A Guide on the Best Time to Send E-Mail (With importance)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published July 13, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Most companies communicate with business associates and customers via e-mail. As this is a common means of communication, most people receive a lot of e-mails every day. Understanding the most appropriate time to send an e-mail can help ensure that the recipient sees, reads, and performs the required action. In this article, we provide tips for the best time to send e-mails, highlight the importance of e-mail timing, and outline professional best e-mail practices.

Tips for the best time to send e-mails

Here are some tips for the best time to send e-mails:

Send during the daytime

During working hours, the recipients are more likely to check their e-mails regularly. As a result, sending your e-mails during business hours increases the chances of opening and reading them, even when you have no personal relationship with them. You can consider scheduling a pre-written message to deliver at 9 am, so the recipient gets the message immediately they log in to their e-mail in the morning.

Alternatively, you can send the message later in the morning after the receipt may have settled into their workflow and created time to open new messages immediately after they arrive. If your intention of sending the message is for the recipient to open it, it's best to send them during work hours rather than in the evening or night.

Related: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Schedule an E-mail in Gmail

Avoid Mondays

When most professionals return to work on Monday, they may have a backlog of messages from the weekend and after-hours Friday. As a result, most people spend the whole day responding to important e-mails and completing any unfinished tasks from the previous week. As they may have less time to open and read your e-mail, especially when it's a cold e-mail. If it's compulsory to send the e-mail on a Monday, you can consider sending it early afternoon.

Give advanced notice

If you want to inform the recipient about an event, it's advisable to give sufficient time to respond. In some cases, people may not open e-mail from non-personal contacts until after a few days. As a result, when sending an invitation to an event, consider sending it about a week or more before the event rather than a day or two before the event to give the recipient enough time to prepare and attend.

Consider the middle

Mid-week days, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, might have the best e-mail open rates. Most people may be too busy to open and respond to non-personal and non-urgent messages on Mondays. Similarly, most people are already looking forward to the weekend and may be less responsive to Friday messages. It can be helpful to consider your e-mails on any of these days.

Look at the time

While sending e-mails during regular working hours is generally advisable, it may be beneficial for you to conduct some research to determine the ideal time to send messages to your target audience. After creating a sending schedule, it's essential to keep it flexible.

Consider performing a split test to find the ideal sending time. You can perform this test by sending the same message to different recipients in the same demographic at different points of the day. Then compare the open rates of the various groups and use this information to determine your sending pattern for future campaigns. It's advisable to perform this test periodically as the ideal time may change.

Think about your competition

As most e-mail timing best practices are common knowledge, there's a high chance other companies in the industry also apply these practices. Consider subscribing to the competitor's e-mail list to determine when they send their messages. You may then use this information to give the company an advantage in timing.

Know your audience

Suppose your target audience typically includes people who tend to check their personal or non-personal e-mails on their mobile device rather than a computer. In that case, you may have a positive reply, open, and click-through rate with weekend or evening e-mails. Conversely, if you're working with professional and business associates, it may be more beneficial to use the traditional midday and midweek system.

Related: The Best Ways to Start an E-mail for the Desired Response

Gather data

It's essential to learn about your audience and create a sending timeline based on the available data. Fortunately, there are easy ways to gather data to help you properly understand your target audience. For example, you can use various analytics tools to learn about your audience's locations, demographics, and interests. Gathering useful information can increase your open, reply, and click-through rate and help you make informed assumptions about their lifestyle and the best time to send messages.

Analyze open rates

If you have experience with e-mail marketing, you can review open rates from other campaigns. It's important to note that the ideal open rate may vary based on the industry. Suppose you already have the ideal open rate you want. You can maintain the pattern and continue sending your messages consistently. Conversely, if you have a low open rate, you can consider reviewing your sending pattern and finding a timeline that suits your audience. Consider other metrics, such as bounce rates, conversion rates, and click-through rates when evaluating the success of your sending pattern.

Importance of e-mail timing

E-mails are an essential means of communication, particularly in marketing and sales. In addition to excellent content, effective e-mails also rely on ideal timing to ensure you get the desired results. Here are some reasons it's essential to optimize your sending time:

  • Maximize click-through rates: Most marketing and sales e-mails typically include hyperlinks to the company's websites and other products. So, if the recipient opens these e-mails, it may increase the chances of them clicking on the link and learning more about the company and the products and services.

  • Improve open rates: Your timing determines whether your recipient reads your messages or automatically deletes them. Sending the e-mails at the optimal time helps ensure they read and act on your message.

  • Increase website visits: For businesses that thrive on impressions and clicks, it's essential to have optimal sending times. Sending e-mails at the best times helps drive traffic to the company's website and social media pages.

Related: Formal E-mail Format (With Examples for Various Situations)

Professional e-mail best practices

Although the timing of an e-mail is essential, other factors contribute to a successful e-mail campaign. Here are some professional e-mail practices to ensure the recipients open and read your e-mails:

  • Introduce yourself: If you haven't communicated with the recipient previously, it's essential for you to introduce yourself and explain your reason for contacting them. It's advisable to include your first name and last name, and the company's name when writing your introduction.

  • Consider your tone: It's essential to keep the message's tone light-hearted and positive. In most cases, e-mails are usually the first contact with strangers, so you want them to perceive you as a friendly, happy, and professional individual.

  • Be engaging: It's advisable to make the first few sentences or paragraphs of your e-mail as engaging as possible. In some cases, if you get the reader's attention, they're more likely to read the whole message.

  • Follow grammatical conventions: It's helpful to use professional and proper spelling and grammar in your messages. It's advisable to avoid using contractions and slang due to the professional setting.

  • Use an informative subject line: It's helpful to write a subject line that's concise and informative. Consider using the subject line to provide the recipient with a general idea of what the body of the e-mail contains.

  • Add a call to action: In most cases, the purpose of sending an e-mail is to seek information or get the recipient to respond or perform an action. You can include a clear call to action, so the reader knows what you expect from them.

  • Proofread and edit: It's advisable to review and edit your messages before sending them. Consider checking for formatting, typographical, or spelling errors.

  • Be cautious of "Reply All": Using the "Reply All" function helps you respond to all relevant parties and inform them about the situation. When in doubt, it's advisable to use the "Reply" function to avoid sending people unnecessary e-mails.

  • Use standard formatting: When sending business e-mails, consider using standard formats such as Arial or Times New Roman and standard colours. If you use italics or bold, avoid using them for a string of words in a single message.

  • Avoid using all caps: Consider using sentence cases in your e-mails as you do for formal communications. It's advisable to avoid using all caps because it may appear like you're emphasizing your intentions, especially when it's not necessary.

  • Double-check attachments: You can consider pasting the attachment's contents in the body of the mail rather than attaching a document. If you include an attachment, it's good to inform the recipient and try to reduce the size or include it in a zip file.

  • Tidy up links: Pasting a lengthy URL in an e-mail may take too much space and appear messy. Instead, consider hyperlinking the text in the e-mail or using a link shortener to reduce the length of the link.

Explore more articles