Is there really a best time to send emails?

Is there really a best day or time to send business emails?

A number of recent studies have attempted to discern the best days and times for businesses to leverage their targeted email lists and send out communications. For example, Mail Chimp analyzed more than a billion emails to conclude that Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 2 and 5 p.m. are the optimal times to send business email to promote opens. Similarly, a study from Get Response examined 21 million emails, and identified Thursday to again be the top day for open and click-through rates.

However, is there such a thing as a “best” time or day? A recent article in Business 2 Community contended that these studies miss the point and over generalize, outlining a number of reasons why they are just wrong.

The average isn’t good enough for any business    
The source pointed out that the term “best” is misleading, as these studies don’t necessarily pinpoint the best, they discern the average.

“If you’re lucky, and we seldom are, the research might confine the sample set to a single industry or geography, which would create a more meaningful result set,” the article noted. “So the sample set data is muddy at best because it casts too wide of a net, which the statistics can’t overcome.”

Secondly, the studies assume a level of knowledge and expertise that may not actually be in evidence among these email marketers, Business 2 Community asserted. Likely, the results are a grab bag across all levels, a quality which these studies’ analytics may not be able to take into account.

This feeds into the last reason listed  for taking these reports with a grain of salt. By only looking at send time and date, the research fails to isolate cause and effect.

“To truly understand if one variable is causing a specific outcome (increases in opens/clicks/sales) you have to isolate every other variable. Again, because these studies are simply rollups of email click/open/conversion activity pulled from a broad grouping of email campaigns, this level of rigor simply isn’t possible,” the news source explained.

So when is the best time, then?  
The answer may be for marketers to figure it out on their own. Direct Marketing News suggested with any type of campaign, business should trial messages across days and times. Different segments of consumers will respond accordingly. Whereas one group of recipients may open mail the most on Tuesday afternoons, some companies may actually find greater success with a Saturday morning email blast.

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