With any email marketing campaign one of the most interesting parts is working out what the best time to send the email is. 

If your open rate can be increased by say, 5% simply by changing the day and hour it ends up in an inbox can make a dramatic influence on profits at the end of the process.

But working out that magical day and time is the hard part - so I've been playing around with these three options to see if they could make any difference to open rates:

Online Research

If you have a look around there are probably people who have already blogged specifically about email marketing for your industry. By tracking them down you can begin to get a decent idea of what other people have experienced. Sometimes they do conflict with one another, so comparing a number of different authors and articles is best to build up an overall picture. 

A good starting point is Pure 360 who've put together this pretty nifty infographic to give the times of how the average person goes about their day. They also have a whole lot of extra information on their site which is well worth a look through.

Pure360's Open Rate Landscape Infographic


It makes reasonable sense to suggest that the times when your Twitter followers are most active could also be the same times when people are most likely to open an email.

Using Followerwonk, you can use the 'Analyse Followers' function:

Just by adding in a @twittername, Followerwonk gives you a fantastic 24 hour graph showing when your followers (or who you're following) are most active.

The only thing to bear in mind is that the graph makes no distinction between geography and time zones. If a Twitter account has followers in both the UK and US for example, then the results can be blurred together suggesting that there isn't a 'best' time for most either making tweets, or for sending emails.

To get round this and to see how other Twitter accounts are doing, it's worth putting a number of other twitter accounts from your industry into Followerwonk. You'll then be able to build up a better picture of when people may be online.

Test, test and test again.

Email marketing isn't an exact science. Even if you've spent an age grouping together the information about when you think people might be most responsive to an email, it doesn't mean they will be.

Depending on the quality of your email list, or the idiosyncrasies which exist in your industry, you're only going to build up a picture of the best time to send after sending, analysing open rates and retesting. 

This does take time, effort and money but is going to provide the best evidence in the long term to gain the most effective returns on your email marketing campaigns. 

I'm testing out a few different ideas at the moment so will update this once I've had some more data and time to see how things develop with regards to my email marketing. If you've got any ideas that you want to add, feel free to stick them onto the comments below.