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When To Say It

By Expert Author: Terry Sanders

When is the best time of day to send an email? Does it matter?
Actually it does. Emailing companies like Constant Contact, Vertical Response and IContact can track when emails were opened and correlate these data to when the emails were sent and where they were received. CRM programs often have similar functionality, and even Outlook can request 'read' confirmations.
I am not only talking about those emails which are sent as part of day-to-day business communications. These emails are sent when they are ready to be sent. Although, the same rules apply to increase effectiveness.
This is especially true if the subject header seems less important, such as social emails or back-burner issues. But this is even more so with emailed newsletters.
Let's look at how long it takes from receiving an email to when it is opened. In the first hour 23.6% of emails are opened. This goes down to 9.5% in the second hour, 6.3% in the third and 4.8% in the fourth.
The best time if you want high click and engagement rates is between 8 and 9 in the morning which is when most people start to read their emails. In the afternoon when business usually starts to slow up a little, the opening rate from 3pm to 8pm is also very good. However, for some reason, the best time for click-throughs is from 3pm to 4pm.
In today's global world it is not enough to just assume that everybody lives in the same longitude. You also have to take into account the different time zones when dispatching your emails. This is where professional emailing programs come into their own. These allow you to sub-group or segment your mailing lists by location and with some, you can even program when to despatch each segmented group.
Then you have to remember countries' religious and public holidays. Sending a techie newsletter to programmers around the world will remain unread in Israel if they land during Passover, New Year or Day of Atonement.
In the West we tend to think only in terms of the end of year close down. But countries like France and Italy remain all but closed for the month of August, as well as countless public holidays on other dates. These too can be scheduled into professional emailing programs.
As the saying goes, "it's not enough to know what to say, but also when to say it."

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