Marketing At The Perfect Time: Email Marketing

May 8, 2015 1:00 pm Published by email marketing

As perfect timing can vary between different marketing channels, it’s inevitable that best practices differ for SMS, email, social and traditional marketing. In part 1 of this 4-part series we discussed best practices for SMS (if you missed it you can catch up here).

Now it’s time to move on and discuss the broad horizons of email marketing. It’s been proven that there are distinct time frames that can impact your email marketing; open rates, readership, conversions etc. so your job is to discover the time that makes your customers tick, and the time that ticks them off.

The bad news is that timing can also vary depending on the business sector and certain types of promotional offers, so you may not want to take generic findings as the holy gospel according to marketing.

Instead of boring you to tears by analysing email timing for each and every business sector, I’ll keep it quick and cheerful and discuss the response rates associated with different time frames, curtesy of data findings from Kiss Metrics, Vertical Response and Pure360.

The Early Bird – 6:00am-10:00amemail marketing

The early morning, predominantly from Tuesday through to Thursday, was found to have the highest open rate for consumer promotions, particularly in retail, restaurant and event sectors. This isn’t surprising, most of us can’t resist a good procrastination before getting down to the hard and heavy.

On the contrary, the early hours of Monday and Friday had a much lower open rate as people are either catching up on weekend emails or busy trying to get work done before the weekend.

Shhh, I’m Working – 10:00am-12:00pm

The open rate for email marketing messages dramatically reduced weekdays after 10:00am-ish. Consumers are usually in deep the work zone until lunch, and probably panicking over the hour they’ve just wasted procrastinating.

email marketing Lunchtime – 12:00-14:00

Surprisingly, the open rate for lunchtime emails is quite low. People tend to opt for online entertainment websites or have a browse through social media instead. Either that or they’re offline and being sociable in the real world *gasp!*.

Post-lunch – 14:00-15:00

Again, open rates are low during this period as consumers are back in the work zone after their lunchtime recharge and rejuvenation.

Is It Nearly Home Time? – 15:00-17:00

Email open rates begin to pick up again mid-late afternoon when many of us feel the end of the day lag. According to research, property and finance emails are opened during this time more than any other type of promotions. Is this the time of day where we question life?

Ughh.. I Need A Holiday – 17:00-19:00email marketing

Apparently (and again not surprisingly) a long day’s work is all it takes for us to give in to holiday promotions. According to Kiss Metrics, 17.9% of all emails classified as holiday promotions were opened in these two hours, but quite conflictingly, this is also the time frame in which most B2B promotions are opened. Work hard/play hard I guess!

Me Time – 7:00pm-10:00pm

Self-indulgence is highest in the evenings, therefore emails surrounding consumer goods, clothing, special interests etc. perform best during this time. 23% of emails categorised as consumer promotions were opened during these hours according to Kiss Metrics.

Don’t Bother – 10:00pm-6:00am

Waste of time. Unless you’re selling solutions to insomnia.

Some Useful Facts

  • Email open rates and click rates are highest in the early morning during all days of the week, with the weekend being the highest.
  • Weekends have the lowest email volume rates (much less competition), but the highest open and click through rates. Could definitely be worth a test?
  • Email abuse reports are reported highest in the early morning during all days of the week, with the weekend being the highest.
  • Email bounce rates occur highest in the early morning during all days of the week, with the weekend being the highest.
  • Emails sent on Mondays had the highest ROI, but emails sent on Friday had a higher click through rate.


So that sums up our best practices for general email marketing. There may be many right and wrongs in email marketing, but the key takeaway to remember is that because timing can vary for different promotions and sectors, the only solid route to success for your own business is trial and error.


Keep an eye out for “Marketing At The Perfect Time: Social Media”, coming soon!

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