When should I send my email campaigns?

One of the most fre­quent ques­tions we are asked is when is the best time to send email campaigns.

It is an impor­tant ques­tion as a campaign’s suc­cess (mea­sured by key met­rics like opens, clicks, con­ver­sions) will vary based on when you send the campaign.

Quite sim­ply, you want to time your sends dur­ing hours your audi­ence is most likely to be avail­able to read your cam­paign. If your recip­i­ents are focused on other activ­i­ties, they won’t be able to engage with your email while it’s still fresh, and your mes­sage will be crowded out by more recent messages.

To max­i­mize the chances that your emails are arriv­ing at the tight times, I rec­om­mend you fol­low these 4 principles.

Note: We are focus­ing mainly on business-to-business cam­paigns in this blog post. Many of the prin­ci­ples are the same for business-to-consumer cam­paigns; the main dif­fer­ence are the times and days of avail­abil­ity of consumers.

Prin­ci­ple 1: Emails are most likely to get opened within an hour of arriv­ing in an Inbox.

Consider these figures:

  • Nearly a quar­ter of all email opens hap­pen in first hour.
  • The results drop by half in the 2nd hour
  • After 5 hours, the chances of an email being opened drop by more than 90%

Key take­aways:

  • Launch your cam­paign so that it hits your recipient’s Inbox when they are likely to be check­ing their email within an hour of when you send the campaign.
  • If you mar­ket in mul­ti­ple time zones and you know where your cus­tomers are located, con­sider seg­ment­ing your lists by time zone. Then launch your cam­paigns by time zone.  Your results will improve.
Prin­ci­ple 2: Send email cam­paigns dur­ing time slots when recip­i­ents are review­ing their Inboxes.

Many employ­ees check emails when they arrive in the morn­ing and then later in the day. The mid­dle of the day is often filled with meet­ings and an out-of-the-office lunch.

Research indi­cates that top hours for peo­ple review­ing emails are 8-9am and then 3–5 pm.

We also see that met­rics can be high in early evening as many peo­ple check email after work — often on mobile phones.

Key take­away:

  • Cre­ate your cam­paigns in advance and then sched­ule them so they arrive dur­ing these key time slots.

Note on business-to-consumer emails:  new research from Pure360 sug­gests the best time to send a con­sumer email is now dur­ing the ‘Post Work Peak’ (after 5pm), as peo­ple are fin­ish­ing up at work and head­ing home. Over a quar­ter (26%) of mar­ket­ing emails that are sent in the most suc­cess­ful hour, 5pm to 6pm, are opened, which is 9% above aver­age.  Click here for info­graphic on Pure360’s research.

Prin­ci­ple 3:  Send emails on days when your recip­i­ents are likely in the office and check­ing email
  • Tues­day through Fri­day tend to be the busiest days for B2B email sends
  • Thurs­day has the high­est met­rics in terms of opens and clicks

Key takeaway:

  • Send your email in the morn­ing on Thurs­day if your cam­paign starts later in the week
  • Move it up to Tues­day morn­ing if the cam­paign takes place ear­lier in the week
Prin­ci­ple 4: Test cam­paigns to con­firm your results are con­sis­tent with these principles

It may be that in your indus­try cus­tomers respond with dif­fer­ent pat­terns than the research pre­sented above. Con­sider doing some AB tests to deter­mine if these days and times are best for you.


In the B2B world, to max­i­mize your met­rics, I rec­om­mend you:

  • Cre­ate your cam­paigns in advance
  • Sched­ule them to be sent on Tues­day or Thurs­day at 8am of your time zone
  • For most of us who don’t have our lists seg­mented by time zone, I would send the whole list at 9am ET
  • If you are fin­ish­ing up a same-day email, I would rec­om­mend you wait until 3pm ET  to send the campaign
  • I would track the met­rics. If met­rics are dis­ap­point­ing, I would con­duct AB tests to deter­mine bet­ter times to send