates: 8 AM, 1 PM, and 4 PM. They recommend capitalizing on the 8 AM slot for the best open rate, advising against sending emails in the late evening and early morning hours, from 7 PM to 7 AM, when engagement typically drops.

Lastly, CampaignMonitor’s approach focused on the daily pattern of email activity. Their findings indicate a steady increase in email opens as people begin their days, with over half of all opens occurring between 9 AM and 5 PM. They note a slight dip during lunch hours.

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Source: CampaignMonitor

Combining these insights, the most effective email time is 8 AM to 9 AM. This period captures people as they start their day, making it prime time for email engagement.

Best Time and Day to Send Marketing Emails

Based on the above findings, the best days for cold emailing are Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. For timing, a few studies say 8 AM to 9 AM is the best time to send emails. As a result, as an industry benchmark, sending emails between 8 AM and 9 AM on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday are the best times to send cold emails.

What is the Best Time to Send an Email to You?

Above, we’ve looked at some industry benchmarks from several different reports. However, if you really want to find the best time to send an email to you, then you’ll need to discover this yourself. There are tonnes of ways you can do this. These are the top 3:

Crafting Personas

First things first, start with creating customer personas. Think about this. You have a prospect called Linda. Linda is a tech entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. However, you have another prospect, Mike, the CEO of a tech company in New York. Though similar, both have completely different lifestyles and online habits.

For instance, you may find that Linda checks her email in the morning and evening. For Mike, he may like to check his emails in the afternoon. This is what you’ll need to find out, and you can then categorize prospects into different groups to increase engagement rates.

A/B Testing: A Practical Example

Moving forward, you have A/B testing. Going back to Linda and Mike, you’ll want to split-test their open rates by sending them an email at a different time. For instance, send an email to Linda at 8 AM and one to Mike at 1 PM.

From here, you can see who opens up your email. Let’s say Linda opens your email at 8 AM and Mike doesn’t at 1 PM. From this data (which is very small), you can suggest that your customer persona open rate is better at 8 AM, and then you can work from there. You can then go to 9 AM and see if it’s better, 10 AM, etc. It’s all about finding that ideal time.

Alongside finding the best time, A/B testing is great for finding good subject lines, finding out how many emails you should send a day, etc.

Industry Benchmarks

Lastly, get an understanding of industry benchmarks. We’ve mentioned some cold email benchmarks throughout this post. However, get on board with actual industry benchmarks. For example:

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Source: Mailchimp

This image tells you that the average open rate for people in the construction industry is around 23%. Now you know this, you understand that you need to optimize your cold email outreach to hit a 23% open rate or more.

Why Does Timing Matter for Email Marketing?

After reading this post, you should understand why timing is important when it comes to cold emailing. However, let’s briefly touch on it.

Opening the Email

Timing is everything if you want your email to be opened. After all, nothing will happen if your email is sent at the wrong time and never gets opened. You don’t want to send your email simultaneously as everyone else; this just results in being stuck in a crowded inbox. While this, you also want to send it when they’re going to be active in their inbox. You need to find this time and use it to your advantage.

Identifying ‘The Wrong Time’

As you probably know, there is and isn’t a right time to send an email. Understanding “the wrong time” is important. And luckily, it’s pretty easy.

Here are some examples:

  1. Weekends and Holidays: People usually don’t check their emails during weekends or holidays. For instance, emails sent on Christmas are less likely to be opened.
  2. Busy Monday Mornings and Friday Evenings: Monday mornings are often busy with emails accumulated over the weekend. Friday evenings are when people are wrapping up their week, making them less likely to engage with new emails.
  3. Time Zone Differences: If your audience is global, time zones matter. An email sent in your morning might be someone else’s midnight.

This alone can impact your open rate if you haven’t considered this already.

Using Data to Find the “Right” Time

You need to find the ideal time to email your prospects. However, this is easier said than done. It does take some effort, as you’ll need to analyze data, create personas, and search for patterns.

This is perfect if you’re already sending emails and have some data. In this situation, you can consider the following points:

  1. Email Analytics: Tools like Google Analytics help understand when your audience is most active.
  2. Industry-Specific Patterns: Different industries have different optimal times for sending emails.
  3. Demographic Factors: Age, occupation, and lifestyle affect when people check their emails.

With this information, you can create personas based on their demographic factors. From here, you can look at when these people are most active. Follow this up with industry-specific patterns, and you can find the ideal time and date to cold email a specific prospect.

Start Sending Emails at the Right Time Today

As we’ve explored, the timing of your email marketing can transform your campaign’s effectiveness. The difference between an opened email and one lost is when it lands in your audience’s inbox. Misjudge this, and you risk poor engagement, disappointing conversion rates, or landing in the dreaded junk folder.

Avoid these pitfalls by partnering with experts. At Mailbox Labs, we specialize in fine-tuning email marketing strategies for optimal results. We’ve guided numerous businesses in enhancing their email campaign timings, leading to significant improvements in lead generation. To see how we can elevate your email marketing strategy, book a complimentary 30-minute consultation with us today.


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