When Is The Best Time To Send An Email?

Photographed by Bek Andersen.
So you've drafted a perfect email — a cover letter, a pitch, maybe a query for an informational interview with that dream company for a dream job. But writing a great email is half the battle. Getting your recipient to open it (and read it) is the rest.

Common sense indicates that you should not send an email on the weekends, seeing as most people aren't checking emails while rooftop drinking (even though the ubiquity of smart phones might suggest otherwise). When it comes to marketing emails, numbers back this up. Data from email marketing company Mailchimp found that a higher percentage of emails were opened on the weekday — dropping to a drastic 8.5% open rate on Saturday and Sunday.

As for what time you should hit send, the most emails opened were sent between 9 and 11 a.m., Mailchimp's data found. The number of people opening emails gradually decreases over the day, with 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. being the dead zone.

But of course, getting a response is oftentimes your end goal — and that might mean emailing earlier in the day or on less busy days, when you don't have much inbox competition. Yesware analyzed 500,000 emails and found that on weekends, there was a 45.8% reply rate (out of the 5,275 emails sent on a weekend). This is compared to a 39.1% reply rate, out of 525,742 emails sent on the weekdays. The idea: If you're hitting your recipients at a time when they're not crazy-slammed at work, you're more likely to get an actual response.

Of course, topic matters, and knowing who you are emailing is important. Mailchimp's data found that if you're emailing someone in the arts, eCommerce, or retail, they're more likely to open an email on the weekends. Meanwhile, someone in government is definitely checked out come Friday evening, so you can wait to hit send until Monday morning.

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