When is the best time to send B2C email campaigns?

17 July 2012


There are so many different studies and analyses of this subject, often with very different results.  The following is our very broad summary of the research and results from our own experience of sending B2C (business to consumer) email campaigns:


  • Industry statistics suggest that B2C emails are best sent towards the end of the working day or early evening – this allows people to open them at work at a less busy time (and where their only computer access might be), it also places the email at the top of the Inbox for the commute home (when many people have the time to view emails on their mobile devices); and it stays at the top of the Inbox between 7pm and 9pm at night when many people open emails as part of their wind down at the end of the day
  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are suggested to be the best days, as weekends people don’t open emails, Mondays are busy days and Fridays people are often out of their normal routine.  Emails promoting a weekend event are best sent towards the end of the week (Thursday)

Our experience

  • We have found it very difficult to identify any consistency in the best times to send B2C emails, there are so many other factors at play which have a much stronger influence (see below) – generally we have followed the industry trends above to good success
  • What we have done in the past is to log the time when people have signed up to our email list and then segmented the list accordingly – this has seen very good open rates in some cases
  • We have also logged the time when people ‘click-through’ to a website from a marketing email they have received and changed the send time accordingly – this has had mixed results as many people seem to ‘click-through’ as soon as they receive the email or not at all
  • The best thing to do is to test the campaigns – we have done this for a number of clients where we send ½ of the list at one day/time and the other ½ at another day/time and measure results – it leads to some very interesting results

 Stronger factors that dictate success

  • In our experience the subject line is the strongest factor influencing open-rates.  Subjects that offer something to the consumer tend to get greatest levels of response e.g. ‘deal of the week’, ‘limited membership offer’, ‘exclusive to the first 100 customers’ – no more than 35 characters
  • The level of loyalty to your brand is also a strong factor.  If a customer has opted-in to receive marketing emails they are more likely to open and act on them
  • The frequency of emails is also important; there is definitely a balance to be struck.  If you are not offering a special deal then high-frequency emails are not read; however if it is deal related then weekly (or even daily) emails are OK