5 Best Times (and Days) to Send Sales Emails: For Highest Open Rates, Click-Throughs & Conversions
You wake up. You check your personal email. What do you find?
If your inbox looks like most, there are several spam emails, a desperate cry from a political organization, an out-of-touch forward from your aunt, and some sales promos from businesses you don’t remember contacting. What do you do?
If you’re like most people, you delete the whole batch. Then you can address the messages that matter: the update from that local organization you joined, the kids’ school forms that need to be sent back, and the shipping update from your most recent Amazon purchase.
The point is, you’ve got a system, and it takes a lot to interrupt your personal routine. You can bet your prospects operate in the exact same manner. So, what does it take for an email to skip the trash and get some love?
- First, the email needs to be relevant.
- Second, it must be well-written to be taken seriously and avoid that dreaded spam folder.
- Third, it needs to be engaging to capture and hold your prospective customer’s attention.
- Last, it must be timely. The worst time to email a prospect is when they’re distracted, such as during a lunch break or at the end of a workday.
It might seem nitpicky and borderline obsessive to analyze the best day and time to send email blast campaigns. But it’s not. There is a sweet-spot time to reach your target audience, which typically depends on their country and industry. Identify that, and you will benefit from your highest open rates ever. Sales is a numbers game. Get ready to close more deals.
So, here we go. How do you figure out the best time to send a sales email? That’s what we’re talking about today. This isn’t anecdotal or a lost art. We’ll be diving into established research and user statistics on email open rates to uncover the ideal time (and day) to send those emails.
Ensure your hard work never goes to waste. Onward!
Research Best Email Times For Your Industry
Before we discuss the research, it’s important to note that the best time to contact people on your email list may depend on your industry type and niche.
That’s not to say you can’t find metrics showing a general rule-of-thumb for when you’ll see high open rates and a high CTR (click-through rate.) You can, and we’ll cover this shortly.
But despite the variety of data that supports general times and days for successful email delivery, you should conduct your own research to identify what works best for your audience. Only then will you discover the best day and time for your specific organization.
This is where the power of A/B testing comes in. The main concept of A/B testing is that you run trials where you test only one variable. This type of test can apply to websites, landing pages, and social media, but it’s an especially valuable sales email tip.
For example, if you A/B test your cold emails, you can send two variations of the same email to a subset of your verified email list, each with different delivery times or days.
With emails, you might test a different call to action, body copy, or subject line. But this approach also works for testing days and times. For instance, you can send the same email to half of your list on Monday, and to the other half on Tuesday. If you find Tuesday is markedly better, you can then send an email to half of your list at 9 a.m. and the other half at 1 p.m.
Change only the time sent on those emails to ensure that variable is the one responsible for driving higher conversions. The more information you gain, the more your marketing team can focus on maximizing those open and click-through rates.
That said, we did promise you some hard metrics. Let’s take a look.
What We Know About Optimal Times for Emails
First, the short answer: There is no singular “best time of day or week” to send an email. This will always depend on your audience demographics and industry.
For instance, many studies suggest that 8 a.m. (in your prospects’ timezone) is best because it will put you at the top of their inbox when they check it in the morning ... unless your prospects are hardcore fitness enthusiasts, many of whom are up and at ‘em at 5 a.m.
The core takeaway for any kind of digital marketing, from social media to e-commerce emails to blog posts, is you want to put out your content when potential customers will have time to read and engage with it. That’s why testing these variables is so key.
However, there are some basic rules as to what works best. These will give you a nice jumping-off point.
In the realm of sales, your emails need to land in the inbox to make an impact. Explore the world of technical email setup to improve your chances.
Best Day of the Week to Send a Sales Email
We can’t stress this enough: There is no one-size-fits-all best email send time. There are, however, a few good rules of thumb. Consider that most people are often too busy getting their week started on Mondays and too busy tying up loose ends (or making weekend plans) on Fridays to bother with their inboxes.
However, this may not be true for your business. For instance, HubSpot found which day of the week sales emails got the most engagement. Their data shows that just over 22% of US marketers said that Mondays got the best results, 24% said Tuesdays, and 21.3% said that Wednesdays were best.
As you can see, Monday might actually be a better option for you than the dreaded Humpday to make your emails stand out. Of course, different email service provider studies show different results about promotional emails.
“You can send to most subscribers on a weekday and receive pretty good engagement. Monday through Friday are all quite similar in terms of the percentage of email addresses that have that day as optimal.”
This is good news since this also means you can plan email marketing for whenever it works best for you. Additionally, if you utilize email automation triggered by customer behavior, you won’t need to worry about when those emails are sent.
On the other hand, “Sunday is the best day to send a newsletter or email blast to the fewest number of subscribers.” If you’ve still got a small or more curated list, you might want to automate your emails to head out on the weekend.
If you want to get very, very granular, a clearer picture begins to emerge. According to a GetResponse study cited by OptinMonster that analyzed roughly 4 billion emails,
“Tuesday has the highest open rate and click-through rate, making it the most popular day to send emails.”
HubSpot concurs, according to the same source, that you will get higher open rates on Tuesday. The Mailchimp source adds that midweek, Tuesday through Thursday, works well. WordStream kind of agrees, stating that their optimal day is Thursday.
Bottom line? You have to do your own research–these stats should only serve as a starting point. Over time, you’ll discover what days during the workweek (or on the weekend) provide the best results.
The Best Time of Day to Send a Sales Email
Speaking of starting points, you’ll want to try some specific times of day. Most of these times will fall during working hours. For the highest conversion rates, Campaign Monitor says that 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. is best – but there are some exceptions.
- 8 a.m. will get the early birds. This time slot yields the highest open rate of 20.32% and a high click-through rate of 7.79%.
- 10 a.m. emails also had high open rates, but they yielded a smaller number of orders than other times.
- 1 p.m. is an optimal time for those who like to scroll on their mobile devices during lunch. While this time didn’t come out on top of any particular metric, it still performed well.
- 4 p.m. is when people are probably grabbing a coffee or a sweet treat, and it had the highest order rates.
- 5 p.m. emails had high click-through rates.
- 6 p.m. falls during or directly after the evening commute, so it might be especially good for busy professionals who travel to work by bus or train.
According to a study from HubSpot, the best time to send emails is "between 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.” One of those time slots will work better for you than another, given your industry, products and services, geographic area, and extent of global outreach.
The Best Time to Send Your Sales Emails Depends On Your Prospects!
As usual, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Everything that we or anyone else has to say on this subject is generalized advice that could very easily be wrong for your situation. This is why we recommend you constantly test what works best for your own sales team!
That said, consider starting with the above-listed times in your A/B tests to analyze when your audience is online and active. (Note: Midweek is often a smart initial test range.)
As you rule out ineffective times, swap in ever-more-specific send times and compare them to your current winning time slots. It will take time to discover the worst days and the wrong times for your audience, but you’ll get there.
We will offer a general piece of advice as you start out:
Strategically vary the days and times when you’re sending out your sales and follow-up emails. This will increase the likelihood that prospects notice, open, and respond to your sales emails, and it will provide valuable insight. As you get more data, you can add to and lean more heavily on your buyer’s journey characteristics.
The best sales email tools enable you to do just that. With Close, email sequences are sent out on different day and time intervals with variations built in to maximize your chances of a response. As one happy customer put it:
"Close was a game changer for our sales process. I immediately saved hours of time by automating email follow-ups with email sequences and closed more deals in five days than I ever had in a given month!"
—Tim Griffin, Founder & CEO at Cloosiv
How to Measure the Performance of Your Email Marketing Campaigns
By now you’re swimming in ideas to improve your current email marketing strategy. As you’ve probably realized, determining the optimal time to send business emails depends on your ability to effectively measure what works and what doesn’t. Without tracking your performance and drawing meaningful insights, what’s the point of varying the send times for your email newsletters? Right?
Right. That’s why we’ve got a handy list to help you gather metrics and improve the performance of your email campaigns.
If you’re smart (and we know you are), you are already integrating your email outreach with the rest of your sales efforts: emails, social media posts, referral programs, digital marketing, and more.
Utilizing a multi-channel calling sequence can help you achieve the big-picture approach that leads to more engagement and better overall sales. Not only does such a sequence tell you what to do and when to do it, but it will also help you track the success of all your efforts in one place.
That means you not only containerize the measurement of your email engagement, you measure it in relation to how your calls and previous emails affected it. Over time, you will gather extremely valuable end-user metrics that tell you how to update emails and other forms of marketing.
This is a critical metric because it tells you if there are days or times when people don’t want to engage, which could be contributing to unsubscribes.
Let’s say, for instance, that you’re faithfully sending emails in the middle of the week and you have an unsubscribe rate of .4%. That means for every email you send, you lose .4% of your list. That’s a healthy percentage rate and well within the established norm.
Now let’s say, as an experiment, you start sending emails on Friday, and suddenly your unsubscribe rate skyrockets to 1.2%. What does this tell you? That by Friday, people. are. over. it.
This metric, like most, is extremely actionable. Test another day!
Now that you’re tracking unsubscribes, you should also track how many people actually open emails, and then how many people click through in response to your CTA.
Your CTA might drive them to a landing page where they can download a free guide. Or it might direct them to a product page where they can drink in the details about your latest brewing equipment or cutting-edge gardening shears.
These metrics provide important information. The open rate tells you how many people’s attention was caught by your email subject line and preview text. Of those who actually opened your email, the click-to-open rate tells you how many were motivated enough to take action on your CTA. And of course, track who actually made a purchase in response.
Email Subject Lines
Subject lines are a big deal. As we already discussed, they are the biggest predictor of whether or not someone will open your email or just delete it. This is true whether someone is at inbox zero and keeps it that way militarily, or has a trashed inbox and only picks through it for “the good stuff.”
In today’s busy and interconnected world, people have way too many options. They’re always looking for ways to reduce clutter and simplify. If you have snooze-worthy subject lines, guess who’s going to make the Reduce Clutter and Simplify List? That’s right: You!
So clean up those subject lines ASAP. If you need some inspiration, you can find it here. Then start A/B testing – and remember, when running such tests, your subject line is the only variable you should change.
As you test different subject lines, track the success of each, then start pitting the best ones against each other. It’s like a March Madness bracket, only for email marketing and with way higher stakes than beating Dwayne in Accounting.
If you want to take your email subject lines to the next level and significantly boost your open rates, consider leveraging Close's Email Subject Line Generator (AI-tool). By utilizing cutting-edge artificial intelligence, this tool creates captivating subject lines that are sure to grab your recipients' attention. Say goodbye to lackluster subject lines and hello to increased engagement and conversion rates.
Last but not least, you’ll want to segment your audience. There are many ways to do this, including:
- Where they live
- How old they are
- Which of your products and services they like
- How much response you’ve gotten from them in the past
- What industry they’re in
- Whether they’re gatekeepers or decision-makers
… and so on. Segmenting them appropriately enables you to send emails effectively. You’re not wasting anyone’s time and you’re no longer risking unsubscribes. You also stand a much higher chance of helping them with a pain point.
The more information you get about the best send times, the more you can refine the characteristics of each audience segment. Thus, the better you can market to them and the more granular the data gets.
Use Tools to Optimize Your Sales Emails
Throughout this article, you’ve likely noticed there’s a lot of math required.
You need to track the response rate for different weekdays and times, open and click-through benchmarks, along with purchases and unsubscribes. One human mind can’t hold that much information, let alone all the data an average sales department cycles through every week.
That’s why it’s so important to utilize smart tools and technology to optimize email campaigns and overall performance rates. Whether you’re creating an automation sequence with a certain number of emails, organizing sales scripts and email templates, or tracking success rates; you need a way to juggle it all.
Enter the Close. Our CRM helps automate and manage the sales email process, as well as identify the best times to send emails. That’s why so many businesses trust us to help them make calls, send emails, and train sales reps.
Want to learn more about how Close can help you craft higher-performing email campaigns? Sign up for your 14-day free trial today. You can also check out our free resources, such as our in-depth CRM buyer’s guide, or watch a 10-minute demo.