Timing is Everything

Image courtesy of Horia Varlan's photostream

For most events in life— whether it’s when to propose, at what time to take food out of the oven or when to hit the brakes when you are swiftly approaching a red light — timing is everything. What many companies fail to realize, however, is that timing also plays a key role when it comes to sending out emails and posting on social media sites. In one of my earlier posts about the stress that technology plays on the brain, I mentioned that the average computer user visits 40 websites  and consumes an average of 12 hours of media daily. So, how can you and your company stand out despite all of this? The best way to start is to determine the most optimal time to send your messages out.

Here are some guidelines on how you can get time on your side with emails and social media:


– The best part of waking up is emails in your inbox. Okay, maybe that statement isn’t exactly true but, as much as we hate to admit it, checking our email is one of the first things that we do in the morning. In fact, studies show that 68% of consumers check their work emails before 8:00 AM! With this in mind, sending emails as early as possible (preferably as close to 6:00 AM as possible) guarantees that they will be at the top of your recipients’ inboxes when they check their mail in the morning, making it three times more likely to be opened.
– Messages may get buried in the afternoon. Email inboxes tend to get flooded as the day goes on, and only emails related to important tasks are going to get read, especially if the person is working late. If you decide to send an email later in the day, stick to the 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM time period.
– Sundays can be as good as Mondays. By the time Sunday rolls around, some people are checking emails and focusing on preparing for work the next day. Sunday afternoon can often be a great time for a large percentage of open rates. Even if they don’t check their emails on that day, it means that it will be at the top of the pile on Monday morning.
– Pick your day wisely. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays have the highest email volumes, so try sending out emails on days that have lower volumes (with Saturday, Sunday and Monday being the lowest).
– Track your statistics! Take a month or two to experiment with different days of the week, times and subject lines for your emails. Compare your open rates and click-through rates to determine what your personal best day and time to send emails is.

Social Media
– Facebook: The biggest usage spike occurs at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM (the highest of the three) and 8:00 PM on weekdays. If you are looking to have a large amount of user engagement on your page, posting in the morning is 39.7% more effective than posting in the afternoon. Most users do not go on their Facebook accounts during work hours, so aiming for either early in the morning or after 5:00 PM is best, and be sure to focus on the three days with the highest activity: Tuesday, Wednesday (the highest of the three) and Thursday.
– Twitter: Unlike Facebook, Twitter engagement is highest on Saturday and Sunday. If you do decide to tweet during business days, do so during the “busy hours” of 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Tweeting during these times means a 30% higher engagement than tweets falling outside of these hours. The most optimal times to tweet is quite different than Facebook, so you can maximize your reach by coordinating your social media posts so that your Facebook messages and Twitter messages are not overlapping, but instead keeping your company top of mind at all hours of the day.
Do you have suggestions on which days and times worked best for your messages? Feel free to share in the comment section below!


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