What’s the best time to email your subscribers?

The ultimate answer- send when people are reading emails.

Unless your subscribers are corporate readers, don’t send out emails in the morning or in the afternoon.

Send out emails in the evening (I’ll explain why later).

How do you know if your readers are not corporate readers?

It’s easy to find out.

Login to your autoresponder, scan through your subscriber emails.

If you see a bunch of subscribers signed up with emails like Gmail, Yahoo mail and a bunch of other free email providers, most of your subscribers are non corporate readers.

best time to email

Side note: Bloggers can ignore this test unless they are blogging to sell products or services to big corporations; most of us are not in the business marketing to corporate.

Why Evening is the Best Time to Email (My Theory)

Think about it.

During the day, your subscribers are busy with everything they need to to get done.

They’re at work.

They’re in school.

If you send them an email during office hours, most likely it isn’t opened or read.

Most people receive lots of emails these days.

Another email hit their inbox, and another.. and another…

Their inbox quickly piles up.

After your subscribers finally get home, finish dinner, and settle down to check their email, your message is at the bottom of their inbox list.

Your subscriber reads a few emails then turns to something else.

Your email wasn’t opened, and it stays unopened, moving to page 2 then page 3 as new emails arrive, flooding the inbox.

best time to email

A week later, it’s housing cleaning time, and our unopened message gets deleted.

That’s actually what happens to most email marketers.

Of course, there are exceptions.

Once you’ve built up relationships with your readers, when they scan through their inbox, they see your name and open your email.

They’re your hard core readers, your fans.

But list building is a dynamic thing. You have some new sign ups today, some tomorrow, and some the day after.

These new sign ups are not your hard core fans (yet).

They might signed up to your list, but totally forget about you as they signed up to 30 other lists, too.

A study by GetResponse indicated that emails have the best chance of being opened within one hour after they were sent out.

After 4 hours: open rates drop to less than 5%

After 24 hours: less then 1%

Want a higher email open rate?

Send emails closest to the time people are able to read them.

Now, let’s test out my theory

Obviously, the only way to test out my theory is by running my own test.

I wanted to find the best time to email Growth Text subscribers.

I sent out 2 mails to test the open rates using Aweber.

One in the morning.

One in the evening.

Test 1: Morning Mail

First, I sent out a mail in the morning announcing this post to my subscribers.

best time to email

Time: 6:40 AM US Eastern

Day: Wednesday

Open rate: 11.9%

Test 2: Evening Mail

Next, I tried an evening mail announcing this post to my subscribers

best time to send email

Time: 7:40 PM US Eastern

Day: Monday

Open rate: 30.2%

Open rate 2.5 times greater!

So, evening mail was the winner.

I wasn’t sure if it was the day of the week that influenced the test.

I ran another test…

The morning mail (test 1) was sent out on Wednesday.

I wanted to test another evening mail on Wednesday to see what happen.

Test 3: Another Evening Mail on Wednesday

I announced this post in an evening email.

best time to email

Time: 8:04 PM US Eastern

Day: Wednesday.

Open rate: 24.4%

2 times higher than the mailing in test 1.

So, it’s confirmed, when I mail in the evening, I get higher open rate.

I will test mailing on different days of the week, but one thing is for sure – I’ll only mail in the evening 😉

Conclusion

These tests confirmed my theory.

We need to email at the most effective time of the day.

Sure, we can craft better subject lines, but if we’re sending at the wrong time, our open rate drops.

Between 7 PM and 8 PM is the time when most people are back from the office/schools and done with their dinner.

It’s the time when they’re free to sit down, relax, and check their mail box.

If my email is sitting at the top of the inbox list, the chance of it being read is far greater than if it is at the bottom of the inbox.

Prime time for me?

Between 7:30 PM and 8:00 PM US Eastern.

What’s your experience with emailing ?

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11 thoughts on “Why Evening is the Best Time to Email Your Subscribers

  1. An inspiring post Verena. I’ve also found similar results emailing in the evening. Also of interest, my best Twitter response and interaction times are early evening.

    Thank you and keep up the great work.

    Mark

  2. GetResponse have a great feature now called ‘Perfect Timing’ that automatically sends your email at the optimum opening time for every subscriber – it’s especially good if you have subscribers from all over the world so in different time zones.

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