It’s a question we hear all the time, “When’s the best time to send my marketing email?”

The Bad News

The crux of it is, that magical time that guarantees email engagement does not exist. Unfortunately, this isn’t a one size fits all situation. As an email service provider (ESP) we can technically dig into our aggregate data and determine an average when recipients are most engaged, but the problem with that is, it’s an average that might not be applicable to your email program. You have a unique list of recipients, so your optimal time to send marketing email is also unique!

The Good News

We may not have a specific time of day to share, but the good news is *you* have the power to decipher the best times to send to your list. All you’ll need is some historical engagement data from your email program–we’re talking opens and clicks. (If you’re a little unsure of what engagement metrics are, you can brush up with my recent post.) I’d recommend reviewing at least six months of data if you have it.

Within your data, you should be able to drill down to determine when recipients are opening and engaging with your mail. That’s your optimal time to send! Chances are you’ll notice that there are multiple “peak engagement” times when your recipients are engaging.

Hypothetical Scenario

If you’re in the B2B sector, you may notice subscribers have preferences to check their work email during certain times of the day. (For example, there could be significant spikes between 8 AM and 10 AM because people check their email right when they get into the office, or from 12 PM – 1 PM because they’re back from lunch.) If you segment out those customers and send your mail accordingly, you could see better engagement because you’re at the top of the inbox right as they’re clicking through their messages.

Note: Remember to account for timezones! Chances are your list experiences 8 AM at different times throughout the day.

Once you’ve found a few times that look like your “peak engagement” hours, test them! The majority of recipients check their inbox a few times a day, so you could potentially find a new time that garners even better engagement.

Your email engagement metrics are your window into your subscriber’s inbox. Take a look and get to know your subscribers and their email consumption habits. There isn’t a shortcut to great email engagement, but the method above will give you the best times to send, catered specifically to your email program.

If you’re searching for a simple, but powerful feature set to create and send your marketing email, check out SendGrid’s Marketing Campaigns!

Kate Schmeisser
When Kate isn't trying to teach herself the ukelele, make it through the mountain of books on her nightstand, or figure out if they are actually being serious about suggested serving sizes on ice cream, she is the Creative Content Manager.