The Oldest Question in the Email Book | DMA

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The Oldest Question in the Email Book


“When is the best time to send my email?” If I have been asked this once I have been asked this a million times. Actually, if I had 10p for every time I have been asked this, somebody else would be writing this blog. In FACT…well, you get the idea.

You can imagine my surprise when this came up again just this week, but in the interest of sharing best practice I thought I would revisit the subject. My first source was the dotmailer blog and over the years we have done no fewer than three separate blog posts on this topic:

When Is The Best Time To Send? – 19 August 2010

The Perfect Time To Send An Email Newsletter – 20 March 2012

How To Think More About Send Time – 30 April 2013

While all three blogs take a slightly different take on the question, the answer remains the same: the best time to send your email depends on your recipients.

It is always dangerous to take all of your information from a single source (even if it is your employer) so I thought I would broaden my search to my industry peers. I found this great post from Tim Watson, The best time to send; ultimate answer. Tim is not known for hyperbole so when he claims to have the ultimate answer, you can be pretty sure he does.

If you are desperate to find the optimal send time for you, Tim lays out the plan you need to follow. I have done this type of analysis for a client who not only wanted to know both the best time to send and the best day. So, in addition to the eight times listed in Tim’s email, we also had to spread this across the seven days. Not only does this require a huge list, it requires a significant amount of time to set up, execute and analyse the results of the campaign.

Tim’s blog starts by showing the growth in searches on Google for the term “email best time to send” and was staggered that there are about 826,000,000 results. There were a number of reputable brands and sources on the first page of the results, which may or not lead you to the magic answer, but I did not look at them.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t be bothered at 4:00 on a Friday afternoon but rather I started to question why anybody would care. More accurately, I started to question why I had already written 429 words on this subject.

At one time, you have to not only be at your computer but your computer had to be in a relatively fixed position dictated by the length of the network cable or range of the wi-fi. Now your email is with you wherever and whenever you want it. The statistics vary but people check their smartphones anywhere from 150-250 times per day and email is the most commonly used app is email.

Going forward, let’s all agree to worry less about when to send the email and focus on what we are sending and to whom.

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