The (Actual) Best Time to Send B2B Emails
While nobody loses sleep over email marketing analytics, there is evidence that sending email at certain times does, in fact, boost open and clickthrough rates. Of course, this varies by industry and actual results always differ, but there does appear to be a consensus that different times produce different results.
When you’re emailing hundreds or thousands of prospects, just a few extra opens and clicks can be the difference between gaining or losing business, potentially bringing your business hundreds or thousands of dollars in sales. If simply choosing a different time to release your messaging will accomplish this, it’s worth a serious look.
Most email marketing tools allow you to easily schedule your delivery ahead of time, meaning no sweat off your back. With this capability, you can be asleep while prospects engage with your content and move down your sales funnel. What’s not to like?
Consider Your Marketing Goals First
Before going further, keep in mind there are plenty of variables that will affect open rates, such as subject line, sender, preview, and more. These do muddy the scientific determination for best send time, but you should still try to find the best times to send your email communications and any other B2B messaging.
More importantly – look at your campaign holistically and consider your marketing goals, target audience, and the messaging itself.
What do you want your audience to do when they receive the email? Read it? Open it? Click through? Make a purchase? Do you want to avoid users from unsubscribing (perhaps you are sharing unfortunate news)?
Lastly – be careful to take research and studies on the best time to send emails with a grain of salt. Many of these studies don’t differentiate between B2C and B2B communications, which have very different audiences and thus produce very different results. A lot of these studies also don’t take into account the quality of the communication going out. If you send a poorly executed email, it already doesn’t stand a chance to perform well by any given metric.
What the Research Tells Us About B2B Emails
So, what are the best times to send B2B email communications based on research? This depends on your industry and your goals for communication, but here is some information specifically related to B2B communications.
The Best Day of the Week to Send Emails
- Thursday (highest percentage of open rates)
- Tuesday (highest percentage of click-through rates)
- Wednesday (3rd best weekday to send email)
Top Performing Time for Send Emails
- 8 AM – for Email Open Rates
- 10 AM – for Engagement Rates
- 5 PM – for Click-Through Rates
- 1 PM – for the Best Results
In terms of B2B emails, research suggests that the best time to send these communications is between 8AM and 10AM on Tuesday – but take this with a grain of salt. Just like B2C messaging, your B2B audience messaging should be segmented by job function and seniority to accommodate different behaviors and job functions.
Studies suggest that B2B emails for the average 8-5 employee are best sent mid-week around 10 AM. However, entrepreneurs and executives open emails more frequently than the average employee, so the day of the week matters less. The best time for these individuals based on open and click rates is on Saturday at 10 AM. But CEO’s and executives might also be checking their email well into the evening on weekdays, further muddying the waters of when to send the email for maximum impact.
What’s Our Opinion on B2B Email Best Practices?
While studies may indicate optimal times to send an email, we recommend using common sense and trusting your own instincts. For example, if you’re sending emails that include a sale or promotion, try sending them during the times your audience tends to take their lunch breaks simply because they may be more likely to check their emails at this time.
If your buyer persona is a professional with a nine-to-five job, sending emails during their ideal downtimes is the best. However, if your buyer persona is a Denver small business owner or a C-Level Executive, their downtimes might fall on the weekend or in the evenings – times that do not come recommended by studies. However, people do claim to have success at sending emails to this particular buyer persona at these times.
Perhaps more important than finding the right time to send an email is the communication itself and tracking the performance of that email. Even if you do choose a great time to send a communication, it still needs to have a clear, compelling message. The subject line and email body should be customized and if possible – some A/B testing should be performed.
Again, paying close attention to your metrics is important in finding out how your audience responds to your communications. Your click-through rates, click-to-open rates, open rates and unsubscribe rates will be the most important indicators for email performance. Surely, when you choose to send emails will affect these metrics, but perhaps not as much as you’re led to believe.
At the end of the day, if you have a strong message and tailor-tune it to a specific audience, it’s likely to resonate. With so much different data on this subject, we believe the most important part of email marketing is your messaging and how you’re measuring your own success.
If you’d like more expertise on B2B marketing best practices, please don’t hesitate to contact our team! Have you found the perfect sending time for you? Tell us about it in the comments.