Best Times to Send a Newsletter

Time Your Newsletter for Peak Reader Engagement and Response

Timing in email marketing is key. It's like finding the perfect moment to jump into a conversation — too early or too late, and you might miss the chance to connect.

Studies suggest that the best time to send your emails is between 9 AM and 12 PM, with Thursday and Tuesday being the best days.

Best Times to Send a Newsletter

But is this the only optimal time? Does this one-size-fits-all approach apply to every audience? Are there variations depending on the industry, the purpose of the email, or even the demographics of the recipients?

And what about the frequency of sending these emails? How does the day of the week or the time of day impact the likelihood of your emails being marked as spam?

The study above just shows one side of the coin. This article will examine the nuances of email timing and its impact on engagement rates.

Key Takeaways

  • Optimal email send times vary, with mid-week days like Tuesday and Thursday generally seeing the highest engagement rates.

  • Morning hours, between 9 AM and 12 PM, are often cited as the best time to send newsletters, with high open and engagement rates observed.

  • The type of content significantly influences the best time to send a newsletter, with professional content favoring weekdays and leisure content doing better in evenings or weekends.

  • A/B testing is crucial to determine the best send times for your specific audience rather than relying solely on industry averages.

  • beehiiv offers features like A/B testing and audience segmentation to help optimize newsletter timing and frequency.

Statistics on the Best Time to Send Your Newsletter

Studies have found two significant "best times" across any given day: a morning peak around 10:00 AM and an afternoon peak at 3:00 PM for opens, with clicks following an hour later.

This aligns with the natural workflow of the average professional. People typically open their emails at work and recheck post-lunch.

Interestingly, engagement remains high through 6:00 PM, suggesting a window where subscribers use email as a distraction as they wrap up their workday or commute home.

Then there is the early bird strategy that suggests sending emails between 4-6 AM, betting on the likelihood that your email tops the morning inbox review. However, another study shows that this is not always the best approach because when people wake up, they are less likely to read your email immediately.

When they settle down to read it, let's say at 9 AM, your email will be further down than the ones sent at 8 AM.

Another surprising revelation was that an 8 PM slot gets a 59% open rate, significantly higher than the more intuitive 2 PM slot at 45%.

There was a shift post-pandemic, with late-night slots post-11 PM getting significant open rates. It shows that people engage with their devices before sleep.

While the 9-11 AM window is popular for checking emails, it doesn’t guarantee immediate engagement due to the morning work rush.

Lunch hours, around 12-2 PM, offer potential for B2C campaigns, as individuals look at their inboxes before returning to afternoon tasks.

For B2B emails, late afternoon to early evening, specifically 3-6 PM, is the best time, accounting for global time zones. It’s especially advantageous in the EU for capturing US audiences. The studies further recommend segmentation and scheduling based on location to refine this approach.

Evening times, 7-9 PM, don’t favor B2B efforts but are good for B2C, catching users as they unwind post-work.

Yet, post-9 PM sends are risky, with a high chance of your email getting lost in the morning shuffle.

Here are some of the most notable takeaways from this study by Hubspot.

  • The most effective time to send an email to maximize engagement is between 9 AM and 12 PM, as indicated by the highest engagement rate of 34.9%.

  • The second-best time slot is from 12 PM to 3 PM, with a substantial engagement rate of 27.6%, suggesting it's also a good time for email outreach.

  • Early morning hours, specifically between 6 AM and 9 AM, show a decent engagement rate of 11.3%, which could be an effective time for sending emails to catch early risers or those checking their mail before starting the day.

  • Any time slot from 6 AM to 3 PM can be successful, depending on the kind of service you provide.

  • The engagement drops significantly in the evening, with the 6 PM to 9 PM slot having a low engagement rate of 6.6%, indicating that this time may not be ideal for sending emails if engagement is the goal.

  • Late night hours, from 9 PM to 12 AM, have the lowest engagement at 1.3%, suggesting it's the least effective time to send emails, as most people are likely not checking their inbox during these hours.

Best Times to Send a Newsletter

Statistics on the Best Day to Send Your Newsletter

The results from different studies point to the middle of the week — Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday — as prime time for your email campaigns.

Best Times to Send a Newsletter

This suggests predictability in user behavior, with midweek emerging as the sweet spot for engagement. 

Yet, it's about more than choosing the right day. 

The frequency and sequence of your emails is also important. A back-to-back Tuesday and Wednesday will overwhelm your subscribers, diluting the impact of your messages. 

Instead, consider a Tuesday and Thursday schedule to maintain interest.

Here's a quick snapshot of the weekly email performance based on various studies:

  • Best day for open rates: Monday (22.0%)

  • Best day for click-through rates: Tuesday (2.4%)

  • Best days for click-to-open rates: Wednesday and Tuesday (10.8%)

  • Consistent unsubscribe rates: Throughout the week (0.1%)

In addition, all the studies agree that on weekend days, engagement drops as people's inboxes take a backseat to social activities and errands.

Saturdays and Sundays are less ideal for sending marketing emails. However, if your content is light and leisurely, you may find a receptive audience on weekends.

Also, not all studies agree on the hierarchy of weekdays. 

Many studies say Thursday is the top performer, but HubSpot's research champions Tuesday as the best day to send out your newsletter.

Best Times to Send a Newsletter

This discrepancy can be attributed to different audience samples used in these studies. So, industry averages are not a substitute for understanding your audience's preferences.

Interestingly, traditionally avoided by marketers, Mondays and Fridays defy expectations, with open rates climbing over 18%. This shows there might be untapped potential on these days.

Always remember that the studies provide a useful guide but are not definitive. Each audience segment exhibits unique behavior that defies general trends.

Think of who your target audience is and when they'd be most likely to check their emails.

Use A/B Testing to Find the Perfect Timing for Your Business

A Reddit thread discussing the best time to send a newsletter mentioned how the best time and day depends on what you're sending and who you're sending to.

This simple insight will determine how effective your email marketing strategy is.

So, how do you determine the optimal time for your audience and content? By doing A/B testing.

A/B testing, also called split testing, involves sending two variations of your newsletter at different times to see which one performs better. This method lets you gather concrete data on your audience's preferences rather than relying solely on industry averages. 

It's a direct line to understanding how your subscribers interact with your emails and when they are most likely to engage.

How to Use A/B Testing

Best Times to Send a Newsletter

Here are some steps you can take to run an effective and decisive A/B testing to make sure that your email times are data-driven and contain actionable information.

  • Identify Your Variables: In this case, your variable is the send time of your email. Choose two times you believe could result in high engagement based on your audience’s habits. You can start with the industry averages.

  • Segment Your Audience: Randomly divide your email list into two or more groups. This segmentation ensures that audience differences do not skew the test results.

  • Test Simultaneously: To avoid day-to-day variability affecting your results, send your A/B test emails on the same day unless you’re specifically comparing stats for different days.

  • Measure the Results: Look at key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to determine which send time yielded better results.

  • Refine and repeat: Use the insights from your test to choose a send time, but don't stop there. Regularly test and refine your send times to adapt to changes in audience behavior.

Using a newsletter tool like beehiiv, you can use the A/B testing feature to experiment, optimize, and easily grow your audience.

beehiiv A/B testing provides a clear, analytical view of how your subscribers respond to different elements of your newsletter. 

You can make informed decisions based on user behavior, steering your strategy to what resonates most with your audience.

For example, you might believe your newsletter will have a higher open rate when sent at 9 AM on Tuesdays compared to 4 PM on Thursdays. Use beehiiv to schedule these sends, ensuring everything about the emails is identical except for the send time.

Next, decide on the size of the audience segments and the test duration. beehiiv's 3D analytics will ensure you have a statistically significant sample size for reliable results.

After the test, you'll see which send time resulted in better performance metrics. Implement the more successful timing in your regular sends.

Expert Tip: A/B testing is not a “set-and-forget” tool. You should continue to test over time. Subscribers' behaviors change, and what works today may not work as well in six months. 

How Do You Manage Time Zones and Global Audiences

If you’re running a global business, the challenge lies in ensuring your emails reach subscribers at an optimal time, regardless of their geographic location.

To effectively manage time zones and cater to a global audience, use these strategies:

1. Segment Your Subscribers by Time Zone

Use subscriber location data to segment your email list by time zone. 

beehiiv allows you to segment your audience based on geographic location.

Best Times to Send a Newsletter

This ensures that your email arrives in inboxes at a time likely to see high engagement.

2. Automate Send-Time Optimization

Email marketing tools provide a send-time scheduling feature, especially when managing a global audience.

For example, using beehiiv with Pipedream's Schedule API, you can create automated workflows that ensure your emails reach subscribers at the ideal time, regardless of their geographic location. 

First, integrate beehiiv with the Schedule API using Pipedream's integration platform.

Once integrated, use Pipedream's Schedule trigger to build workflows. You can program these to run at specific times or intervals.

Best Times to Send a Newsletter

Imagine you have a global audience with significant subscriber groups in New York (Eastern Time), London (GMT), and Tokyo (JST). You want to send your weekly newsletter at 9 AM local time in each time zone.

  • Segment Your Audience: In beehiiv, segment your subscribers into three groups based on their time zones — Eastern Time, GMT, and JST.

  • Create Your Newsletter: Design and prepare your newsletter content within beehiiv.

  • Set Up the Workflow in Pipedream: Using the Schedule API, create three separate triggers within Pipedream. Each trigger corresponds to one of the time zones:

    • For New York subscribers, set a trigger to send the email at 9 AM ET.

    • For London subscribers, set another trigger to send the email at 9 AM GMT.

    • For Tokyo subscribers, set the final trigger to send the email at 9 AM JST.

Before fully implementing, test the workflow to ensure the emails are sent out correctly in each time zone.

3. Consistent Testing and Analysis

Regularly perform A/B tests for different time zones and analyze the results. 

Continuous testing will help you refine your send-time strategy and keep up with changes in subscriber behavior. The 9 AM slot might succeed in one time zone and struggle in another.

Send Your Newsletter at the Right Time with beehiiv

Industry averages give you a rough idea of when to send emails, but they're not a one-size-fits-all solution. 

Every group of subscribers is different, so doing your own A/B testing is so important. You can determine what works best for your audience by testing different send times.

But it's not just about when you send your emails — how often you send them matters, too. Should you be in touch twice a week, or is once enough? Maybe three times is the charm? The right answer depends on your audience and what you're sharing.

With beehiiv’s 3D analytics, you get answers to all these questions.

beehiiv also has cool features like polls, so you can ask your readers directly when they want your newsletters. Plus, beehiiv can handle much of the work with automation.

Getting started is free; you don't need a credit card to sign up. Try beehiiv today and get a 14-day free trial.

Best Times to Send a Newsletter: Frequently Asked Questions

How Does the Type of Content Affect the Best Time to Send a Newsletter?

People consume different content at different times. For instance, professional or business-related content often performs best during work hours, particularly mid-morning or after lunch. In contrast, leisurely or entertainment content might see increased engagement during evenings or weekends when people are relaxing.

Are Weekends or Weekdays Better for Sending Newsletters in General?

Weekdays tend to be better for sending newsletters. Studies, including those by HubSpot, have consistently shown higher engagement rates on weekdays, particularly mid-week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Weekends usually see lower engagement, as people are often busy with personal activities and less likely to check their emails.

How Can One Account For Holidays or Seasonal Changes in Newsletter Timing?

People are less likely to check their emails during major holidays, so avoid these times or send holiday-themed content just before. For seasonal changes, consider the shift in people's routines, like summer vacations or winter holidays. Also, stay aware of cultural or regional holidays specific to your audience's location.

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