Email Marketing: The Best and Worst Times to Send Out a Campaign

October 1, 2012 by  Filed under: Email 

The success of an email marketing campaign can be influenced by various factors. While access to a profiled and managed opt-in database ranks as one of the most important factors, other smaller things can actually play a bigger role in a campaign’s success than marketers realise. One of these factors is timing; sending the right email at the opportune moment can help your brand see a big improvement in email open and click-through rates and ultimately sales.

The best times to send

Of course the best sending times may vary according to the kind of customers you will be targeting and may even be influenced by your local laws regarding direct marketing. But, general statistics have given email marketers a pretty clear idea of which time slots work best for certain industries. By looking at a breakdown of the day and how it is spent by the average consumer receiving your emails, you can determine the ideal timeslot that works for your campaign.


The 9AM time slot has many benefits. This is usually the time most people actively check their email and plan their day and are therefore quite receptive to all manner of marketing emails received at this time. After 10AM however, most people start buckling down as work demands increase, a fact that makes this a slightly trickier timeslot to manage, especially if you are targeting professionals or high LSM groups.


The lunchtime spot is usually used by consumers to catch up on news and to catch up with their contacts on social networking sites. Studies show that people are less open to marketing messages at this time. After lunch most workers get back to it, however email offers related to financial services have shown to be successful during this time of day. The hours after 3PM have shown to be very successful for both financial as well as property services, as the work pace slows.


After 5PM, email marketers have noted a dramatic rise in holiday promotions being opened. As the work day draws to a close, people start putting their affairs in order and can easily be tempted by email marketing that promises to whisk them away. However, focus seems to still be on work at this time as there is also a steep increase in B2B emails opened in this timeframe. People become susceptible to consumer promotions as they begin to unwind. This is especially true for companies that cater to niche interest groups as people are most likely to be thinking about their hobbies and interests at this time. After this last buzz of email activity, it is ill-advised to send out further emails. Most countries, including South Africa has regulations such as the Consumer Protection Act that prohibit email marketers from sending emails after a certain hour – and these restrictions should always be respected. Campaigns that are sent out “after hours” not only do badly, they also reflect badly on your business.

About Digital Fire

Digital Fire, an email marketing and digital media specialist with a head office in Cape Town. Digital Fire specializes in full service opt-in email marketing, email data rental, email database management, social media consultancy and management as well as Search Engine Optimisation. We provide cutting edge digital marketing and advertising solutions for our clients locally and abroad. Contact us today for digital marketing success

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