When is the best time to send cold emails?
If you ever asked yourself this while doing email outreach, you came to the right place. We know better than anyone that the sales process is not only about choosing the right message or writing personalized subject lines.
More than anything, it’s about the right timing.
Just imagine this.
You spend hours on finding the right prospects and crafting the perfect message to compel them.
You send the email and then… Nothing.
Sounds familiar? Nothing is more frustrating than putting all your effort and time into an email campaign only to have it go to waste.
So, to prevent that from happening, what time should you choose to send your cold email?
Well… That depends. It’s important to consider your industry and the local time zones your recipients are in.
However, fear not. We did the research and created your go-to guide when it comes to the best times to send cold emails for the highest open rate and warm replies.
Does timing matter for sending cold emails?
You might write amazing messages with attractive email subject lines, but it is not only what you write that matters but also when you share it with your recipients.
Timing may not be entirely everything in this case, but it is definitely an important factor contributing to your cold emailing success.
Especially considering that people across the world receive lots of emails in their inboxes every single day. Only for 2022, there were an estimated 333.2 billion e-mails sent and received daily around the world.
And the figure is projected to increase to 376.4 billion daily e-mails by 2025.
Choosing the right day and time slot to ensure that your email is delivered when the recipient sees it and doesn’t get lost between all the other emails, is therefore crucial.
According to research, 23% of emails are opened within the first hour of delivery. After 24 hours, this percentage drops to 1%, significantly decreasing your chances of getting your message across to your potential clients.
Okay, now that we settled that email timing DOES matter in your activities to scale your outbound sales, let’s dig into the actual do-and-don’ts that will help you increase your email open rates.
Best time of day to send cold email
As we mentioned above, there is no accurate definition of the best time to send cold emails – the most optimal time may vary from audience to audience and their primary location.
However, once you narrow down the time zone of your target audience, you should consider timing your sending to the following times:
Sending your cold email in the early morning might be a good idea as it will end up at the top of recipients’ inboxes when they check their messages while commuting or after getting to work.
It is common for people to start the day by checking their inboxes, so chances of them seeing your message are high.
A tip for the morning schedule? Make your emails easy to skim as most people read their emails and reply from their phones.
Regular business hours are the perfect time to reach your prospects. However, remember to skip sending emails during lunch time as people usually don’t check their business inboxes then.
Instead, schedule your emails after 2 p.m.
Sending your cold email campaigns in the evening might be a good idea especially on Sundays.
Since the weekend is nearly over, many people start to think about work and plan the following week (i.e. people check their inboxes etc.).
That being said, some of your recipients might check and reply to emails before going to sleep, so it can be worth testing out sending your emails in the evening on various days.
As you can see, the time of day you choose to send your cold sales emails has a direct impact on the email open rates.
It’s important to remember, however, that what is the right time for one audience, might be the wrong time for the other.
So a good practice is to have a case by case approach, test different times and optimize for the optimal open rate and response rate.
What about the best day to send emails? Read more below.
Best day of the week to send cold emails
Which day of the week is the best day for email outreach? According to various studies and our own observations, the three best days to send out emails are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
What about the rest of the week? Should you refrain from sending emails then?
Well, on Mondays, people have a lot of things to run through to catch up after the weekend.
Similarly, Fridays are when people are already thinking about the weekend and focusing on closing things they had planned for the week. It’s a good practice to avoid sending first messages then, but a soft follow-up may work just great.
Saturdays and Sundays are days when people are usually off work relaxing or taking care of their personal lives so the probability of them opening their inboxes is quite low.
To sum up, weekdays show significantly higher open rates as compared to the weekends.
If you plan to reach out to your prospects at a high scale (e.g. send more than 1000 emails per week), it’s best to divide the emails between all weekdays. This way you don’t go over the sending limits which can put your sender reputation at risk but also increase your chances to get a reply (since different people might have different reply behaviors). While you might get lower reply rates on Friday and Monday, in the long run it will still be worth it due to the volume.
Outbound Expert at Growbots
Best time and day to send cold email
At Growbots, we usually recommend sending messages between Monday to Friday during morning hours (8 a.m. – 12 p.m.) as those days and times show the best results.
However, we encourage you to do your research (e.g. using our Email Time Optimizer – more on that later) and experiment with timing (e.g. through A/B testing) to find the best time to send the cold emails to your unique target group.
Only then you can be sure that when you send emails, they will achieve the highest open rates and reply rates.
It is important to remember two other factors that influence the results of your email outreach initiatives.
They include what type of messaging you use in the email you are sending and how you’ve acquired your email addresses (purchased list, subscribers or prospected).
Should you send cold emails on weekends?
Sending your outreach emails during the weekend might sound like a bad idea.
After all, Saturday is when the weekend has just begun so people are less likely to check their mailboxes and Sundays usually mean family time and relaxing.
However, sending your message on Sunday might turn out to be a good choice as some people plan their whole week and may put you in their calendars.
When to avoid sending cold emails?
Your prospect list is ready. You chose the perfect subject line and wrote a compelling, valuable outreach message.
You want to press Send immediately.
But should you?
Before scheduling the sending of your outreach campaign, you should keep in mind that there are times which you should avoid so that all your effort doesn’t go to waste.
First of all, you might want to stay away from the end of the day. Evenings are when people are winding down and may not check their inboxes, let alone read your cold email and respond to it.
Even if they actually do check their inboxes, they might see your email as an unnecessary interruption, and your message will not get across.
Secondly, as we mentioned above, you shouldn’t send your emails during lunchtime hours.
Furthermore, sending cold emails during holidays is also a bad idea. Since they are out of office, your prospect might simply miss your email and it might get lost in their mailboxes after they come back.
Same rule applies to when you are taking time off work. Scheduling your campaign when you are out of office might mean that you miss the warm replies that could convert.
You should also avoid sending cold emails if your deliverability rate is low. Email deliverability refers to the likelihood of emails being successfully delivered to a recipient’s inbox past different barriers such as spam filters.
How to send perfectly timed cold emails?
There are more and more tools which can help you find the most optimal sending time for your cold emails. Growbots’ Email Time Optimizer is one of them.
We might be biased, but thanks to several factors, our tool is the best one out there.
Why is that?
With over 1,000,000 cold emails sent using our platform, we have accumulated a ton of valuable data, including the best times to send cold emails to different segments and insights into what affects your cold email conversion rate.
To make the best of it, our data science team built a machine learning model to determine the best time to send emails to a particular segment.
By using our Email Time Optimizer, you can determine at what time you are most likely to receive a response from a segment you want to target.
How does that work?
Let’s look at the example of a CEO of a medium manufacturing company in New York.
If you send your outreach campaigns to this segment on Monday at 7:00 AM, you will only get a 1.4 percent conversion rate on average.
In contrast, if you delay your actions by one day and send emails on Tuesday at 10:00 AM, you’ll get an average conversion rate of 2.7%.
Sounds good? Try our Email Time Optimizer for free and find the best time to send your sales emails to your particular group of prospects.
When to expect an email reply?
We get it. After sending your cold email to your potential client, you’re impatiently waiting for his or her reply.
But when is a reasonable time to expect it?
Data shows that some people respond when the working day starts, while others send their replies right after completing their reading, no matter the time they received the message.
Some people might read your mail in the morning when office time starts, but reply after completing their lunch.
From our experience, people respond after 2 pm. Nevertheless, the time frame may vary from audience to audience.
As a general rule, research shows that your target audience will never read your email again if they don’t check it within 24 hours of receiving it.
How much time does it take to receive a reply?
You now know the best time to send your sales emails. Considering that all the other components of your outreach campaign are optimized, how long until you hear back from your prospects?
Cience has conducted a study on the time duration before reply to cold emails. The results showed that 19% of all email replies are received within the first hour after the email was sent, while 77% of them are answered within the first twelve hours.
This implies that the longer it takes for the email to be answered, the less likely it is to receive a response.
So if your email doesn’t get noticed during the first twelve hours, the chances of the prospect getting back to you any hour after that are extremely low.
If you want your cold emails to be opened more often, ensure you send compelling, valuable messages and include a clear and precise call-to-action that makes the recipient respond immediately.
Taking everything under consideration, timing indeed is the key to high conversions, ROI, and increased revenues.
Choosing the correct day of the week and as well as the time during that day for cold email outreach can improve your or your sales team’s performance significantly.
To sum up, the best time to send cold emails is between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. in your prospect’s time zone on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.
You should nevertheless test different times, e.g. with the help of our Email Time Optimizer, to determine what combination works best for you and your target group.
We hope this article gave you the confidence you needed and that you now know the best time to send your email campaigns.