Whether you’re trying to get someone to reply for the third time or you’re sending out a consequential piece of potential job correspondence, when you send that important email may be just as vital as what you say in it. Here’s what to know.
Send your email at 10 a.m.
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There is a surprising amount of research out there about when you should send an important email. In 2022, Brevo, HubSpot, and Omnisend released some data, for instance. The year before that, so did MailerLite and Mailjet. Interestingly, the optimal time changes every few years, so it’s important to read the most recent data available. What works now isn’t going to be the same as what worked during the pandemic when we were all on our devices 24/7. Work-life balance is back, baby, and the research proves it.
But what does it all boil down to? It boils down to 10 a.m. That, per most studies, is the optimal time to send out your note. This is a great time because your recipient is likely settled into work, full of breakfast, and already clicking away at their keyboard, totally in the zone. Morning was recommended in general throughout the data for this reason, so don’t feel pressure not to send until 10 a.m. if it’s urgent.
Other suitable times are 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The trick is to catch people when they’re at their desks, preferably after a standard eating time, so they’re full, content, and paying attention to work. Any time too close to breakfast or the commute, lunch, or the all-important punch-out moment (usually around 5 p.m.) is less good.
The best days to send an important email
Yes, some days are better than others, per the data—and you can guess which ones. Mondays are bad, which we can assume is because people are catching up after the weekend. Fridays are also bad, which we can assume is because people are checked out ahead of the weekend. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday rank well, so aim to send important messages on those mornings.
What to keep in mind
First of all, you can really send an email whenever you want, which you know. Just be prepared to send a follow-up if it goes unanswered, and try to schedule that for the prime times. Think about your recipient’s time zone, too, and plan for your email to arrive at 10 a.m. (or one of the other optimal moments) for them, not you. If an email isn’t urgent, get in the habit of scheduling it to send at a certain time, especially if you’re writing it at an unorthodox hour, like in the evening or over lunch.
When I schedule an email to go out the next morning, I usually set it to something like 10:02, so it looks more organic, but it’s unlikely your recipient is really checking for the double zero at the end of your send time. If you’re not using a scheduler, make sure your “undo send” timer is maxed out so you can call the email back if it’s missing an attachment or has an egregious spelling errors you only catch the second it slips through the old internet tubes.