Best Time to Send Email: A Matter of When and Where

November 15, 2018 | 
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When is the best time to send email?

In an analysis of about 30 million cold emails sent by Yesware users, we found that 58% of them go unopened.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably finding ways to most effectively reach your contacts. No matter the relationship, it’s safe to say that the delivery of every email matters.

Whatever the nature of your emails, chances are they will be addressed to people that live in cities with different time zones and work cultures.

You could be emailing someone when they’re:

  1. Sleeping
  2. Eating
  3. Busy at work

If you catch them at the wrong time you risk never hearing from them again.

The reality of the situation is that sending an email at the right time is less about ourselves and more about 1) who we’re emailing and 2) where they are.

Let’s talk through how we are working to make sure your emails get to the right person at the right time by utilizing the best time to send emails.


Our Findings: Different Cities Reply to Emails at Different Times


In the process of exploring this ourselves here at Yesware, we looked at how reply rates varied across major metropolitan areas around the world when sent at different times.

Here are some examples of what we found:

  1. The highest reply rates were achieved by users whose emails reached Bostonians at 6 pm and San Franciscans at 4 pm
  2. Despite being in the same country, Barcelona and Madrid had considerably different times of day where reply rate peaked. Our estimates place those times at 12 pm or Barcelona and 6 pm for Madrid

With that in mind, the Yesware Marketing team embarked on a journey to tap into our large data stores to uncover aggregate trends on how people from different cities around the world respond to emails throughout their workday.

We’ve done this by analyzing the flow of hundreds of millions of emails that reach large cities and broke down the reply rates based on when they received it in their own local time zones.

best time to send email

For example, we found that emails received by New Yorkers had the highest chance of getting a response when received at 6 pm. If you’re sending that email from San Francisco, that’s 3 pm for you.

Knowing this, your options are to either 1) get through your list of prospects quickly with a shotgun approach and hope for the best or 2) spend a TON of time doing time zone calculations and guessing when each contact will be most available.

That’s the typical effectiveness vs. efficiency dilemma.

We’ve leveraged our analyses to make sure you don’t have to navigate that tradeoff.


Free Tool: See the Best Time to Send Email


To that end, I’d like to formally introduce you to our Best Time to Send Email Map. It’s a free online tool that:

  1. Identifies a time with the highest computed reply rates in a destination city
  2. Uses your origin city to suggest the best time to send in your own, local time zone

What’s in it for you? The tool allows you to input where you’re sending your email from (origin city) and where you’re sending your email to (destination city) and suggests a best time to send:

best time to send email

Pro tip: It pairs nicely with our email scheduler Send Later so that you can send it at the right time.


What’s Next


It’s our mission to help you work smarter right from your inbox. We hope that you enjoy our Best Time to Send Map and stay tuned for more email best practices, tips, and tricks on the Yesware blog.

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