Stop Marketing.

Start Engaging.

The Best Time To Never Send Email

aaahAs usual, I’ve had enough.

Every month a new “study” comes out to say when the best time is to send email out to your list/subscribers/mother.

This study say between 12am-3am

This study says 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. – 4 p.m

This study says 6am-7am

If I looked hard enough I could probably find studies that cover every hour of every day.

The best time to never send email is when someone else told you to.

Do your homework. The only important data out there is what your own list does.

I’ve been doing email marketing since the old days when you sent an email and everyone received it.

Back in the day when the email alert went off, you got excited.

The biggest mistake with looking at “when” to send to your list is we think that’s our issue. We think we’re getting low open rates because we sent a newsletter at 11am EST on a Wednesday instead of 5am PST on a Thursday.

The best way to get your email opened is to write content worthy of being opened.

When notification of your new blog post or newsletter arrives to your subscribers, do they react with apathy or excitement?

Is your subject line “ABC Chiropractor Newsletter January Edition”? I don’t care what time you send out that breaking news, no one wants to open it. No one puts aside their game of SongPop to read that headline.

People first have to recognize your “From:” as a brand they want to read, then the subject, then the content itself.

Fix those things first then test, test, test. But don’t test with different emails over a few weeks, test the same one. Create one variable: delivery time and split test them with your email service if they allow it.

Stop changing how you market your business because of a headline. The only important case study is the one you’re currently running for your business.

Oh, and sign-up for mine, obviously. Only sent when I have something useful for you to read, and not a minute sooner.

  • Yes. Thanks, that needed to be said.

    Another thing about those studies telling us when to send out newsletters is that they usually forget to take into account you may have readers across the country/world i.e. in completely different time zones. What use is “9am Tuesday” then?

  • Dian Smit

    Thanks Scott,I always read your email cause there are just a few and the emails are short, I get the drift of what will be in the blog. Mostly I click through.. Thank you for your inspiration.

  • Pat Furlan

    AWESOME … keep em comming, yes I read your “spam” because its GREAT

    Pat Furlan
    Long & McQuade

  • Eric Woolf

    You have hit the nail on the head!

  • Scott is right UN !

  • The best time to send an email is when you customer is expecting it. Assuming your customer is an individual human being, he most likely does not desire to be lumped into a group that your industry says he should be in.

  • Jim_Ducharme

    HI Scott,

    Enjoyed the post. I often blog about avoiding “shiny object” syndrome myself.

    In our post about the study we state: “The data points in the infographic are signposts, but remember that the best data you can get is your own metrics. Compare them to our general findings and let us know what times work best for you.”

    The opinion about there not being a “universal” best time to send (not surprisingly) came up in the comments with our original post. I’m glad to see this infographic is still generating discussion on the subject which is insightful.

    It’s definitely is about testing and we agree that the content has to be worth reading to begin with.

    Jim Ducharme
    Community Director

  • A very amusing article. I was discussing this with someone the other day & said exactly the same thing!

  • Write your emails as if you want to open it yourself.

    Thanks for the help 🙂

  • I would’ve commented earlier…but I couldn’t decide which study made the most sense on the best day/time to comment on blogs.

    Stop the madness…but only when you feel it’s right!

  • Because of your last sentence, you won a new subscriber. Thanks for the article. I consistently have an open rate of about 60%. I’m told that’s great, but it’s hard not to think of the 40% of people who invited me into their mailbox, but aren’t opening my email. I work hard to create worthwhile content, and I know it’s appreciated by those who do read – but I want to win over that 40%! I’m going to send my next post at different times. That’s a great idea I hadn’t thought of – thanks!

  • This goes along with that BS thinking out there about when to publish blog posts. So many articles I’ve read say you should schedule your posts to go live at 9AM East Coast time because that is when the most people are turning on your computers at work. Nice idea but totally worthless. Like you pointed out it all comes down to knowing your audience and giving them what they want. In fact you can go ahead and apply that to all areas of your life.

  • Pingback: Reads of the Week: January 25, 2013 « Reid All About It()

  • Pingback: Kirby Shedd Designs | News To Kirb This Week | 1/25/2013()

  • Pingback: The Best Time to Send Your Email Marketing Campaign()

  • Pingback: Are You Smelling Slush? « tishpiper()

  • Pingback: 40Nuggets: A New Way to Consume Email Content()

  • heatherlyone

    Why do I love this post so much? Not just because of the specific subject (when to send emails to your list)…oh no…but because of the underlying message to stop effing doing what everyone else is telling you to do. Think for yo’ damn self. Study your own business. I think we’ve come in to an age where people are still buying this get rich quick on the internet idea and don’t even bother to learn proper business skills. As I always like to say to the cats I work with, “Show up, and keep your eyes on your own paper.” (most of the time, anyway)

  • I’d add that if your email marketing is always useful that consistency is key as well. If I open up my inbox to your joyous email every Monday morning, I don’t want you to read one of these ‘studies’ and then switch it up.

  • This is so true: why would anyone open a ‘newsletter’? The age old practice of headline writing applies to your email subject line and then it’s vital to have something worth reading.

    My ongoing mission is that my accountant friends will learn this and stop sending me stuff that simply gets deleted.

    Tuesday 10:30am GMT, by the way (and yes I did the research)..

  • Pingback: 4 Ways To Optimize Your Email Auto-responder Campaigns()

  • Great post!

  • I totally agree!

  • Pingback: Правильное время рассылки. Кому это надо? | Out of Cloud()

  • I just send them whenever I think of something worth sending. There is so much information out there, it’s hard to know what is right. I have heard the email is soon to be dead. What do you think?

    • Email has been pronounced dead for 5 years and yet still going strong.

  • Pingback: Fun and Focused, Tips and Tricks – Best of the Web | Firepole Marketing Blog()

  • Pingback: In The News()

  • This is good, seems intuitive but business owners are always curious about what they hear, so it’s important to let them know the best strategy for their business.

  • Pingback: Around the Web links for 23rd January |

  • Pingback: The Best Time To Never Send Email | rhetorical questions()

  • Michael D. Goodman

    Nicely said. Will be reading your posts in the future. Thank you.

  • Pingback: Resolve to use email marketing to increase sales year-round()

  • Pingback: 11 Ways to Improve Email Response Rates()

  • Pingback: When is the best time to send email marketing messages, really? | Delivra()

  • Pingback: увеличить эффективность рассылок()

  • Pingback: 4 amüsante Zitate von Top-Marketern – und was man daraus lernen kann()

  • Pingback: 10 Ways To Improve Your Email Open Rates()

  • It’s 2015 sorry if I’m a little late in opening your email .. I actually siphon off 39% of my emails to a special treasure trove and have 497 32mb USB drives buried in the back yard. It’s a bit like my Shiraz cellar under the floorboards .. now and then I do the lucky dip and open a USB .. last week I opened an email from 1997 .. it was from a gorgeous chic I used to chat to on ICQ when I first got my very first Mac – you know those curvey funky green bubble ones .. wow Steve was really on the good LSD when he designed that model .. anyway the chic had written to me, rather than cause the embarrassment and wasted dial up connection, to politely ask why I was chatting to her on the dwarf ICQ channel? The point is that it reminded be how only then in 1997 email opt in was never invented .. we then spent the next 18 yrs devising cunning ways to chat to people online .. double bagel opt in .. and now we’re heading full circle .. FB will pretty much regard a flinch of the smallest muscle in your index finger that you are totally fine with being cookied even without opening their app .., I mean for ffffffff sake Zucker why if I copy a link in my chrome browser outside of FB has it got anything the f to do with you ??!!! ‘Paul you are about to take a photo of a friend you don’t know yet but we know who they are and can tell you when and where you will meet them based on our latest behaviour algorithm .. We’d love to post that for you just click if you don’t want us to proceed … Oh and yes Happy Xmas … anyway 11.40pm is my preferred open time. Nice post.

  • Pingback: kubota diesel engine Coolant()

  • thu huong

    Thank you for sharing information, it’s really helpful
    red dead redemption 2 on pc
    mount and blade 2 bannerlord