Anyone with an inbox is bombarded with hundreds, if not thousands, of emails every day, meaning your single sales message can easily get lost in the mix. Let’s be honest, unless your email is sitting at the top of their inbox, it will likely end up deleted or abandoned without ever even being seen, which is why it’s so important to know when you should send your email.
Sales emails are most likely to be read and acted upon as soon as they are delivered. If they’re sitting about in an email inbox for a day – or worse, the weekend – then chances are they won’t even be opened. This is why the time and day of delivery are among some of the most crucial success factors when it comes to sales emails, in addition to content, context, and pre-existing relationships. Knowing how vital delivery times are brings up a very obvious question:
What exactly are the best times to send sales emails?
Well, that’s exactly what we’ll be exploring in the article below, going over some of the most recent and in-depth reports to find the most effective ways to get your sales emails opened, read, and engaged with.
Before we start, let’s go over a couple of standard email marketing terms that many of the studies on sales emails use:
Open rate: This is the percentage of emails that are opened. It is most frequently calculated by the number of emails opened divided by the number of emails sent. For example, if you send 100 emails and 10 are opened, your open rate is 10%.
Click-through rate: This is the number of recipients (expressed as a percentage) who clicked one or more links in your sales email. This is more relevant for mass marketing emails than direct sales emails where you engage with a lead.
Does the Day of the Week You Send Your Sales Emails Matter?
There have been dozens of studies on how the day of the week affects your open rates, click-through rates, and engagement. As is to be expected, there are some contradictory findings, but there is also a compelling amount of overlap for certain days. When combining all the reports, the best days to send emails are:
Tuesday: This is by far the most consistently good day for sending sales emails. Across all of the reports, Tuesday is in either the top spot or very close to it.
Thursday: The second-best day, according to multiple reports, is Thursday, making for two peaks within the week.
Wednesday: Finally, while it never came in as the single best day for sending sales emails, Wednesday consistently ranked among the best days.
These three mid-week days ranking as the best days for sending sales emails makes a lot of sense when considering how much of the world works a standard business week. Sales emails are likely to be lost among the mess at the beginning of the week (Monday) or ignored at the end of the week (Friday), leaving a mid-week peak.
It’s also worth mentioning that many studies found the weekend (especially Saturday) a good day for open rates. This is probably in part due to the fact that there are simply fewer emails being sent, and thus fewer to compete with. However, this may also be due to the people targeted by weekend emails, which we’ll look into later.
When Is the Best Time to Send Sales Emails?
Making sure your sales emails are opened isn’t just about the day of the week, but also the time of day. The reports we mentioned earlier also took a deep dive into which times were best if you want results from your email efforts.
Combining the reports, there is a general trend to suggest that the best times to send your sales emails are:
Late morning: 10am to 11am takes the top spot for when to send your emails. It makes sense — you’ve arrived at your desk, sat down, had a coffee, and now it’s time to go through your emails.
Late evening: there is a general trend (whether it’s healthy or not) of people checking their emails before bed.
Early afternoon: A lot of the reports show a spike in people reading emails around the 2pm mark, or just after lunch.
Early morning: We’re talking pre-work, just-woken-up email checking. Around the 6am mark is another time where reports show peaks of email interaction.
Generally speaking, across all the studies there is a tendency to see the strongest audience engagement with sales emails during traditional working hours, with late morning and early afternoon really shining through.
Does the Research Matter?
So, we’ve found our sweet spot: Tuesdays and Thursdays during the late morning, with maybe a couple of other sales emails sprinkled in on a Wednesday afternoon.
Do we just start sending all our emails at that time?
Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as that. Yes, these days and times do continuously show up as the “best”, but it actually depends on a lot of different factors.
To start with, everyone’s target audience is going to be a little bit different, and that’s going to have a huge impact. If, for example, your sales emails are for sports goods or lifestyle services, you might find a lot of engagement on the weekends (like we mentioned earlier), since people are looking for new activities or hobbies to get into.
On the other hand, if your sales emails are about data-crunching software, there’s a good chance people won’t be browsing them outside of working hours, so any emails over the weekend will likely go unread.
The same is true for different demographics – students can’t access emails during class hours, so will only be opening them in the mornings and evenings. Business professionals, on the other hand, may only have access to work emails during their 9 to 5. So, if your product is perfect for both groups – like an online note app – how do you decide when to send an email?
Essentially, you need to find out for yourself. The only way to know the best time to send an email to your audience is to know your audience, and this comes from ongoing testing. That doesn’t mean the results of all these studies are useless – it is a very valuable starting point for your own professional tests. However, the findings can’t simply be followed blindly.
More importantly, you should be focussing on crafting high-quality, useful, and engaging emails. If you make sure that all your messages have an eye-catching subject line; engaging content; are clear and to the point; and have a good summary at the head, you’re sure to do well.
How to Tell if Your Emails are Being Opened?
When it comes to testing out which times are working, and which aren’t, you need a reliable way to know if your emails are being opened. This is where Spike’s read indicator really comes into its own. With Spike’s read receipts, you can see when someone has read your message in real-time.
This allows you to understand what emails are working as well as giving you an indication about whether you should send a follow up email. Often, the most impactful follow up emails will be right those sent just after a lead has read your initial sales pitch, and Spike’s real-time read indicator pinpoints exactly when to hit send.
On the other hand, read receipts are an important indicator of when you need to stop putting time or energy into a lead – if a recipient is consistently not opening emails or opening them and not responding, perhaps it’s time to focus your energy elsewhere. Or, change when you’re sending your emails!
Schedule Emails to Get Ahead of the Game
You should always be testing times and adapting your approach to sales emails, but after a while, you should have a good idea about which days and times work well for your audience. However, that doesn’t mean you have to wait, inbox open and finger hovering over the “Send” button to make sure your sales emails get seen – you need to schedule emails in advance.
Scheduling messages allows you to write your sales emails at a time that suits you, but have them delivered on the best day and time for your recipients. Spike email app offers a powerful Send Later feature so you can deliver any email, from any account, at the perfect time.
Summary of Sales Emails Tips and Tricks
Overall, a few key days and times work well for sales emails, and these align quite strongly with a “normal” work schedule. The various reports on when to send emails generally agree that mid-week (Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday) during either the late morning or early afternoon works best.
However, this is by no means a hard-and-fast rule – you need to do your own testing to find what works for your audience. What’s more, don’t get too caught up on timings; the best sales emails are those that pay attention to content first – a catchy subject and clear aim.
Finally, make sure you get the right tools for the job – Spike offers real-time read indicators so you know what’s working, as well as scheduled sending for the perfect time (not to mention the array of other cutting-edge email features).
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