What Is the Best Time to Send Marketing Emails?

best time to send email

Email marketing can be a powerful tool for small businesses. And it seems easy enough – create content, send to your email list. But there are actually more things to consider if you want to get the most out of your email marketing efforts.

One of the things you can do is send out emails at a time that is optimized for your target audience. To do this, you need to first decide who your target audience is. And then you need to figure out when those people are most likely to read their emails.

Luckily, MailChimp’s Chief Data Scientist John Foreman recently shared some insights about the best times to send emails to various groups.

MailChimp’s research shows that the best time to send email to every age group, ranging from college students to senior citizens, is between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. People in their forties and people over retirement age were most likely to check their emails at 10 a.m., while college students were more likely to check it at 1 p.m. The worst time to send email, according to the same data, lies between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m.


Foreman pointed out that a lot of the data simply backs up common sense. For instance, college students are more likely to wake up later than forty-year-olds, who might check their email within an hour of getting to work. And it makes perfect sense that no one will be reading your emails between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m.

But in another way, the exact time you send out an email doesn’t matter as much as you might think. For example, no more than 7% of your subscribers will read your email in any one hour no matter what age group they belong to. So it’s important to keep in mind that everyone is different and optimizing your email timing probably won’t lead to a huge increase right away. Foreman told. Mashable:

“The data shows that the best time to send for any age group is only optimal for 6-7% of email addresses. So when we talk about the “best time to send” we should keep in mind that most people on any marketer’s list are going to deviate at least a little in terms of their email preferences from whatever time is picked.”

But just because there’s no exact time that guarantees 100% readership of your emails, doesn’t mean you should ignore the data. Sending an email at 10 a.m. instead of 5 a.m. doesn’t require much extra effort, and it can lead to more eyes on your marketing material.

Any time you can get more people to view your emails, you should take advantage of the opportunity. And depending on the size of your email list – 7% can make a big difference.

Image: MailChimp (via Mashable),Phone Photo via Shutterstock


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

8 Reactions
  1. I guess it all boils down to habits. People don’t view e-mails when they’re asleep thus the low opening rate. But they open it 10am and may vary depending on what they do. In the end, it will still depend on the shared habits of your target audience.

    • Yes, figuring out your particular audience is key. So this is great data in general but could be further optimized for specific businesses.

  2. Additionally, I recommend some testing of your own. If everyone starts sending emails at the same “perfect” time then attention will be limited. You might find a “non-typical” time that works great for you.

    • That’s a good point. This is great general data, but businesses could definitely narrow it down a bit more based on testing in their industry/target market in order to get the best results possible.

  3. Naomi@business start ups

    Hi Annie,

    I like to vary out what time I send emails out. That way I can cater to everyone! But no spamming – I not talking 20 emails a day!

    Just test, test, test