Email marketing is still one of the most efficient and cost-effective methods for generating and nurturing B2B leads. Anyone who is familiar with the practice knows, however, that it’s a little more nuanced than writing your campaign and hitting ‘send.’
You’ll reach some of your contacts by sending your email as soon as you’ve finished writing it, sure, but you’ll also miss out on a large sect of your list that wasn’t primed to receive your email at that time.
Think about it, how many times have you woken up to a reasonably full email inbox that you had no interest in parsing through, so you simply filed the emails away or deleted them? Your contacts behave the exact same way.
You already have to work every step of the way to ensure your cold contacts are engaged with your email, the last thing you want to do is give them one more reason to delete it.
That’s why it’s important to identify when the best time to send your cold email campaigns is. The good news is that there’s an optimal time for every audience, and we’re going to help you find it.
When is the Best Time to Send Cold Email?
While there’s no specific ‘one best time’ to send cold email, it always helps to start with hard numbers.
Various studies (including this one by CoSchedule) have concluded that emails sent in the morning between 9am and 11am tend to receive the most opens. They’ve also found that emails tend to experience peak opens around 10am. In the same study, Tuesdays were declared the best day to get your emails opened.
This information makes sense based on the way people behave in the office.
Mondays can be a bit of a slow start. People are coming back in from the weekend and their inboxes might be clogged up – they might not even have an opportunity to see your email, let alone interact with it. Tuesdays offer the comfort of having been readjusted to a routine, while not so close to the weekend that one might be easily distracted again.
10am is a perfectly sensible time for people to open your email as well. With flexible working hours, some people might not even arrive at the office until after 9am. Others may have arrived earlier but have taken some time to grab a coffee and get situated before diving into their work. 10am is a reasonable time to say that most people have arrived and gotten comfortable before digging into their inbox.
Therefore, if you’re starting out with cold email to a purchased list of B2B contacts, it stands to reason that you should start by scheduling your campaigns to go out at 10am Tuesday mornings.
The Problem with That
The problem with using a rule of thumb is it’s just that – a rule of thumb. This may be the optimal sending time for a certain audience that adheres to regular office hours in a certain industry, but it’s not going to be the optimal time to reach every audience.
One of the most powerful things that you can do with a cold email campaign is target appropriately. Ideally, you’ve identified your ideal customer, buyer personas, have purchased your list from a reputable data provider, and have created content that you can assume is relevant and useful to the contacts on your list.
Not scheduling your campaign for a time when it’s likely to be opened by the most people after spending that much effort targeting would be a real shame. You know your product better than anyone and, ostensibly, you know the behaviors and qualities of the people on your list. You should be able to drill down when the people on your list are going to be most likely to open your email.
Every Audience (Including Yours) Is Different
This isn’t to say that Tuesday at 10am won’t be the best time to send your cold email campaigns – it very well could be. However, if you’re targeting an audience of people that typically work midnights or are regularly in over the weekend, you might be doing yourself a disservice by adhering to one day and time.
After you’ve done some soul searching to identify when you think your audience is most likely to open your email, you might think the right move is going to be to schedule your email and wait for the results to pour in. Well, not quite.
You absolutely should schedule your email to go out at the time you think you’re going to receive the most opens, but that shouldn’t be the only time you’re scheduling your campaign. It’s always a good practice to A/B test these sorts of changes. After all, you won’t know what the best time actually is unless you’ve got something to compare it to.
Segment your audience. Send one campaign at that coveted Tuesday at 10am time and another in the time slot you think is going to work best for your audience. Record your findings and see which campaign received a higher open rate. Then, compare the winner with a new sending time. Remember, your emails can always perform better, so it’s important that you continue to test your findings against new experiments. Who knows, there might be an optimal time for your audience that you haven’t even thought of yet.
It’s also important to note that different circumstances can impact when people are most likely to open their emails. At the time of writing this post, more people are working from home than ever. They might not be as inclined to open an email early in the morning as they once were. This is another reason why testing is always important.
Make Sure Your Campaign is Reaching Your Audience
Of course, you’re only able to track your opens if your email is making it to your audience to begin with. When sending cold email, it’s extremely important that your deliverability is high, so you can track your progress and make changes and adjustments where necessary.
Sending cold email presents unique obstacles as opposed to sending to an opted-in list. Luckily, Clickback can help you overcome these obstacles. Clickback sends your campaigns using its own proprietary IPs and domains, assuming all the risk associated with cold email, keeping you safe throughout the process. It cleans your email list, so you only send to valid contacts that will want to engage with your content, and even warns you about potential problem areas of your campaigns that might get you caught up in spam filters.
Clickback is the ideal tool for reaching a purchased list of contacts the right way and provides you with the analytics and reporting tools you need to focus on fine-tuning and optimizing your sending times. To see how Clickback can help you reach your purchased list, sign up for a free 1-on-1 demo today.