What is the Best Time to Send an Email Campaign?

Take it from the reluctant Email Marketer, sending mass emails can be a crap shoot.

After 8 months of resistance and refusal to send email campaigns to Triberr members, I relented and started a Monthly Triberr Newsletter back in November of 2011.

Our open rates stink and I wondered why…

  • Maybe it’s because our members are not accustomed to receiving emails from us. We’ll know after 6 months to a year, I suppose.
  • Maybe it’s because we pre-publish the newsletter on the site inside our VERY active forum (we call it Bonfires for a reason :-))
  • Maybe it’s because Triberr is kind of a weird platform and very effective at pulling people in. Once they’re in however, they are unsure what to do.

Maybe it’s a combination of all of that, but whatever reason it might be, our open rates suck monkey turds.

Or maybe our open rates are pretty standard, who knows. I really don’t have a good basis for comparison. So, you tell me.

Now the numbers only tell half the story. Our membership exploded during that month, so 22.3% in December actually means more open emails than November’s 30.1%

All in all, it ends up being 6 in one, half a dozen in the other. Despite the difference in % between the two months, the open rates are pretty much the same.

But they shouldn’t be. Not according to Email Marketing best practices.

You see, November email was sent on a Saturday morning around 9AM EST. The “good” period apparently. While December email was sent on a Wednesday around 5AM EST; the “abyss”” period to send emails, according to conventional wisdom.

It didn’t make much difference. The open rates remained pretty much the same.

I will keep experimenting with the timings. The January newsletter will go out based on the best timing as per research done by a Email Marketing company called Pure360. The infographics comes from them.


What I LOVE about this infograph is that it helps you get into the mind of your target audience.

For example:

The 5-7PM period would be a perfect time to send an email entitled: Working Late? Try These 5 Time-Saving Efficiency Secrets

Or for the 3-5PM timeframe where users are receptive to life altering activities, something like: 5 Local Charities That Maximize Your Tax Return, might be a type of email that gets high(er) open rates.

As for Triberr newsletter, in January I will try the 12-2PM time frame next. Triberr newsletter is in fact news for Triberr members, so I hope they take time to explore news items by visiting complete posts. But who knows….we’ll see how it goes.

  • What makes you open an email?
  • What makes you ignore an email?
  • What have you done to improve your open rates?

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi πŸ™‚

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  • stephdokin

    Well … re: Nov vs. Dec. … also depends on day, BUT you did see 8% better in Nov, so that is actually statistically significant. Also look for opens re: type of browser and device … maybe the audience is mostly mobile and you are sending rich browser based emails. I see 50% open rates for my ckients, but they are engaged vertical B2B companies. You are correct, tho … the more consisten you are, the better. stephdokin

    • http://diyblogger.net/ dino_dogan

      You’re right about the mobile piece. Over 50% of our members read the newsletter on their iPhone. The newsletter is graphically rich but it displays well on mobile. I’ve checked. I’ll continue to keep an eye on it. I imagine being a member of something for 8 months and then all of a sudden you start receiving monthly newsletter, you get caught little off guard.

      What service do you use? I’m using Mailchimp after unsuccessfully trying to migrate my list to AWeber. @stephdokin stephdokin

  • http://www.facebook.com/allisondevgroup EricaAllison

    Dino, I”m a huge email marketing fan and am really seeing that as one of THE big trends in integrated marketing this year. Funny, since it’s always been there, but apparently it’s been left on the sidelines for the past couple of years due to the focus on the bright shiny stuff. At any rate, I study my emails, click throughs (which are really the holy grail) and open rates for all client accounts and can see that in a word, it depends! Much like your infographic points out, it depends on the audience. Re: your open rate, it’s not bad, but like @stephdokin says below, there are many other factors to consider. I love the mobile options available on MailChimp, but prefer the set up and stats I get in Constant Contact. For my retail clients targeting women only, the sweet spot depends on frequency, topic (SALE!), and not as much on time of day. Too often and it’s a stinker. I think I”ll write a blog post on this – there are so many facets to it! Link back forthcoming… πŸ˜‰

    • http://diyblogger.net/ dino_dogan

      As I was reading your comment I thought to myself “why wouldnt Erica write a post about this?” and there you read my mind before I even had the thought πŸ™‚ Brilliant! πŸ™‚ @EricaAllison @stephdokin

  • ericamallison

    @justinthesouth @dino_dogan I know! It’s inspired me to write a post about it!

    • JustInTheSouth

      @ericamallison I look forward to seeing reading that one.

  • http://www.newsuperaffiliateblog.com/ AdrienneSmith

    My best open rate Dino is early in the morning. The best statistics I’ve had are sending them at 8:30 am EST but for my blog post notices I send mine at 9:00 am EST because I publish my posts at 8:00 am CST. My regular readers are expecting an email from me so I guess that’s why my open rate is high.

    I do open all of my emails eventually. Maybe not the exact time they are sent but it depends on what my schedule is for that day. I do check emails first thing in the morning but if I have a whole lot waiting for me I don’t always get to them all at that time.

    By the way, I always open your newsletter Dino so I’m one of those on your open rate! πŸ™‚

    • http://diyblogger.net/ dino_dogan

      New email campaign programs are pretty amazing, actually. I can see who opens their email and who doesnt. Everything is right there. Pretty awesome πŸ™‚ @AdrienneSmith

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com/ wonderoftech

    Very interesting, Dino. I drop everything when I see a Triberr email in my inbox. Well maybe not everything, but you don’t send them out very often and Triberr has been a very effective catalyst for my blog, so I consider your newsletters to be a priority.

    I am surprised that others don’t but then again some tribe members still think we’re on automatic tweeting.

    This infographic is also helpful in knowing when to post blogs and send out tweets. It seems to align with the traffic patterns that I see on my blog.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • http://diyblogger.net/ dino_dogan

      Thats great to hear. Yeah, we do have our die hards. Im happy you’re one of them πŸ™‚ @wonderoftech

  • ericgiroux

    @whatjruthsaid I thought that was a good article until I realized it came from the same guy who vlogged this nonsense: http://t.co/ryuLRg9B

    • whatjruthsaid

      @ericgiroux That guy is just talking to hear himself.

  • PaigeHolden

    Great post. I especially like the consumer/B2B breakdown. I’m kind of in the middle of figuring this out for our blog that posts once a week. We do much better when it goes out in the morning, but the day has been tricky. Any thoughts on that?

    Based on some of your points, I think we will test different times with our newsletter when its ready to go!

    • http://diyblogger.net/ dino_dogan

      Email campaigns, Im starting to realize, work very much the same way everything else in life works. It’s the 360 degree view that matters. The recipients are one side of the equation, email itself is another, and you are yet another.

      For example, if I received an email from someone I know, like and respect in my field, I’d open it in a hurry. Can you (and Im asking myself as Im asking you πŸ™‚ be that known, liked and respected sending party?

      Having a deep knowing about the entire length of the email chain is paramount. You (and I) should strive for that. Thats what Im discovering πŸ™‚


  • http://www.engelskagymnasiet.se jonbuscall

    I get the best open rates on Sundays. I figure it’s because my mails aren’t competing with all the others that go mid week. Plus, people still check mail on the weekend.

    • http://diyblogger.net/ dino_dogan

      I def do. It’s good to go against the grain. @jonbuscall

  • AdrienneSmith40

    @jonbuscall I did too Jon, great info from Dino…

  • Ogoing

    @lorirtaylor @dino_dogan Thank you for sharing… next e-blasts of Ogoing will be between 5 pm to 7 pm! Good tip!

  • dino_dogan

    @PaigeHolden oh, why thank you. Im flattered πŸ™‚

    • PaigeHolden

      @dino_dogan Most welcome!

  • upgrademycredit

    The main 2 things that make me, personally, open an email are 1) if it is from someone I know, and 2) the title. Time of day does not matter too much as I am on and off the computer throughout. However, if I had to say which time of day is better for me I would say morning or evening. Definitely not afternoon. I have gotten best results on my campaigns on the weekend.

    • http://diyblogger.net/ dino_dogan

      You hit a very important point in your comment. Who is the email from. Def a consideration.

      And that title/headline…man, it’s always there….folks, better learn how to write a compelling headline, ya hear πŸ™‚


  • InfoParkingLot

    @AceSage When the family is eating dinner. #Email Rules by Randolph Kahn

  • diazgiles

    @ciaobella50 I know is not right now πŸ˜€

  • OurGreenRoom

    @ciaobella50 can’t view your link on my phone but I’d love to know the answer to that one!!

  • rawforme

    Thank-you for the r/t Loren! @LorenSan are you going to #icny ?

    • LorenSan

      @rawforme no unfortunately I will not be there. I am sure it will be awesome…You going?

      • rawforme

        Nope for me also- @LorenSan > working in Van. this wk BUT @kellymitchell will bring the party to us on #BTR this Wed. live from #icny – :))

  • http://www.theuniuni.com/ Payton_vege

    Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

  • http://www.MyNewsletterBuilder.com/ Spencer Howerton

    This is probably one of the first 3 questions I am asked by clients when we speak for the first time. There is NO perfect answer, but this article and infographic are awesome. If you do sit and think about how you interact with email – and then deeper – how you interact with email marketing… you can probably come up with the correct time you should send to your segments – customers, prospects, team… Love the post.Β 

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